Friday night’s draw between Germany and England at Wembley may not have produced any goals, but it did provide good entertainment and above all gave manager Joachim Löw some valuable insights. In an interview, the World Cup winning coach gave his account of the game, talked about debutant Marcel Halstenberg and the coming international friendly with France on Tuesday.
Question: Joachim Löw, the first pre-tournament friendly ended goalless. What did you make of the game?
Joachim Löw: Both teams placed great importance on organisation, on not allowing too many counterattacks. You could see that for the whole game. In the first half we had three or four really good chances, that was good. Our defence stood very strong as well, we were well organised.
Question: Then the half-time break happened. What were you not happy with?
Löw: The second half was a bit sloppy. We need to be turning defence into attack much quicker when we win the ball back; we need to attack more dynamically. We wasted these opportunities. We should have played a lot better going forward and it’s important we improve on that as the World Cup approaches. All that said, this was a quality friendly at a high level. That’s the most important thing.
Question: Marcel Halstenberg made his debut. Were you pleased with his performance?
Löw: I thought he did well, absolutely. He did his job. This was a big stage here at Wembley, but he dealt with the occasion calmly, showing no nervousness. I am completely satisfied, that was a very pleasing debut.
Question: On Tuesday the final international fixture of the year will see your side take on France in Cologne. What do you want to see in this game?
Löw: I will be putting some things to the test. I want to see how some of our players cope against the best. England and France is our benchmark. I want to see what level they can play at. That, for me, is more important than the result.
Question: Will you change the team? Will you be returning to the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation?
Löw: I will be making the odd change in personnel here and there. For example, I rested Sami Khedira and Toni Kroos in tonight’s game (vs. England). I don’t know what formation we will take up yet. I haven’t thought much about who will be playing in goal either.