Stefan Kiessling left out in the cold again by Joachim Löw
Germany manager names just one striker in panel to face Ireland and Sweden
Max Kruse is the only striker named in the Germany squad
Four days after Noel King opted to bring several of Ireland’s international exiles back in from the cold, Joachim Löw may have further alienated Stefan Kiessling by again overlooking him for this month’s World Cup qualifiers despite having a couple of his regular strikers unavailable through injury.
Kiessling, the Bundesliga’s top scorer so far this season with five goals from seven games for Bayer Leverkusen, hasn’t played for his country since the third place play-off against Uruguay in South Africa and the lack of an explanation from Löw had prompted the player to say rather emphatically recently that he would not return until after the current coach moves on.
Following a meeting between the pair, however, there had been some expectation the 29-year-old would return but, somewhat remarkably, Löw has opted to call up just one striker – Borussia Moenchengladbach’s Max Kruse – for the games against Ireland and Sweden, despite the fact Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez have, like Lukas Podolski, Ilkay Guendogan and Marcel Schmelzer, been ruled out with injuries.
Löw was at pains to put a positive spin on things yesterday with the coach insisting the player and he were in some sort of agreement as to the way forward and that Kiessler might yet have a chance of featuring in Brazil next summer.
“We had a discussion with Stefan,” said Löw, “and I told him that I count on Mario Gomez and Miroslav Klose . . . I cannot look into future but we said that if I needed him for the World Cup in case a player was out of form or injured then he would be ready, that he is at our disposal. I think that’s great.”
Whether Kiessler is quite so enthusiastic has yet to be clarified.
Mats Hummels retains his place in the squad despite some thinly veiled criticism of Löw through the media for dropping him for last month’s qualifiers. The Borussia Dortmund defender was left on the bench against both Austria and the Faroe Islands after which he too suggested the manager did not communicate properly with his players.
Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger seems likely to start against Ireland and get his 100th cap against Sweden four days later after returning from injury. Mario Götze is also recalled after injury while Löw also called up Hamburg defender Marcell Jansen.
If King was hoping that Löw might take his foot off the pedal now that his team is in a commanding position at the top of Group C he is, it seems, set to be disappointed.
“Our starting position in the group is good,” said the German, “but our clear aim is to seal our ticket with a win against Ireland in front of a home crowd.”
Rene Adler (Hamburger SV), Manuel Neuer (FC Bayern München), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96)
Jérome Boateng (FC Bayern München), Benedikt Höwedes (FC Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Marcell Jansen (Hamburger SV), Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern München), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal)
Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Sven Bender (Borussia Dortmund), Julian Draxler (FC Schalke 04), Mario Götze (FC Bayern München), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (FC Bayern München), Thomas Müller (FC Bayern München), Mesut Özil (Arsenal), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Sidney Sam(Bayer Leverkusen), André Schürrle (Chelsea), Bastian Schweinsteiger (FC Bayern München)
Max Kruse (Borussia Mönchengladbach)