Kiev (dpa) – From the strengthened position of the winner, Joachim Loew raised his critics to a remarkable lesson.
In a monologue that lasted exactly four minutes and 25 seconds, which almost made the Ukrainian interpreter desperate, the national coach defended what he thought was a far-sighted course with no alternative after the unadorned but very important 2-1 (1-0) in the national stadium in Kiev of the German national soccer team.
The word “criticism” was mentioned umpteen times, which was publicly discharged at the start of the stuttering after the month-long Corona lockdown after the most recent 3: 3 against Turkey – presented by former national players such as chief critic Lothar Matthäus. The idiosyncratic, sometimes stubborn and exalted external accusations, the DFB head coach countered before the night flight back to Cologne. “Criticism is okay, anyone is welcome to do so! But we have our line, we have our plan.”
Löw’s core message was: “I know when I’m doing what. I see the big picture. I don’t always see a single test match. I just see the way to the European Championship.” In plain language this means: In the summer of 2021, at the EM, billing will take place, but not now in the fall, please.
Three days after the Turkey test, when Löw’s second guard had lost a victory for the third time in a row and several DFB legends had denounced the national coach’s personnel policy and changing practices, the result was at least once again against the severely weakened selection of Ukraine. “We didn’t succeed in everything, but we definitely did a lot,” said Löw after 90 minutes in front of 17,573 spectators who were in the stadium despite the high Corona numbers and once again created a football atmosphere at an international match.
After eleven months, Löw sent his A-formation around the Bayern block back onto the field. The routine and still existing automatisms resulted in a well-deserved victory, which was far too narrow after the goals of Matthias Ginter and Leon Goretzka, who benefited from a blatant goalkeeper mistake in the 2-0. According to Löw, a penalty that Niklas Süle “unnecessarily” caused, which Ruslan Malinowski converted to the connecting goal, gave the DFB entourage a restless final quarter of an hour. “We know that we didn’t play the stars from the sky,” commented Ginter from Gladbach.
The first sense of achievement in 2020 has a calming effect before the next match against Switzerland on Tuesday (8.45 p.m. / ARD) in Cologne. After the maiden victory in the Nations League, the DFB team (5 points) continues to fight for group victory as the pursuit of leaders Spain (7 points). “We once managed to get through a game,” said Munich striker Serge Gnabry, relieved. Captain Manuel Neuer demands even more “men’s football” in the direction of the European Championship.
Löw’s general account with Matthäus, who celebrated the 30th anniversary of winning the title on the weekend with the world champions of 1990 in Italy, already had patronizing features. He was “not angry with Lothar,” lectured the world champion coach from 2014: “He’s been analyzing games for a long time. Basically, I appreciate his opinion, he’s worried.” But Löw values his own ideas, his own route to the EM, even more.
“I trust my players. We have a very good team. Why should we completely give up our line now?” Asked Löw – and gave the answer himself. His upheaval, his farsighted dosage of the players’ stakes in the very tightly timed due to the Corona crisis He is non-negotiable with the European Championship season schedule The 60-year-old also knows that there is no substitute for positive results in football. “Victories are the glue that you just go towards EM with a wider chest,” he said.
His course remains daring, but the content is understandable, even if Löw’s former captain Bastian Schweinsteiger as an ARD expert, for example with reference to defense routine Jérôme Boateng, warned the performance principle when selecting the staff or for the system with a back four that was successful in winning the 2014 World Cup pleaded. “You can no longer fully identify yourself with the national team, that’s a shame,” said Schweinsteiger.
Löw also looked back over the weekend, but differently, namely to “where we come from in November 2018 after the World Cup and the Nations League: We were down there, very far down!” As head coach, he was also mainly responsible for this: “Then the young team that we deliberately changed won the European Championship qualification against Holland. Now we haven’t been together for ten months and have played a few games on the fly.”
Loew has long since disconnected from public hysteria. “It is normal for the national team to have different opinions about systems, tactics, players and personnel decisions. I’ve been experiencing that for 16 years,” he said. “So I’m above things when it comes to criticism. “
Löw wants to focus on continuity against Switzerland. Löw announced that he would hardly change the team around Real-Star Toni Kroos, who is about to make his 100th international match. The attacker Timo Werner, who was only substituted in Kiev after an illness, should start this time.