Joachim Löw meekly after Spain bankruptcy: “We thought we were one step further”
After his team received a heavy beating against strong Spaniards and deservedly went down 6-0, national coach Joachim Löw asked himself critical questions in Seville. Despite the historic bankruptcy, he apparently does not want to deviate from the course he has taken.
0: 6 against Spain. Group victory in the Nations League missed. And gambled away further credit from the already skeptical fans of the “team”. After the worst defeat of his tenure and the worst bankruptcy for a German national soccer team in almost 90 years, national coach Joachim Löw had to put up with unpleasant questions. In a video press conference, the 60-year-old commented on a possible change of course and cautiously took stock after an extraordinary international match year. The question about the retired trio Müller, Hummels, Boateng was not spared him. But Löw pushes the problem on.
Mr Löw, what do you say after this debacle and how do you explain it?
It was an evening on which we did absolutely nothing. We are disappointed and absolutely angry. We weren’t present on the pitch either in duels or in terms of body language. We gave up our line, our organization after the 0-1 and plunged forward. We opened rooms for the Spaniards, who took advantage of that mercilessly. If you are then 0: 3 or 0: 4 behind, you have no chance at all. We didn’t even attack them to force them into reverse gear. We lost all the balls in the front and we had no ball safety. We had no access, no tough duel, no duel behavior.
You haven’t had any international matches for four months and there is little you can do with it. At the same time there should be excited debates about your course and the question of whether the team is ready for the EM. What do you want to do? How do you intend to bridge the long winter break?
There is no way to do anything with the players. Now they go straight back to their clubs and have to do their work there. We don’t have any international matches before March. We’ll have to work on that in the coaching staff over the next few days. Now what are the correct conclusions we must draw? What is the right way? We thought we were one step further after the last few games and this year, which was difficult overall. We have now suffered a real setback. Unfortunately, we don’t have the opportunity to work, train or play a game with the players.
What is your overall conclusion for the year?
It is difficult to come to a conclusion at that moment. We had the games in September when some players came from vacation. We now had nine points before this match day. We were leaders in the standings, that was good on our way. We had the chance to win the group on our own. Now we have suffered a bitter defeat that has not been there for a long time. It was a game where nothing worked at all. This is bitter for all of us at first. Before that I saw good approaches with this team. We also have confidence in these players. We played good games, and recently a very decent one against Ukraine. Today all the things we discussed and set out to do didn’t work. You don’t stand a chance against strong Spaniards. We all certainly believed that we were further than we saw today.
You yourself raised the question of the right path. Is that the question about the staff? According to the game philosophy? Or is it also a question of this team’s perspective? Does football Germany have to come to terms with the fact that the EM is more of a practice tournament for the future of this team?
That can’t be our goal, that we say, okay, the EM is a preparation tournament for the other tournaments afterwards. Sure, this team is young. This team has quality. We have great quality players. It is always the case that we strive for the maximum in a tournament. It was similar in 2010. What was possible at the World Cup with a young team was not believed before. Of course we’re not saying this is an experience tournament for our team. Despite this heavy defeat and even though none of the players today showed the performance that we can expect from them, there is no doubt about the staff we have. They have their qualities. We looked tired today. We looked clumsy. We were always one step too slow. There was no rearing to be felt. It was a pitch black day. But we can’t go to a tournament and say it’s a preparation tournament for the other tournaments.
Serge Gnabry said that after games like this you can see where you stand. Where does Germany stand after this endurance test? And maybe you break away from one or the other player in order to give another impulse before the EM?
The game shows a lot. And if Serge said that, then it is right at the moment that we didn’t have a chance against the Spaniards today. But in the first leg in Stuttgart we showed against the Spaniards that we can all do better. I said I already trust the players. We now have to accept in a very painful way that there will be setbacks.
There will no doubt be discussions now. Are you worried about your job? And don’t we have to rethink the return of Thomas Müller, Mats Hummels and Jérôme Boateng?
On the second question, I said that we are assessing the situation at the right time. I said I trust these players. Confidence is not completely shaken at the moment. This young team also has the ability to develop so that we have a high-performing, competitive team. I am absolutely convinced of that. If I have to worry about my job, you have to ask others.