Despite a clear improvement in performance in comparison to the game in Amsterdam, the Germany national team were also beaten by France, leaving the pitch with a 2-1 defeat. Speaking to DFB.de, national coach Joachim Löw talks mainly about the many positives which can be drawn from his predominantly young team’s performance in Saint-Denis.
Question: Mr. Löw, how would sum the match up?
Joachim Löw: I’m disappointed with the result, but this loss feels different to the one last Saturday. The result wasn’t good enough, but the team’s performance definitely was. It’s a fantastic step-up in quality within just three days.
Question: What were you particularly pleased with?
Löw: We were brave and pushed forwards confidently. We played on par with the best team in the world. We could’ve even been 2-0 up by half time. France have some unbelievably talented players. If you lose focus, they’ll make you pay the price.
Question: What did you think of the moments leading up to France’s penalty?
Löw: The penalty was not fair. Mats Hummels didn’t touch him. Matuidi trod on Mats’ foot. We weren’t rewarded for a great performance.
Question: Are there also some negatives to take away from the game?
Löw: If I had to find some negative aspects, I’d maybe say we didn’t use our chances as well as we could’ve done in the first half. Maybe we’re lacking the maturity and experience needed to finish our chances clinically and with composure.
Question: There were lots of changes of momentum from Germany. Was that the plan?
Löw: We knew very well that we needed to change our strategy and we needed to bring in a different formation. We wanted to catch France off guard.
Question: You’ve always spoken of the importance of playing with a pivot. Thomas Müller was only on the bench today. Was that just a temporary decision?
Löw: I’ve always said that you need a pivot and I stand by that. A few players have had a rough period, but they haven’t lost their ability. You always need a good mixture of experience and younger players. Müller hasn’t been in his best form recently. However, he speaks a lot with the younger players and knows how to get them going.
Question: Do you think you should have taken such brave decisions in Amsterdam too?
Löw: I make my decisions with conviction. It’s true that it didn’t work out for us in Amsterdam. Sometimes decisions are the wrong ones, sometimes they’re the right ones. You have to learn from it.
Question: Looking forward, are the performance and the line-up signs of what’s to come?
Löw: It was a good performance which we can build upon. The young guys showed real quality. They have to play at this level consistently and that will come with experience. Their performances can vary.