Yesterday saw Germany’s first game after the World Cup exit where they played France in the Nations League. The German national team put on a good display as they drew 0-0 with the World Champions in Munich. Joachim Löw spoke to DFB.de about the match, the fans in attendance at the Allianz-Arena and the next international game on Sunday (20:45 CEST) in Sinsheim against Peru.
Interviewer: Joachim, how happy were you with the first match after the World Cup exit?
Löw: This game came after a disappointing World Cup performance, which showed us that we needed a new outlook, a new attitude and a new approach. So that’s what we did. We were very well organized, and we were never caught on the break by France. Every individual player played to their absolute limit and took on the opposition well in 50-50s. We showed great character and had some great chances in the second-half. The attitude, the energy and willingness were very present. I was absolutely delighted.
Interviewer: How did you like Joshua Kimmich in the Number 6 role?
Löw: After the World Cup I felt that I needed to make some tactical changes. Jo Kimmich played in that position a lot when he was younger. We tested it in training and he did very well. He was very present on the pitch, strong in challenges and really good on the ball. He had a great performance and that is definitely a good solution for us.
Interviewer: As in the 2014 World Cup, you had four central defenders in the back four. Was that because of the opposition or is that a permanent idea?
Löw: It was the right thing to do against an opponent like France – to play with a strong back four. That is not a permanent solution – there are teams that play almost wholly at the back – but this was just for today’s opposition.
Interviewer: How many of your ideas did we see against France? Will you be making your team more flexible?
Löw: Flexibility is very important. We had a lot of possession since France didn’t attack as high as at the World Cup. They didn’t allow themselves to be lured forward. We have to find the right mix, where we don’t allow ourselves to be too bare and open to the counter attack. That’s what we did. It was important to find stability in the defence, reduce the passing options and stay compact, and make sure we keep that up for future games. As for going forward, dominance will be an issue against opposition that aren’t as competitive or classy as France.
Interviewer: How did you find the atmosphere in Munich?
Löw: The crowd was very good. Despite this recent World Cup the fans supported us and were celebrating, which is great to see. However, like I said before, we don’t now think, that everything is forgotten after one game. We must continue putting in good performances.
Interviwer: You used newcomers, Thilo Hehrer, Nico Schulz and Kai Havertz against France. Why was that?
Löw: We must find a middle ground. Of course we need to integrate young players, we have to keep making sure that that happens. However it’s a process that doesn’t just happen overnight. You could see that in games against such strong opposition, players such as Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Toni Kroos were extremely important due to their class, experience and quality. There will be several opportunities for the young players.
Interviewer: And then you’re off to Sinsheim on Sunday to face Peru?
Löw: It is very likely that one or two youngsters will get the opportunity to start that game.
Interviewer: You’ve gained a lot of critics recently. How are you feeling? Relieved?
Löw: I am very happy with the performance. I expected to see this willingness on the pitch and that we’d give our all in the game. Regardless of the outcome, we wanted to show a different attitude, a new outlook and regain some belief. I can be very happy with this performance.