Euro 2020 Qualifiers: 3 Reasons why coach Joachim Low’s ruthlessness will benefit Germany
In 2014, Germany lifted the World Cup for the fourth time and signalled their intention to dominate the footballing circuit for years to come. Though a Confederations Cup victory in 2017 followed, things turned sour soon after with their acrimonious group stage exit at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
After the culmination of the World Cup, Joachim Low’s men also contrived to get relegated from Group 1 of the UEFA Nations League, thus, setting the alarm bells ringing in the German camp.
In response, Low decided to omit three of Germany’s greatest servants namely Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Muller. The trio formed a vital part of their success in the mid-2010s and hence, their sudden exclusion caused more than a furrowed brow or two.
Ever since Low’s controversial decision, the jury has been out on whether the German’s ruthlessness is indeed the right tonic to cure Germany of its current ailments.
Thus, through the course of this article, we would weigh in on the debate and chalk out three reasons why the manager’s decision would be profitable in the larger scheme of things.
#3. Germany’s methods have been found out
A few years ago, Germany’s blend of possession football and dynamism had captured the imagination of the world. Their trait of keeping the ball for long periods and methodically picking holes in the opposition’s defence bore fruit.
However, the 2018 World Cup and the UEFA Nations League that followed showed that teams had found an answer to the questions the Germans usually posed.
Sides started deploying deep defensive lines against Germany which nullified the latter’s threat in behind the defence. Moreover, opposition allowed the Germans time on the ball and let them build play slowly. Teams weren’t inclined to press them high unless necessary and rather concentrated on maintaining their shape.
Thus, Muller’s propensity to cut in-field didn’t aid their case as the forward’s one-dimensional play was spectacularly found wanting.
Inevitably, Germany was forced to try expansive offensive methods and it left them vulnerable to counter-attacks. Hummels and Boateng’s lack of pace was hopelessly exposed in the defensive third as opponents found joy in quick turnovers.
The more worrying aspect though was that Germany was unable to come up with new formulae for success with the existing personnel.
Hence, the decision with respect to the players had to be made sooner rather than later. And with Euro 2020 still a year and a half away, Low has provided the incumbent players with ample time to bed in.
After all, the bravery shown in 2019 could yet end up helping Germany bury the ghosts of 2018 in 2020.