Löw: “Clear changes are needed”
The German troop is back in Germany and has again faced the decisive questions. The decision on the future of Joachim Löw will be made next week.
The disappointment at the historically early failure at the World Cup is still deep in the German squad and those responsible. You didn’t have to read the faces of Oliver Bierhoff, Manuel Neuer, Joachim Löw or Reinhard Grindel after landing in Frankfurt – they said it just like that.
There is also anger, but, as Captain Neuer put it, “anger against ourselves. We’re standing here screwing it up. We have ourselves to blame.” Team and coach would have to live with the criticism, even though Neuer defended his coach: “We were well prepared for the games and had everything in our own hands. With this team, he said, “we have already played beautiful football”.
What was the problem? What has to happen?
The central question that each of the four speakers was asked: What was the problem? The answer given by all four speakers: We need to analyse this now. “We need a few days to catch our breath,” explained team manager Bierhoff. Grindel became more precise: “We have agreed that the sports management will present an initial analysis to the DFB leadership in the course of next week, and then I also expect the national coach to comment on his future”.
“The fact is,” Löw said, “that we were not in the form we have been in in recent years. We have to think about the mistakes we’ve made.” It is also a fact that the World Cup is over for the World Champion much earlier than planned. After the “few days to catch your breath”, the “tough analysis” (Bierhoff) is on the agenda; not only what happened, but above all what will happen – at this point, too, everyone involved took the same line.
Löw’s message: Changes have done well in 2004
“Now, with the retirement and the huge disappointment, I think we have to think: What are the right measures? Deep measures and clear changes are needed. And that’s what we need to discuss.” Löw has it in his own hands whether he continues as national coach or not. President Grindel, who also predicted “far-reaching changes”, gave Löw a job guarantee before the end – and stuck to it on Thursday.
But what Löw said left much room for speculation: “2004”, when he and Jürgen Klinsmann took over from Rudi Völler, “if the team was also eliminated in the preliminary round, then there were some changes. We’ve now been on our way up for 14 years, perhaps the most consistent team in the last ten years.” So should there be changes again now?