The disappointment is high following the 1-0 loss to Mexico in Germany’s 2018 World Cup opener. That goes for the players, the fans and also Joachim Löw. The head coach speaks about why his side lost their first World Cup opener in 36 years, the atmosphere within the team and his plan for the games to come.
How sobering is the 1-0 loss to Mexico?
Joachim Löw: It is very disappointing. Losing our first game is something that we are not accustomed to doing, but there’s always a first time for everything. We didn’t play to our best at all. We obviously need to reflect on what happened and get back on track. We will learn our lessons and be better in the next game.
What was lacking? Efficiency?
Löw: We were poor in the first half and we didn’t play with our usual attacking, passing style, or use the space we were given well enough. Everyone kept getting in each other’s way which led to us losing the ball and having to cover a lot of ground. Mexico sat deeper in the second half and we got a few shots away, but you just always had the feeling that it wasn’t our day.
What’s the atmosphere like within the team?
Löw: Everyone’s feeling a bit down and very, very disappointed. Now we have to stay focused on what’s to come and try to improve. We have more than enough experience to be able to deal with a loss and pick ourselves back up again. But we simply must win this Saturday (vs. Sweden).
Your team also didn’t seem to be in top shape physically.
Löw: We seemed to not be as dynamic as we can be in the first half. We didn’t have the desire or the drive to turn the game around, nor did we have the necessary physical fitness.
Do you have to make radical changes?
Löw: No, we’re not suddenly going to abandon our philosophy! If we play to our best then we have the ability to generate more chances. Everyone looked for the ball to be played to feet yesterday - we have to be better than that. We won’t suddenly stray from our plan though, we just have to get back to utilizing our strengths.
Should you have named more young players in the squad after their performance in the Confed Cup?
Löw: We actually have a relatively young team - we’re a long way away from being an old squad. The players who have been a part of our setup for a longer time bring experience and a high level of quality, even if that didn’t show up yesterday.
Three of the last four World Cup winners have been knocked out in the group stage four years later. Will you be the fourth?
Löw: That will not happen. We will get out of the group. We have every chance to put things right, but we have to let our play do the talking.###more###