A 4-0 win over Belarus ensured that Germany have qualified for EURO 2020. In an interview with DFB.de, head coach Joachim Löw speaks about key players within the squad, the upcoming match against Northern Ireland on Tuesday (20:45 CET) and the European Championship draw on 30th November in Bucharest.
DFB.de: Mr. Löw, did you permit yourself a celebratory glass of wine after successfully qualifying for EURO 2020?
Joachim Löw: I always drink a glass of wine after our matches, but not just as a reward. There have been times when I’ve had one to deal with the frustration. It’s the right way to relax after a tense evening.
DFB.de: How pleased are you that your team have managed to qualify for next summer’s tournament already?
Löw: My compliments go out to the team on successfully qualifying. We found out after the match that Northern Ireland had drawn against the Netherlands. That just goes to prove how important our 2-0 win in Northern Ireland was. As a result, I’m quite pleased.
DFB.de: What goal do you have in mind ahead of the final group stage match against Northern Ireland on Tuesday?
Löw: We have the chance to win our group now. As a result, our goal is to win on Tuesday and end up on top. I’m considering making a few changes, in order to give some players a chance to play that might not have seen much game time recently.
DFB.de: How happy are you with your team’s performance during the 4-0 win over Belarus?
Löw: It was one of four matches remaining ahead of the EURO 2020 squad nomination deadline and, as such, it was important that we show the right character that we both need and want to see at the tournament next summer. It was important that we didn’t allow any doubt to form over whether or not we would win the match. The team demonstrated a real desire to play.
DFB.de: Is there anything that you’re not as pleased with?
Löw: There were several phases where we allowed our opponents too many chances. In that regard, there’s plenty of work to be done still.
DFB.de: Do you have a grasp on how the EURO 2020 draw at the end of November in Bucharest will be run?
Löw: So far, I haven’t really given it much thought. Of course, I’ll make sure to study up on it before we fly to Bucharest. It’s not as straight-forward this time around, but we’ll have to wait and see what kind of matchups it results in.DFB.de: What did you think of Toni Kroos’ performance, after he scored twice?
Löw: Toni Kroos played a great game, not just because he scored twice. You can pass him the ball at any time, and he’ll find a way to deal with it, even if he’s under pressure. He has a great vision and a sense of where he is on the pitch. He’s a role model for the rest of the team with the way he approaches his job. He always puts in that extra bit of work before and after training – he’s a consummate professional.
DFB.de: Your new defence boss Matthias Ginter was one of the stars of the match, especially in attack. What did you think of him?
Löw: As a coach, you always know what to expect from him. You can trust him and he is able to do what we want him to do, which is to help build the play up from defence. He’s gotten much better. He has this sense of calmness about him, which is what makes him so solid, serious and reliable. I’m especially happy that he was able to score such a beautiful goal today.
DFB.de: Kroos, Ginter and Neuer – who also saved a penalty – are the only players left from the 2014 World Cup winning squad, and all three of them led the way. How important is this trio for the EUROs?
Löw: All three have plenty of experience with international tournaments. It’s important to have players like that on the team, which is why all three feature prominently in my plans.
DFB.de: Is the door still open for new players to join the team ahead of the EUROs?
Löw: We will only close that door when the squad nomination deadline gets closer. There are always players that manage to have a sudden boost in their performances. Hopefully, we will see several players return, but what’s important is that they see regular playing time and are in-form.