Friday, 29 June 2018
Sunday, 24 June 2018
Joachim Löw, how did you feel when Toni Kroos scored the winner in the dramatic final seconds of the 2-1 win against Sweden?
Joachim Löw: I was unbelievably happy for him because he’d missed a pass which led to Sweden’s goal and it’s incredibly rare for him to make a mistake like that. He normally has a pass success rate of close to 100%. It was unlucky that it resulted in a goal. I was over the moon that he’d made up for it.
What did you like in the game?
Löw: I liked that we didn’t lose our nerves in the second half and we didn’t start playing in a hectic manner. We always believed that we could turn the game around. We were definitely a bit lucky that we managed to win in injury time with only ten men on the pitch, but we won through our character, by not giving up and by believing in ourselves.
A win which came just before the final whistle...
Löw: It was a thriller full of emotion – especially in the closing stages. We had Julian Brandt’s shot, which hit the post, the chance with Mario Gomez’s header. We tried everything in the last ten minutes and took off a defender despite being a man down. It was pure drama at the end of the game. But all do-or-die games at a tournament like this are balanced on a knife’s edge. It’s not the first time I’ve experienced something like this. It’s definitely great for the neutrals to watch.
Germany could face Brazil in the round of 16...
Löw: I can’t talk about that at the moment because nothing is certain yet. Different things could happen in the other group and we still have to beat South Korea. We’ll take things as they come, then it’s okay.
How will you approach the next “knockout” game against South Korea?
Löw: The players were exhausted after the game, Marco Reus had cramps ten minutes before the final whistle. Jerome Boateng is unavailable, Sebastian Rudy has a broken nose. We need one or two days to recover. Mats Hummels will likely be able to play, which would give us another option in defence.
Is the depth of the squad your biggest strength?
Löw: We have options and the squad is geared to let us exploit all possibilities. Those who haven’t yet played will definitely be needed. Also Mesut Özil and Sami Khedira – both will be needed going forwards.
24 June 2018
Originally on dfb.de. Uploaded here to prevent loss once removed from or moved on that page.
Monday, 18 June 2018
How sobering is the 1-0 loss to Mexico?
Joachim Löw: It is very disappointing. Losing our first game is something that we are not accustomed to doing, but there’s always a first time for everything. We didn’t play to our best at all. We obviously need to reflect on what happened and get back on track. We will learn our lessons and be better in the next game.
What was lacking? Efficiency?
Löw: We were poor in the first half and we didn’t play with our usual attacking, passing style, or use the space we were given well enough. Everyone kept getting in each other’s way which led to us losing the ball and having to cover a lot of ground. Mexico sat deeper in the second half and we got a few shots away, but you just always had the feeling that it wasn’t our day.
What’s the atmosphere like within the team?
Löw: Everyone’s feeling a bit down and very, very disappointed. Now we have to stay focused on what’s to come and try to improve. We have more than enough experience to be able to deal with a loss and pick ourselves back up again. But we simply must win this Saturday (vs. Sweden).
Your team also didn’t seem to be in top shape physically.
Löw: We seemed to not be as dynamic as we can be in the first half. We didn’t have the desire or the drive to turn the game around, nor did we have the necessary physical fitness.
Do you have to make radical changes?
Löw: No, we’re not suddenly going to abandon our philosophy! If we play to our best then we have the ability to generate more chances. Everyone looked for the ball to be played to feet yesterday - we have to be better than that. We won’t suddenly stray from our plan though, we just have to get back to utilizing our strengths.
Should you have named more young players in the squad after their performance in the Confed Cup?
Löw: We actually have a relatively young team - we’re a long way away from being an old squad. The players who have been a part of our setup for a longer time bring experience and a high level of quality, even if that didn’t show up yesterday.
Three of the last four World Cup winners have been knocked out in the group stage four years later. Will you be the fourth?
Löw: That will not happen. We will get out of the group. We have every chance to put things right, but we have to let our play do the talking.
18 June 2018
Originally on dfb.de. Uploaded here to prevent loss once removed from or moved on that site.
Monday, 11 June 2018
Question: Mr. Löw, how often have you been spoken to about Vittorio Pozzo, who is still the only coach to have won the World Cup twice?
Joachim Löw: Not at all in the last few weeks. He is of course a legend, however.
Question: What would it mean to you to be the first coach in 80 years to achieve such a feat?
Löw: To be crowned world champions again would naturally mean a lot. It would be historic. It means as much to the players as it does to the coach. So we will put all our energy and resources towards achieving it.
Question: You fly to Moscow on Tuesday. What’s the general mood in the camp?
Löw: I’m excited to get going. However, I do feel a sense of humility given the difficulty of the task ahead.
Question: What excites you the most?
Löw: I always love being able to work with the team for an extended period of time. Then I get into my rhythm. It’s the day-to-day work on the pitch which I enjoy. The team do too and they can build a stronger connection than when they’re just together briefly. We can communicate more and work harder. I see a lot of development when we have three or four weeks together. At a tournament, I also relish the matches, the competition, the fifty-fifty situations. The comparisons and contests between the best teams from each continent are thrilling.
Question: You have always emphasised how difficult it is to successfully defend a title. What makes this World Cup so complicated?
Löw: The other teams have improved since 2014. France are better, Spain are better, Brazil and Argentina too. When you’re world champions, Confederations Cup winners and no.1 in the FIFA rankings for three or four years, then you’re being hunted down. Every team will want to topple the title defenders. To win a title, everything has to go well. Other factions also certainly play a role though, given that the teams are so similar in quality. Then you need a bit of luck and to stay injury-free. Little things can also have a huge effect. You need to perform at the highest level, be sharp and fully on the ball in every game from the get-go. Otherwise, when it comes to the knock-out rounds, you’ll be heading home rather sharpish.
Question: How has the team prepared for being hunted down?
Löw: We trained for that in March and at the beginning of the training camp. We coaches have tried to convey what’s waiting for then. We want to train for success in the best way possible. As well as physical and tactical sessions, we have worked on our winning mentality. It’s important that we absorb the pressure and discipline ourselves well. Those are the crucial things to remember.
Question: Toni Kroos said that the team is stronger on the ball than in 2014. Yet, there’s some room for improvement off the ball.
Löw: We have hugely developed our playing style. The same can be said for other teams. If we make as many mistakes as we did against Austria, then we’ll be nothing more than an average team. However, if we get the little things right, we’ll be difficult to play against. In terms of attacking, we’re very strong. But the saying goes that good defences win tournaments. It’s a fundamental principle that we need to internalise.
Question: Have you cultivated the team spirit you were after?
Löw: It’s a process and doesn’t just appear out of thin air. At the beginning of training, a few players were quite insecure and asked themselves whether they should be there. You can’t create a concrete sense of unity with 27 players. But since I named the final squad, every player has known he belongs in the team. It was a liberating moment for many of them. Team spirit takes time and develops during the tournament too. The framework is set, because the team know each other very well and we have a strong spine to lead the group. Our more experienced players are also very performance orientated, but always put the team first. There are no egos, only role models for the younger players.
Question: Your team lacks megastars like Neymar, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. Is that an advantage?
Löw: In 2014 it was certainly an advantage. We didn’t have any one superstar. We strived for success as a team. That team mentality can definitely act in your favour.
Question: What do you think of your group with Mexico, Sweden and South Korea?
Löw: All the teams are at a similarly high level. Sweden and South Korea are awkward sides to play against. Mexico have many tactical and technical qualities. They’re a very strong and dangerous opponent and are good on the ball.
Question: You have extended your contract until 2022. Was that a statement?
Löw: The DFB approached me a long time ago. There’s a mutual respect and trust between us. Now we have a younger generation coming through and that gives me personally a motivational boost. In the last four years, we have seen players like Joshua Kimmich, Timo Werner, Leroy Sané, Nikla Süle, Julian Brandt and Leon Goretzka come onto the scene. It’s a hugely exciting task for me.
11 June 2018
Originally on dfb.de. Uploaded here to prevent loss once moved on or removed from that site.
Sunday, 3 June 2018
Question: How frustrated are you about the defeat to Austria?
Joachim Löw: I am annoyed, particularly about the way we lost. I cannot remember the last time I saw a defeat so self-inflicted before.
Question: What angers you the most?
Löw: We lost the ball so much. We went into a rut after half time and never came out of it. We let them back into the game. Normally when we take the lead we are good at making the opponents chase. Then we seemed to get tired and we could have wrapped the game up earlier.
Question: Why was that the case this time?
Löw: Nobody was quite on the ball with the opportunities. We started giving the ball away and that allwed them to grown into the game. It did not plan out how we had talked about. There were mistakes and certain things were lacking.
Question: Are you worried with the World Cup just around the corner?
Löw: I accept days like this. The team would have been prepared totally differently in two week time. I won’t lose any sleep over this. No worries. But if were to play like that in Russia we will struggle. There is a lot to digest, but we won’t let ourselves get worked up about this. We will remain calm.
Question: What did you make of Manuel Neuer’s comeback?
Löw: I was very satisfied with his return. He reacted well to certain situations and showed quick thinking too. You could not tell he had been away for so long.
Question: The game was almost called off due to the weather. How did you find that?
Löw: I was going all over the place. Good thing it was only a friendly. But we wanted to avoid injury. The pitch then became playable.
3 June 2018
Originally on dfb.de. Uploaded here to prevent loss once moved on or removed from that site.
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