Sealing group honours with a win: After the thrilling 6-1 win against Northern Ireland in the last European Championship qualifier, played in front of a home crowd in Frankfurt, coach Joachim Löw spoke about his team’s playing style, the group stage draw for the EURO 2020 and his outlook on the upcoming tournament year.
Question: Mr. Löw, what did you enjoy most about that last international match of the year?
Joachim Löw: I liked a lot of things. We were not happy with going 1-0 down but we got back on the front foot and didn’t get nervous. We played consistently for over 90 minutes and brought it to a close with full concentration. The team has been rewarded for their efforts and they didn’t capitulate under pressure so it was fun.
Question: You have repeatedly emphasised what you want to see from your team. How do you feel it went against Northern Ireland?
Löw: We made plenty of runs in behind the defence which really impressed me – we had trained to play like that and discussed it in team meetings so it was good to see us doing it with great accuracy and purpose. We attacked really well and got the Northern Irishmen running. As a result, we were less challenged on the defensive end of things.
Question: How are you feeling ahead of the draw on November 30th in Bucharest?
Löw: The draw is never problem for me – it’s always interesting. After it’s done you can finally deal with who you have in the group and start planning because you never know what’s going to happen. Like in 2012, for example, we had Denmark, Holland and Portugal in the group. We just have to take it as it comes.
Question: All three EC group matches take place in Munich. How big is the anticipation?
Löw: That's an advantage, of course. We can plan now and we don’t have to travel.
Question: You do not see your team until the international matches in March now – that’s four months. How do you feel about the long break?
Löw: Yes, the break hurts us. It's always a bit difficult, because a lot of things can change and we have to work on our game to get back up to speed. We have to see who comes back, who is fit, who has rhythm. We’ve had four or five training sessions together now so that makes it a lot easier for me, but we won’t have had that come March.
Question: You have announced you’ll be playing two strong opponents in March. Can you tell us who they are?
Löw: Spain is almost certain but the second happen hasn’t been decided yet. We’ll try to play Portugal or Belgium but we’ll also have to wait for the draw.
Question: Serge Gnabry has now scored 13 goals in 13 international matches. How do you explain this incredible run of form?
Löw: He is extremely important to the team because a lot of what we do runs through him. He works incredible well with the ball. He also lets himself down from time to time. But technically he’s outstanding, he gets a lot of goals, he lays it off for other players to get involved which are qualities we want in this team. He has an incredibly high ceiling.
Question: What did you make of Leon Goretzka over these two internationals?
Löw: He’s a nightmare for other defences because he can sit deep and go forward so well. If he stays healthy, it will be huge for us.
Question: What is your feeling going in to the break and what are you hoping for in 2020?
Löw: We’re going in to this break feeling satisfied. I’m hoping that next year everyone comes back fit and healthy and ready to play.