Cologne (dpa) – Joachim Löw gets into trouble. In any case, the circumstances with the Corona crisis and unusual burdens are complicated for his elite kickers.
Now the faction of the long-term winners from Munich has to break the curse of playful victories in order to stop the uncertainty on the way to the EM next summer. “Of course it will now be important that we make the next games victorious,” said the national coach clearly after the last-minute frustration in the friendly against Turkey, which was partly homemade.
At least the time seems right: The Ukraine selection, weakened by Corona failures, went down in Paris against world champions France with a cracking 1: 7. And it was also possible to report from the DFB quarter that the recently injured midfield routinist Toni Kroos and the striker Timo Werner, who also arrived later because of a cold, can start the trip to the Ukrainian risk area.
Before the game on Saturday (8.45 p.m. / ARD) in Kiev, the German national soccer team lost another lead in 3: 3 (1: 0) against the Turks – this time even three times in 90 minutes. Even if the team that was thrown together on Wednesday evening has to be rated differently than an eleven with all the regular staff, it was clear to temporary captain Julian Draxler: “I don’t really want to say that we had any good approaches. In the end, it all comes down to winning games – and we didn’t make it. “
The Löw team has not won for almost a year. Even if there was a long break because of the corona pandemic and the four-time world champion has been unbeaten for 13 months at the same time: The long wait for a sense of achievement is increasingly annoying players, fans and now also boss Löw. At RTL, less than six million viewers watched as the goal pendulum swung again and again on both sides after the tour by Draxler.
In the subsequent league games in Ukraine and three days later again in Cologne against Switzerland, it is also a question of trust in the course of the 2014 world champion trainer. He first reduced the XXL squad to 23 players. Benjamin Henrichs (RB Leipzig), Dortmund’s Nico Schulz and Mahmoud Dahoud, Niklas Stark (Hertha) and Nadiem Amiri from Leverkusen will not be in the charter plane to Kiev on Friday.
Instead, Löw is building on the strong Bayern parliamentary group around captain Manuel Neuer, driver Joshua Kimmich and striker Serge Gnabry, who last appeared in the DFB dress in November 2019. The absolute will to win of the Munich Champions League winners is now required. “We have to be clearer, more grown-up, sometimes maybe dirtier,” said Dortmund defender Emre Can.
“But that is also a matter of concentration and mentality. We do a lot of things well, but we have to reward ourselves,” said Löw after an eventful football evening in Cologne in front of 300 spectators.
He spoke of “light and shadow” and saw some “good insights” brought to light. So the Mönchengladbach debutant Florian Neuhaus was not only able to use his chance in the game that Löw had forcibly declared to be a perspective test for possible EM successors through his goal. Luca Waldschmidt from Benfica Lisbon, also scorer for the first time, liked the direct train to the goal.
The list of shortcomings was longer. A lack of game control and organization under pressure, inadequate exploitation of opportunities, open spaces, poor allocation – Löw cited all of this himself. But it was not the first time that the 60-year-old himself had to find out that he cannot ignore the general rules of football.
Defensive players like Schulz or Antonio Rüdiger from Chelsea FC could see the lack of match practice in their clubs. Löw had previously prophesied the exact opposite in the Rüdiger case. In addition to Neuhaus and Jonas Hofmann from Gladbach, Dahoud also made a short international debut, although he is a substitute in Dortmund.
This is one of the reasons why the discussions about the performance principle in the national team keep boiling up. Furthermore, a comeback of the ex-world champions Thomas Müller and Mats Hummels is not an issue for Löw, although they are absolute leaders at Bayern and Dortmund. In addition to the squad selection, Löw’s substitution tactics are always astonishing. The fact that he changed the structure of his team, which was already struggling for stability, against the Turks, who were also not in the top lineup, in the final minutes with supplementary players Stark and Amiri, contributed to the general uncertainty in the German B representation.
Only one end of the winless phase can change the mood in and around the team. “There will be a different team on the pitch in Ukraine. I can assure you that everyone is very enthusiastic and highly motivated to win the next game,” Loew promised. With a view to better staff, he added, “I think we can do it.”