In what sort of form is the national team in? Germany manager Joachim Löw and Lukas Podolski, the forward who originates from Poland, spoke about Saturday’s European Championship qualifier against Poland in Warsaw (20:45 CEST) during a press conference today. DFB.de rounds up the key statements.
…the possibility of Lukas Podolski starting: I should say that just because Lukas has come to the press conference, it doesn’t mean that he’ll be automatically starting. It’s clear that he hasn’t played many games for Arsenal this season. But Lukas has always shown that he can bring dynamism to the game. It’s possible that Lukas could start the game, especially considering our attacking options at the moment. But it’s also a possibility that he could come on during the game. I’ll make a decision after our final training session.
…World Champions André Schürrle and Julian Draxler: André Schürrle is fit. He is able to train and doesn’t have any problems. He could play tomorrow, the same as Julian Draxler. All the players are ready to play.
…new member of the squad Karim Bellarabi: Karim Bellarabi had only one thought and that was that he wanted to play for Germany. We didn’t have any influence on his decision. What makes him stand out is his movement, his skill, his ability to recognise open spaces and the fact that he can use one-twos to get forward.
...Max Kruse and not being selected for the World Cup: Everyone who was selected were called up on merit – that was no different with Max Kruse. He’s recovered well from his injury and is a further option for me following the retirement of Miroslav Klose.
...his main players: We have a decent spine, despite some injury problems. World Champions such as Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng are all there. Toni Kroos and Mario Götze both belong to that group too. That spine with these players is superb.
...the current situation of the team: My plans have been thrown into the wind a tad due to the injury situation. Mesut Özil was included in those plans too. Despite this, I still believe that we can form a good side. History has shown that form in the October games is a lot better than it is in September.
...his new assistant Thomas Schneider: The first few days have been very positive. Of course we still have to give him time to adjust and settle in. He’s fit into the coaching set-up well though and got his views across. Thomas does that well and has super ability as a coach. I think that we can push on from here smoothly, from where we left off with Hansi Flick.
...being World Champions: We are the side to beat. All teams will now try and claim a scalp against the World Champions even more. We found life tough against Poland in the friendly in Hamburg (0-0 on 13th May 2014). We have to be on our guard.
...opponents Poland: A feisty encounter awaits us, that’s for sure. Poland are our biggest rivals in our group for top spot, alongside Ireland. Poland are especially good in attack thanks to skipper Robert Lewandowski.
...a possible place in the starting XI: Everyone knows the situation at my club. I’ve had little game time and no promise that I’ll get in the starting XI. The manager makes the decisions. Even if that means coming off the bench, I’ll still do everything I can for the team so that we can take all three points.
...his special relationship with the country of his birth: Of course I know the situation very well in Poland. But I’m a professional through and through. I won’t take my foot off the gas at all to gift them anything! In an ideal scenario, Poland finish in second behind us and we both qualify for the EUROs.
...the reception to the World Cup win in Poland: I came to Poland on holiday. The family were proud and I brought my medals with me. Everyone was really happy here that I became World Champion.
...Poland’s individual players: I don’t know all of Poland’s players but you always concentrate on those big names and individuals, especially Lewandowski. But I think they’ll play as a team. It will be a really special game for Poland.
...Mesut Özil’s injury: I don’t know for sure what Mesut has done. I can’t say a lot on his injury. But I know that we have the best medical team with us. They will assess the injury very well.
...a possible future in Poland: As everyone knows, I support Gornik Zabrze. If I’m not too old and my legs can take any more, then why not?!
...a possible goal celebration: I’ll celebrate neither a goal, nor victory.