Ahead of the final training session before the friendly against Turkey on Wednesday night (20:45 CEST in Cologne), Joachim Löw spoke to the media in a digital press conference alongside Julian Brandt and Kai Havertz. DFB.de has summarised the coach’s comments on the possible line-up and the current situation.
...the starting line-up against Turkey: When I call up players, they rightly have hopes to be picked. I will discuss the exact team with my coaching staff this evening, because not all of the players were able to train yesterday. Today will be the first full training session together. I spoke with the goalkeepers – Bernd Leno will start tomorrow. Emre Can, Matthias Ginter, Antonio Rüdiger and Julian Draxler are all players who have been with us for a while now and they need to help guide the younger players. They need to take on an increasing amount of responsibility. Kai Havertz is a player that improves the technical side of our game. He has already played several games and will definitely start tomorrow. Last season was unsatisfactory for Julian Draxler. His situation has now changed and he has played regular football. He has so much talent and class. A player with his quality needs to be play a lot. He will captain us tomorrow – we’ve got good memories of this from the Confederations Cup. Julian Brandt will also start tomorrow, because I trust him. He has so much talent and quality and is great on the ball. He just needs to perform consistently now. I like the type of player he is. I will always trust him.
...the squad: Having spoken to the players, I got the impression that they are in better shape than they were in September. This will help us now in October. The games in September were completely different. Toni Rüdiger joined us this morning. He had asked me if he could stay in London for an extra day. He will take part in the final training session as normal. Timo Werner has undergone several tests. He had flu-like symptoms, but we’re waiting for the results. We will decide if he will travel to us tomorrow once we get them. The Bayern and Leipzig players are arriving tonight, as well as Toni Kroos. We’re not sure if he will be able to play in the Nations League games. We will have to see how much of Thursday’s training he can complete.
...his strategy: There will be several different phases for me and the team ahead of the tournament next year. From a sporting perspective, holding training sessions would be better, but we just have to make use of these games. The games are there for us to find out which players can strengthen our starting line-up and the squad in the immediate future. This is the chance for players to impress right now. Who will show what they’re capable of? Who can perform the tasks that we ask them to? We are being thrown in at the deep end somewhat and need to perform well, which isn’t easy. There’s a regular pattern from our games. Since 2018, we have shown plenty of commitment in a lot of games, but there are some things that we need to work on. We haven’t seen out leads on a number of occasions. I will discuss this and try to address this in the few sessions we have. I was happy with several things during the games in September, but not the results. This isn’t a problem with the squad that was picked for September, but rather the whole squad overall. Looking back, we led 2-0 against the Netherlands in Gelsenkirchen and drew 2-2. We led in France and went on to lose. We are doing plenty of things well, but we have to admit that we don’t always get the results that we want. We need to control the game, be organised and efficient across the whole 90 minutes. We can beat almost any side if we manage this. We need to tweak a few things, not make huge changes. If we can improve by a few percent in a few areas, we will be very hard to beat.
...the heavy workload across the coming months: We had a long break, then different periods where players trained individually, then in small groups, then as a team and then the games returned. You can see that several players are injured right now. The players’ health is the most important thing. We’re coming up to autumn and it’s a bit of a balancing act to ensure things go smoothly. Football will be played continuously in the next few weeks. The players are required to perform in every match, so they have an extremely high workload, which they aren’t used to. We’ve never had a season like this before. We need to ensure that all the players are fit and healthy and able to perform. We need to learn to balance things so that the players can still perform to a high level. Otherwise, things won’t be good for us next year.
...players in the squad who haven’t played regularly: Players like Nico Schulz and Julian Brandt aren’t playing that much at the moment. However, from October there will be plenty of rotation and they will get game time then. Players like Mo Dahoud and Julian Brandt have great futures ahead of them. Schulz was a very important player during the Nations League and then he got injured. It will be good for him to play to a full game. A fit Nico Schulz is part of my future plans. Dahoud, Brandt and Nadiem Amiri are all players that can grow into their roles at their clubs. They are all very talented, which is a decisive factor. They can gain confidence with us, impress and play themselves into the spotlight at their clubs.
...the new and young players in the squad: We need to get the younger players used to our style of play. We need to give them solutions for how we want to play our game. We need to do what we want to do in tomorrow’s game in training. New players will of course make mistakes, you have to accept that. We need to give them confidence. The players need to pick things up step-by-step, which is best done through practice. You can do this if you understand our system. Training sessions help players and the team the most. One session won’t be enough though. You can’t expect everything to work after just one session together. We just need to make the best of it, be positive and see how things go.
...Antonio Rüdiger’s situation at Chelsea: I am regularly in contact with Toni. He is making the best out of his situation. He is a player who can perform well despite not playing much. I have been following his progress for years now and I have been always been with him along the way. His development in the last four, five years is fantastic. When it comes to his athleticism, dynamism and strength of tackling, he is one of the best in the world. He didn’t move from Chelsea in the end, but I think he will look to move in the winter, unless his situation changes. He will do everything he can to stay at his best.
...praise from Joachim Löw: It’s always nice to hear something like that from the coach, and it’s always nice to know that you’re starting the next game. It will no doubt be a good test for us, and for me personally.
...tension ahead of matches: There’s always a certain amount of tension before any game, but I’m relaxed. I played well against Bayern when the [Dortmund] coach put me in the starting line-up, so I’ve already shown that he can rely on me. I will give my all tomorrow to show Joachim Löw that I can deliver good performances too.
...the international triple header: We want to make the most of these matches and get results in the Nations League. We played well against Spain, but we conceded a goal in the last second. Now we want to make sure we get all three points.
...newcomer Mahmoud Dahoud: Mo is a quality player. In terms of raw ability, he’s one of the best I’ve seen. He is technically strong, has a good shot, is full of running, doesn’t shy away from a challenge – he has everything you need in his position. I’m confident that he will have a great career. This experience can only help him even further.
...returning home: I’m really happy to be back. It was exciting travelling back home. I’m enjoying playing football with the lads again. I can’t wait for the games and will give my all so that we can get some good results.
...the significance of this triple header: It carries a lot of significance, that goes for any international fixture. I always aim to give 100 percent in every game as if it were my last. We have to pick up points in the Nations League and get back to winning ways, even if that means getting scrappy wins. We want to get back into our rhythm tomorrow. We will try to get the best result we can so that we can take some momentum into our Nations League games.
...the battle for places: I’ve been part of the setup for two years now, but I’m still young and have a lot of years ahead of me. I’ve always stayed calm in the past. You have to embrace competition. I have enough confidence to go out there and play my game, and showcase myself with some good performances
...his time so far with Chelsea: It’s very different to Germany. It was difficult for me at the start without a pre-season because I only had five or six days with the team. It’s a completely different league to the Bundesliga – I think it’s more intense. The lifestyle and the culture is different too. It was a big step for me to leave my comfort zone. This transfer was something incredibly special for me. My games so far have been okay, but there is still room for improvement.