Loew’s Germany Host Serbia In Check Of Nerve
Joachim Löw’s game with the future of his and German football will be scrutinized on Wednesday evening when Serbia visits the Volkswagen Arena in Wolfsburg to play a friendly match before qualifying for the European Championship.
Germany was drawn in Group C with the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Estonia and Belarus, and the Serbs are in Group B with Portugal, Ukraine, Lithuania and Luxembourg.
While Serbia has a modest World Cup pedigree, the Germans are successful. You have won four of the 21 tournaments since 1930 and came second four times.
However, the hosts are entering the game under pressure to atone for a dire 2018 World Cup that saw them eliminated after the group stage for the first time since 1938.
Loew was expected to lose his job for the debacle, but in the clashes since the collapse of Russia, he has experienced Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Mueller, a troika of Bayern Munich players who helped the team out Winning the 2014 World Cup, thrown overboard Brazil.
He has replaced their 280 caps with neophytes. Löw’s hand consists of the 23-year-old Hertha Berlin defender Niklas Stark as well as the 22-year-old Lukas Klostermann and Maximilian Eggestein from RB Leipzig and Werbder Bremen.
You join a squad that only has Manuel Neuer and Toni Kroos as survivors of the 1-0 win over Argentina in Rio in 2014.
“We have to give the young players the feeling that they have our full and full confidence,” said Löw on the eve of the friendly against Serbia.
Löw also urged experienced young people like 23-year-old Niklas Suele and 24-year-old Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich to improve their leadership skills.
“You have to take the next step,” he said. “Goretzka and Kimmich are people with clear ideas, ambitions and opinions.
“Suele has to take responsibility. We expect more from him now. He has to organize and lead the procedures in the background.”
Analysts and experts will hover to see if the men in the spotlight wither or bloom.
“Löw goes all-in in a high-stakes poker game,” wrote the German soccer magazine Kicker before the game.
However, Löw claims he made the right decisions.
“Hummels, Boateng and Mueller are all world champions and great players so the decision was always debated,” he said. “But we are facing a new challenge. We have to be faster, more dynamic and more ambitious.
“I’ve been doing this job for 14 years and I know how to deal with pressure and criticism.”