Low is “really keen” on holland and the future
Joachim low seemed to have stepped out of a time machine after his compulsory break.
Even though the 59-year-old’s hair is slowly turning grayer, the national coach reminded the audience at the DFB podium in hamburg’s volksparkstadion of the young, visionary jogi who ten years ago created the generation of 2014 soccer world champions. Low looked far beyond the sparkling start to the european championship season in his 30-minute remarks on friday (20.45 pm/RTL) against arch-rivals and perennial rivals holland.
One year after the world cup disaster and what he now sees as a "well-managed turnaround," the developer low sees a new german title generation growing up that is "full of verve and positive mood" going into the first home match of the season against the oranje team led by defensive star virgil van dijk. The first leg win in amsterdam is to be followed by another solid evening in the classic.
"My feeling is, the team is on a good way," said low, who had only three training sessions to prepare and must do without leon goretzka, who is injured again in the thigh. "He had a hemorrhage," low reported about the bayern pro. The failure was a "drop in the bucket". Low looked upbeat and focused after missing the victories over russia (2-0) and estonia (8-0) in june. Several times he reacted wittily to questions, for example when he announced that he would be playing: "serge gnabry plays, serge gnabry always plays!" The sentence used to stand for thomas muller.
The first-leg win in amsterdam largely serves as a blueprint for low’s planned home success, which will keep the DFB selection on course for a european championship ticket ahead of monday’s test in belfast against table-toppers northern ireland. Manuel neuer will be back in goal, in front of him low could again form a three-man backline around niklas sule. And "with three real strikers" he wants to provide pace and goals up front.
The place in the turbo attack vacated by the injury of leroy sane with gnabry and marco reus should be occupied by timo werner, even if low named the new-dortmunder julian brandt as another option. "Timo werner is having a very good run," low said himself in light of the leipzig player’s five goals in three bundesliga games.
Low is eagerly awaiting the next showdown with the strong dutch side, against whom they have experienced "all the highs and lows" in the three international duels of the past eleven months. "We can’t define where we are yet," he said after the test series, which showed a positive trend: 0:3, 2:2, 3:2.
Low already reminds the new boy-group around gnabry, brandt, werner, sule, havertz or the missing sane of the young neuer, muller, boateng, hummels, ozil, khedira or kroos, whose star rose at the world cup 2010 in south africa. "The guys are really keen to go a successful way together," he said: "the team knows that it can achieve a lot, not only now in the qualifiers and next year at the european championships, but also beyond."
At the european championship at home in 2024, the sane generation will "perhaps be at the peak of their careers," predicted low in the long term. "I compare this with the team of 2010, which has emerged plotzlich." At that time, the still young national coach low was also forced to make a change after injuries to captain michael ballack and several other veterans. Neuer, muller, kroos and co held on for four years. In rio the golden world cup in hand.
First, however, the newly formed DFB squad must take the next steps in its development in the european championship qualifiers. With two more victories against the playful dutch and then against the hard-fighting northern irish, the european championship ticket could ideally already be booked. The 51,299 spectators in the sold-out HSV arena should be thrilled on friday evening in any case. "We’re looking forward to building our account up to twelve points here in an awesome city, in an awesome stadium, if we can," said defense chief sule.
Veteran kroos even thinks the new team is "better" than the one that crashed and burned as defending champions at the world cup a year ago. "My basic feeling is positive," said the 29-year-old. "I have to be there," said the midfield star of real madrid, who wants to do without breaks from the game from now on. Low is also happy to be back coaching after his absence in june against oranje: "the situation was unpleasant," he remarked on the absence: "i’m glad to be back with the team."
The national coach calculates "jolts" in the development process of his young team. But he is again convinced of his way, he has shaken off the world cup disaster, convinced he is again setting the direction. "Everyone can play to their individuality. But we live from team unity and the division of space," he said energetically in his tone: "if we do that, we’re good. If not, we are not good." Holland will show.