The game against France is already being dubbed a game of fate for Joachim Löw and his team. The national coach seems to have understood the message, he has announced significant changes.
Paris is wonderful in this never-ending autumn summer. The city unfolds all its magic once again, the people sit outside in their T-shirts and tops at Montmartre or Place de l’Odéon until the evening and enjoy the October sun.
You don’t need much imagination to imagine the national coach between them, the espresso cup in front of you on the bistro table. Joachim Löw likes such a thing, that is well known.
But there will certainly be no holiday-like pictures of him with sunglasses these days. There Löw is, so to speak, a burned child after the famous lantern photos of Sochi from this miserable World Cup summer. Löw is not only under special observation after the 0:3 against the Netherlands, he is also under special pressure.
Did you sleep badly? Only because of the flu
Even before today’s match with world champion France, he tried to minimise the fact that he had slept worse in the past few nights, but that was solely due to his flu, “the situation doesn’t give me sleeplessness”.
His effort not to let the form crisis of the national team become a topic for Löw is understandable. Nevertheless, he has been the subject of discussion again since Saturday. But the fact that he has always relied on his established strengths and that they have disappointed him so much against the Netherlands seems to have at least triggered a certain rethinking in him.
“We have to change a few things in any case, tactically and personally,” he announced before the French game. Jérôme Boateng, who was tormented for the 90 minutes of Amsterdam, is not available anyway, but even players like Thomas Müller, Jonas Hector and Emre Can could not complain when they find themselves on the bench at the Stade de France.
There is much to be said for giving young stars Leroy Sané and Julian Brandt a starting eleven chance. The public has been calling for the commitment of both for days anyway. The national coach would therefore only be able to win with a line-up. And if things go wrong, Löw can at least point to it: You see, it just doesn’t work without the experienced.
Emre Can Honours
- Bundesliga: 2012–13
- DFB-Pokal: 2012–13
- DFL-Supercup: 2012
- Football League Cup runner-up: 2015–16
- UEFA Champions League runner-up: 2017–18
- UEFA Europa League runner-up: 2015–16
- FIFA Confederations Cup: 2017
- UEFA European Under-17 Championship Team of the Tournament: 2011
- Liverpool Young Player of the Season: 2015–16
- UEFA Europa League Squad of the Season: 2015–16
- BBC Goal of the Season: 2016–17
- Premier League Goal of the Season: 2016–17
- Premier League Milestones Award: 100 appearances
Newer remains untouchable
Only to his goalkeeper (and team captain) the national coach does not dare to approach. Neuer has already been given an assignment guarantee by him, the Bayern goalkeeper himself says he is “top fit” and “in good form”, he “only missed the game luck last”. To change the goalkeeper, to take out the man Löw had been waiting for for months before the World Cup, with which he systematically increased the size of his second goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen – this step is still too big for Löw to take. Neuer could show his gratitude with an outstanding performance against the Mbappés and Griezmanns in the evening, and he should probably do the same.
Directly after the World Cup, DFB manager Oliver Bierhoff had pampered back on ZDF against accusations by TV expert Oliver Kahn that he should please tell him which other players than the pros Löw who had been called up in Russia should have nominated. Kahn didn’t come up with much apart from Sané. That too is a problem that the national coach has and for which he is probably rather blameless. There aren’t that many personnel alternatives in Germany in 2018, the established ones are getting on in years, and it may be that the realisation has to slowly become established that with the players who are available, perhaps there’s simply nothing left. Which would be another argument in favour of making the upheaval more radical – and devoting the next two or three years entirely to rebuilding. Jackpot Strike offers a generous welcome bonus for newly registered players which requires them to make a deposit of £20.
“It is clear that after the game on Saturday the criticism was massive,” says Löw and has thus at least taken the momentum away from the accusation of the fine speech. The national coach has been there long enough and will be aware of what will happen after a high defeat against the world champion, despite all the reverie ascribed to him. Then the Nations League, mocked and rejected by many in the beginning, will suddenly gain a huge weight. Then everyone will associate the word relegated with the DFB Elf 2018. Then the demands for resignation will come. Guaranteed.
Already now we could read about the game of fate against the French. The DFB has not heard the word for a long time either.
Before Amsterdam, the impression had already been reinforced again that the DFB had already arrived at its destination after the shock of the World Cup. The old thinking was there again, the old mistakes were made again. Possibly the 0:3 from Saturday was therefore also salutary. Löw has once again had the opportunity to tackle the new beginning less cautiously than before. Maybe he will be grateful to the Dutch once again.