Germany head coach Joachim Löw spoke to the press ahead of the 2022 World Cup qualifying draw in Qatar, discussing various matters concerning the national team. DFB.de gathers the pick of the quotes.
Joachim Löw on...
…the situation after defeat to Spain: Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t hide, so it hurt me a little to hear people saying that I went underground. I attended my press conference as usual and after that we went through the normal routine. The things that happened were discussed internally, then in the meeting of DFB directors, and after that I wanted to speak publicly. We were all disappointed and angry about the match – the coaches and the players included, of course. We are upset that we have disappointed the fans so much. That anger is still burning inside me personally, and unfortunately we don’t have any immediate opportunities to correct the result. What we have always done, regardless of whether we win or lose, has been to work on things one or two days after the match, and that’s how it will stay. Then the talks with the DFB followed last Monday.
...reasons for the defeat: I’ve been through tough situations and I have always learned how to deal with them. We were really disappointed and angry with the 6-0 loss, but we have been going through a transitional period since 2019 and we are completely convinced that we’re on the right track. We knew that it would be difficult and that there might be setbacks. We have full faith in our players. We have developed really, really well since 2019 and we won seven of our eight matches in qualifying. You’ve seen the strength of the team and how it has developed. Our development has been a little stunted in 2020; I keep repeating that we had the long break due to the coronavirus, then three matches in nine days. We only had one tactical session this year, otherwise we were only able to work on recovery and match preparation. The players’ health is the most important thing at this difficult time. Until the Spain match, we were doing well in the Nations League. Yes, we had our issues, but we knew the reasons why. The Spain game aside, we are generally headed in a positive direction. We are totally convinced that it’s the right direction. We are so critical of ourselves, we are constantly reflecting and analysing. One thing is clear – we stick to the plan, as we are sure that it will bear fruit. I understand the disappointment, but we are convinced by the path that we are on.
...criticism of the team: We are always receptive to constructive criticism, we deal with the criticism. Internally we are self-critical and are constantly looking back. We know that we have made mistakes. For me personally, the most important thing is how you deal with such things internally, and on the inside we have a huge amount of trust. In the Spain game we were weak in every area. Nothing that we had planned worked on the day. In training I saw us doing plenty of good things. There’s no reason to throw all of our plans in the bin. The team has earned our full trust, they’re not letting themselves get off track. The players are trying to do their best in every game. They come to us with enthusiasm, joy and the desire to play well for Germany.
...the fans’ opinion of the team: I think that you can only win over the fans by winning games and by having a team that can excite them. As a coach, that’s something that you have to make sure the team understands. We didn’t achieve that against Spain and so I can completely understand the anger and the disappointment. The team has a really good future ahead of them, which is what is important to me. I don’t have to constantly speak in public.
...rumoured thoughts of resigning: I’ve never had those thoughts. I’m still dwelling on the loss to Spain – I still wake up frustrated sometimes, but as a coach I already know how to process that. How the team fought in September and October, as well as in November prior to the Spain game, is proof that they want to keep following this path that we’re on. As a manager you learn that you won’t always be able to achieve your goals, but I still have motivation. I never lost that. Losing games means that my motivation isn’t going anywhere.
...Germany’s prospects at the Euros: Our aim is basically to perform as well as we can and to have the best possible tournament. We will do everything to have a successful tournament, but we know that anything can happen. Obviously in the build-up lots of people will be talking. At a tournament you know that every match is important. You take it one step at a time and ignore the expectations, which I am well capable of living with. You have to just focus on yourselves and what lies ahead – which is already hard enough with France and Portugal in our group.
…possible returnees: After 2018, an unsuccessful year from our point of view, we decided to make a change and give the youngsters time and space to develop. It’s similar to our situation in 2010, when lots of players dropped out of the squad ahead of the tournament. That team developed through the tournament and the players became world champions in 2014 thanks to experiences like that, when they were given the chance to prove themselves at this level. The coach is responsible for success. The most important time ahead of the tournament will come next year. If I then see that the team needs this or that to be successful, then I will do it. At the moment I see no need, but I would do anything you can think of to bring success to our national team. I have no idea how things will look in March, but I hope that the players get through the winter unscathed. Success in the three World Cup qualifiers in March will be important, and we will leave no stone unturned in our squad selection. We have to decide what gives us the best chance at success.