4 Germany 1 - 0 France, World Cup 2014, Quarter-Final, 4 July 2014  

< Algeria, 30 June 2014

Brazil, 8 July 2014 >

GERMANY 1 - 0 FRANCE

Friday, 4 July 2014

Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janeiro
World Cup 2014, Quarter-Final


"We've won 28 out of 31 competitive games. We will now try to take the next step."

! July 2014 - 4 July 2014

Goalscorer:
Mats Hummels 12'

Jogi rings the changes as both the French and the critics are sent packing, and he reaches his fourth consecutive tournament semi-final!

Match reports:
Hummels heads Germany into World Cup semi-finals
Germany reach World Cup semi-finals as Mats Hummels header sinks France

Joachim Low masterclass as manager gets Germany playing like Germany again
Joachim Löw Gets His Tactics Right As Germany Advance Past France

Germany's Löw shows he is a tournament tactician

"The team wasn't surprised (by the changes)," Löw said. "They know I've got a variety of different lineup plans. I always said when I have the feeling that I need to set a new stimulus, I'll do it and the players know that."

"There weren't many goalscoring opportunities, which was part of our plan," added Löw.
"We didn't want to give France chances with the quality of strikers they possess. We closed them down well - and that was the key.
"France gave everything to try to force the equaliser, but defenders Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng were excellent and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer did well when called upon." - from bbc.co.uk

Praise pours in for 'sensational' Hummels
"Mats was sensational today," Germany coach Joachim Löw told FIFA.com. "The way he goes into tackles and wins them and the way he's always in the right place is hugely impressive. On top of that he scored and he's always a threat at set-pieces too."

I think both teams played well defensively today. There weren't many goalscoring opportunities, which was part of our plan. We didn't want to give France chances with the quality of strikers they possess. We closed them down well - and that was the key. They did the same against us, because Yohan Cabaye and Paul Pogba are a great screen for the defence and we knew that we had to go wide in order to create chances, which is why I switched Philipp Lahm to the full-back position. France gave everything to try to force the equaliser, but Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng were excellent and Manuel Neuer did well when called upon. In the last four World Cups we've reached the semi-finals. That is a good achievement. We now need to take the next step. - from fifa.com

"Against Algeria we played one way, now we wanted to make a change."from espn

Löw praise for Mertesacker
"Per is very important player for us and I spoke to him last night and explained, and he had a marvellous attitude and said 'I just want to help the team'.
"I chose Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels for tactical reasons - we had seen France's players Valbuena and Griezmann attack with great speed and I thought I would be able to solve that problem."
Joachim Löw: "Wir versuchen jetzt, den nächsten Schritt zu machen" - an interview with dfb.de
Bundestrainer Joachim Löw - "Das ist eine große Leistung" - another post-match interview

Löw: "We are now ready to take the next step" - from bundesligafanantic.com

"We'll see how things progress. But we won 28 of 31 competitive games. That's an impressive accomplishment. We will now try to take the next step. The team is established, stable and can survive games like Algeria."
(On the heat)  "For us it wasn't easy. The air was thick to the point that you couldn't even breathe. We're not used to that as Europeans and thus it makes it difficult to keep control and concetrate throughout the game. Then you also make mistakes because the players get fatigued."
Joachim Löw and Germany Find a Way to Win Ugly Against France - tactical analysis by Clark Whitney
Germany back in the old routine
More praise for Jogi's decision-making from those with World Cup experience:
Günter Netzer: 'Joachim Löw got tactical decisions right'

Jogi hängte das Weltmeister-Trikotin die Kabine
Bild reports that for motivation, Jogi had displayed a shirt with signatures of players from all three German World Cup winning teams, given to him at the DFB World Champions Party in May.
In the same article DFB President Wolfgang Niersbach spoke about Jogi, "It's unbelievable how calm he remains. Under this pressure, these conditions. He exudes such stability. It's simply fun with him and the whole team!"

Speaking before Brazil's 2-1 last-eight victory over Colombia, Löw said: "They will have a home advantage."The South Americans are fighting for their lives here." - from bbc.co.uk

Jogi speaks at the post-match press conference (right)

With thanks to Brighton Big Screen for a great evening's watching on the beach!

 


Starting Line-Up:
Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Benedikt Höwedes, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira, Thomas Müller, Toni Kroos (Christoph Kramer), Mesut Özil (Mario Götze), Miroslav Klose (Andre Schürrle)



In the aftermath of the disappointing victory (surely an oxymoron in any language) against Algeria, the critics were out to heap yet more of the usual negativity in the direction of the team, and the situation Jogi would find himself in should a bad result come against France. Despite nothing but assurances from the DFB (his bosses) that he had total job security, even the UK media joined in, with the Sun appealing to their demographic with terms such as "Low (sic) appears toast" and "under the cosh". It seemed anyone incapable of an original thought wanted to jump on the "under pressure" bandwagon. - pre-match 4 July 2014

FIFA Press Conference, 3 July 2014

Joachim Löw started by confirming that all of his squad (bar the already-out Mustafi) had trained earlier that day.

"One third of our team were complaining about sore throats. We were contaminated and have problems and need to see how that develops. Mats Hummels had a fever but from [Wednesday] all players are able to train. They're still slightly suffering but no feeling of exhaustion. Hopefully they stay stable and there is no worsening.
"Bastian Schweinsteiger and Khedira recovered well. They had a break so are in excellent condition. Both are in good shape and able to play. Hummels can play. He was able to train with the team and he told me he no longer feels tired and could be perfectly fit." from the independent
Best yet to come from Germany, insists Löw
"We haven't shown a consistent level of performance so far," said the 54-year-old Löw.
"Teams like Ghana and USA had nothing to lose and everything to win, this game is different.
"We have not yet delivered our best possible performances. We had a very bad first half against Algeria, but were better in the second. The team showed they can fight, Algeria fought hard, but we fought harder. We brought them to their knees in the second half and we really had a strong will to win.
"Some people have said 'who are Algeria?' but that shows they have little footballing knowledge.
"This isn't an easy-to-figure out computer game and your own team isn't always easy to programme, but you have to find the right combinations.
"You either win and stay or lose and go home."
Löw: Neuer "could be midfield general"
"If a team tries to play high the way we did against USA and Algeria the keeper cannot just stay in his box.
"Manuel Neuer has the same technical skills as the others, he could play in the midfield, he also has great awareness and that's why we are happy for him to take these risks, and that's why he's so valuable.
"He can basically be a player behind the defence."
England will never prosper while the Premier League is dominated by foreigners, warns Germany coach Joachim Löw
"I believe we have a good blend [in the Bundesliga]. These players have a lot of experience in tough competitions. I'm not unhappy if players are abroad. We can benefit from Sami Khedira, Mesut Özil having different influences and cultures and coaches. They benefit personally as well and it helps players to mature.
"If other countries like England have a problem, their league has a disadvantage because of a higher percentage of foreigners so it becomes difficult for the national coach to get things moving. We have changed over recent years with lots of young German players in German clubs, given an advantage over foreigners and we're benefiting from that. In England there are many foreigners and perhaps that is not always beneficial."
"'Tiefentspannter' Löw siegessicher"
Asked about his future, he replied he was totally relaxed. "We are in the last eight and tomorrow will move into the last four".

Other quotes:
- Spoke of strength of France, but playing at Maracana will motivate them.
- Philipp Lahm discussion is nothing new. Anything is possible. "You will see soon enough tomorrow".
Also spoke of the pressure on the Brazilian players, and denied Toni Kroos had had any talks with Real Madrid.
He added ""We think about how to win not about what might happen if we lose."
With thanks to spox.com



"Auch wir Trainer sind nicht vollkommen" - 3 July 2014
The Zeit interview is now available online, and does contain quotes about the Algeria game.

Rest days give Löw time to ponder ahead of France game

Löw: "Sieben Spieler sind irgendwie leicht krank" - 2 July 2014
In the evening a statement from Joachim Löw on ARD radio revealed that seven players were suffering from flu-like symptoms, including a sore throat. Jogi said that he was not so bad at the moment and didn't want to dramatise, but added that with Mats Hummels (who missed the Algeria game) the second day of the virus had been the worse.

Löw plant nur im Notfall mit Lahm als Außenverteidiger - 2 July 2014
In an interview with Zeit quoted in the press today, Joachim Löw says he intends to keep Philipp Lahm in midfield for the remainder of the tournament, and would only switch him back to full-back in an emergency. However it has been clarified by Andreas Köpke today at the press conference that this interview was made before the Algeria game. (thanks to Football Statements on twitter), this fact being conveniently left out of most subsequent reporting of the comments!

Germany boss Joachim Low to resist calls to move Philipp Lahm to full-back

Low told Die Zeit: "I have made up my mind already on Philipp Lahm's role. And I am sticking by it to the very end.
"Philipp Lahm has been a leading figure for us in recent years and he's been playing at the highest level for a decade, but he will only move back into defence if we have a problem on the right, at which point I might say 'okay, now it's up to Philipp who can push forwards down the right."
"But that would only be an emergency scenario, and we need to prevent there being an emergency."
"Sometimes things get published a little too hastily and I don't feel the right weight is given to certain things."
"You can't always play fantastic football at a World Cup," he added. "You've just got to leave the field triumphant, and that's what we did.
"We have worked hard, both during the preparation in South Tyrol and here in Brazil, and realised what we must improve.
"It's only normal that you keep on learning throughout a tournament, and this also helps you recognise your team's finesse."
Löw macht alles richtig
An intelligent and well-written article on Jogi's team selections.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014, was a day of rest, recuperation and visits from family after the Algeria game.

Löw demands Germany improvement for France quarter

"I wouldn't want to talk about France-Germany in 1982, but those have always been dramatic classics between the team," said Löw.
"Didier Deschamps has turned them around since 2010, they have good players like (Karim) Benzema and (Olivier) Giroud who can decide games on their own. We're looking forward to another classic."

< Algeria, 30 June 2014 | Brazil, 8 July 2014 >

Last updated 8 July 2014
With thanks to everyone on the Group for their help and support, especially Lucille, Silke, Elfriede, Susanne, Sonia, Magda and Ines.
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