Ter Stegen 'just as good' as Germany number one Neuer, says Ziege
Marc-Andre ter Stegen is as good as Manuel Neuer but the Bayern Munich star deserves to stay as Germany's goalkeeper, says Christian Ziege.
Barcelona goalkeeper Ter Stegen and Neuer were embroiled in a spat last month after the former said it was a "massive blow" not to feature against Netherlands or Northern Ireland, two games his more experienced team-mate started.
The Bayern captain accused Ter Stegen of being unhelpful by expressing his frustrations publicly, while club president Uli Hoeness threatened to withdraw his team's players from Germany duty before backtracking on his comments.
For Ziege, though, it is clear Neuer should keep the gloves although the number two deserves more opportunities to show what he can do for Germany.
"Manuel Neuer is the goalkeeper who is number one with us," former Germany international Ziege told Omnisport. "He proves that in a great way.
"There's no question that if Manuel Neuer can't play, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen is an incredible goalkeeper, just as good.
"Everything he said he won't have said because he felt like it. But with certainty, because something was promised to him that was not kept.
"Ter Stegen proved what a team-mate and team player he is. That he didn't say a single word about Manuel Neuer being in goal despite eight or nine months of injury without a game in front of the tournament [World Cup]. He didn't say anything. Didn't complain.
"Of course he would have liked to play, but he didn't say anything. And now he said once and gave free rein to his emotional life that he is not satisfied with it. Which I think is quite normal. He didn't attack anyone. What became of it, I did not understand at all.
"And again, there are no two opinions. Manuel Neuer is a top goalkeeper and there is no need to question him. Nevertheless, you can handle it in such a way that the other goalkeeper, who is world class, also gets his play time. There are enough possibilities for that."
While Ziege backed Low's decision to stick with Neuer as his regular goalkeeper, he feels the Germany coach was too hasty to drop Mats Hummels, Thomas Muller and Jerome Boateng from the national squad.
"I think the decisive thing is that if you make changes – the changes have to be at least as good as before or even better which would be ideal," Ziege added. "Now we come to the problem because this is not the case.
"We have good players, but right now no players who are better. And you see this now – Mats Hummels is an extraordinary centre-back, Jerome Boateng as well. And Muller is someone who can always play for the national team as long as he is fit and having fun even if he doesn’t start.
"They did it the same way with [Lukas] Podolski. Muller is good enough to play for half an hour and I think it would be okay for him to do this for some years. Therefore I have the impression that a few players in the squad right now are bit over-rated.
"Regarding Hummels I have already said it I think that if you make changes then the players have to be as good as before at least. Niklas Sule is a very, very good centre-back but from my point of view I think he is not yet able to lead and stabilise this team.
"It would help him a lot to have someone next to him with a lot of experience, so that he is not the only one in the spotlight and everyone tells him, 'You are the one to do this'. He is not there yet, from my point of view."