Friday, 23 March 2018

Esprit Arena, Düsseldorf

"It was a good game from both teams. An excellent test, from which we can learn a lot."

Germany - Thomas Müller 35'
Spain - Rodrigo Moreno 6'

Jogi declared himself satisfied with what proved to be an enjoyable game for the spectators, and that he knew the aspects needing improvement as Russia 2018 moves ever closer!

Germany and Spain play out high quality 1-1 draw in Düsseldorf

Thomas Müller thunderbolt earns draw for Germany against Spain
Magical Müller strikes as Mannschaft play out exciting 1‑1 draw with Spain

Thomas Müller wonderstrike spares Germany's blushes against Spain - with match ticker

"I thought it was a great test for both teams. You saw that, at times tonight, both teams had some great link-up play, put pressure on one another, attacked quickly and pressed up high. Despite the pressing, both teams tried to play out from the back."

Germany can improve despite 'high-quality' Spain draw - Joachim Löw

"We can learn a lot from tonight, that's why we wanted to play against teams like Spain and Brazil. You can only truly gauge yourself as a team when you face the best.
However, we still want to push on and improve. We can go up another gear and I think both teams haven't shown their full hand yet."
It was a very high-quality game and I think the fans can be happy with what they've seen tonight."
Joachim Löw: 'Spain on par with Germany'
"I'm very happy with our high level of performance. Anyone who thinks it's easy to beat another World Cup team is wrong. Spain and their club teams play at the highest level in Europe, and you can tell that their players have been playing together for a long time, with automatisms that work perfectly.
"They respond to pressure with calmness and tranquillity, plus they know how to play very good football. They'll have an important role to play at the World Cup."
Löw: "Excellent preparation for the World Cup - a post-match interview on dfb.de
Joachim Löw declared Spain one of the best teams in Europe. "They have a huge amount of experience, so they know what to do in every situation. Spain and other experienced teams can and will play a decisive role at the World Cup."

Jogi was asked what knowledge he had acquired from today's match: "I've learned a few lessons. You have to play an almost man-to-man system at the back, so that you can put a team who pass so well under pressure when they attack. It was worth taking the risk, even if we didn't always manage it. I don't normally do that without a single training session beforehand. You also have to take into account that other teams rate us highly, which is important to realise. The French and the Argentinians do that as well. We still need to outline everything which needs working on. We can analyse the small errors from the game. With our passing game, we were able to make Spain run around a bit. You can see how we've developed over time. Both teams can show their full potential at the World Cup."

After the game, Joachim Löw revealed that Sami Khedira had left the field as a precaution due to a muscular problem, but it does not appear to be serious.

Match report and statistics from bundesliga.com
Mats Hummels recovers to lead German resistance against Spain
Löw and Germany focus on fine tuning ahead of results

Joachim Löw verrät zwei WM-Fahrer - und stellt klare Forderungen an BVB-Star
In the post-match TV interview, asked again about Mario Götze, Jogi emphasised that it was too early to speak about certain people, and that although they all know Mario's qualities, he was not in the right shape. "He already knows what he needs to work on."
He also explained the reasons for not considering Philipp Max at present in that he already had Jonas Hector and Marvin Plattenhardt on the left, and they are the first candidates for that position.

Löw: Überragender Test für beide Mannschaften
In a post-match interview on ZDF, Jogi emphasised the quality of both teams and called the draw a fair result.

Post-match press conference

Post-match interview on ARD

Starting Line-Up:
Marc André ter Stegen, Joshua Kimmich, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Jonas Hector, Sami Khedira (Ilkay Gündogan), Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller (Leon Goretzka), Mesut Özil, Julian Draxler (Leroy Sane) Timo Werner (Mario Gomez)

Training, Esprit Arena, Düsseldorf, 22 March 2018

Der Tag vor dem Spanienspiel

Press Conference, Düsseldorf, 22 March 2018, with Toni Kroos and Marc-André ter Stegen

Jogi was joined by his two Spain-based players for the first DFB press conference of 2018. He opened by stressing the importance of the March international break for both the management team and the players.

"This is our last chance to train and play together before the squad is named in mid-May, before the training camp in South Tyrol and, of course, before the World Cup itself. The players all still have a very important couple of months ahead of them with their respective clubs, and after that we'll run out of time quickly, so it's good that we can play against two top teams like Spain and Brazil now." - from dfb.de

"Marc ter Stegen will play the first game. Aside from that the teams won't be identical in both games - I would like to change things for the second game. It's difficult to say who will be playing against Spain after just one training session; we'll start planning tonight, but there are five or six players who I can say will definitely be starting tomorrow: Jerome, Mats, Thomas Müller, Mesut Özil and Toni Kroos will be the foundation of the team and we'll have to see who joins them in the starting XI."

Spain are one of the "top favourites" to win this year's World Cup in Russia, according to Joachim Low, manager of defending champions Germany.
"It will be a game in which both teams will want to show what they can do," said Löw.
"However, neither will want to lay their cards on the table. If we were to play Spain at the World Cup, it would be a very different game and we know they are a top team in every respect.
"Their best 11 to 13 players come from Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid, uniting all these virtues. You have Atletico's pressing game, Real's high speed and quick counter-attack with Barca's possession.
"That unites the national team and, for me, they are one of the top favourites." - from bbc.co.uk

'We are the hunted': Joachim Löw to count on experience and Marc-Andre ter Stegen

"We are the hunted," he said, adding that he is still far from making a final decision [on squad selection].
"Performance and team qualities are more important than anything," he said. "We want to have two good options for every position, but my short-term gut feeling will also play a role."
Also missing is Sebastian Rudy who remains at home with his wife who is heavily pregnant and could go into labour today. "He wouldn't have been in the right mindset to put in a good performance."

Fears are eased over Liverpool midfielder Emre Can's back injury

"Emre Can will not be in the squad tomorrow because of the back problem he brought with him from Liverpool," Loew said.
"He tried to train yesterday but broke it off because it was pinching a bit. Maybe Saturday he can return to training and hopefully play a role against Brazil."
On the upcoming World Cup nominations, Jogi said "The squad nomination is a little while off yet. My experiences have shown that players can get injured in this time - which we obviously hope won't happen, then we'll put our heads together shortly before the end of the season and ask ourselves what the club performances have been like, how they played for the national team and whether they're fit and healthy. Performances are the most important thing to consider, but being a team player, tolerance and empathy also play an important role in putting a squad together. We have to make our decisions based on positions as well, however, and ensure that we have enough back-up. On top of this, my gut-instinct and intuition play an important role."

Sandro Wagner/Mario Gomez - "There is a chance that both make the World Cup squad. Both are in good form and have self-confidence."

Joachim Löw very optimistic Manuel Neuer will be fit for World Cup

"If a player plays no role in the preparation, it is difficult to nominate him," Löw told reporters on Thursday.
"When Manuel came to us on Tuesday, together with Andy Kopke [coach] and Dr [Hans-Wilhelm] Muller-Wohlfahrt [we] had a long conversation with him. Manuel is absolutely on schedule. It is planned that he will still play at Bayern this season." "The doctor has assured me that the condition of his scar and the growing together of the bones are absolutely fine and look very good."
"However, at the current stage he is not allowed to [train] at maximum, he is currently training at 90 per cent and wants to increase to 100 per cent this week so that he is fully resilient."
"Then he can still get the necessary security in the training sessions. I assume and am very optimistic that Manuel will be present at the World Cup."
On those missing out this time he said "I spoke to Mario Götze and we agreed that he's not quite reached the form we would like to see. He is very eager to learn and very ambitious so he is by no means written off. I wouldn't have chosen Marco Reus anyway - he's been injured for a long time and staying fit is the most important thing for him. It's important for him to complete the next few weeks and find his rhythm again. André Schürrle has improved of late and we know what he is capable of. If he brings back his pace and goal threat then he'll continue to be an option for the World Cup."

Joachim Löw rules out Philipp Max

"At the moment, Max is not in contention for a World Cup place," Löw affirmed. "We've watched him a few times. There's no doubt he's a good left-sided player, but as of yet he's not part of our plans."
On the time between now and the World Cup "The first two days were more about talking things through and marketing activity. The first training session was on Wednesday and my fellow coaches and I will definitely be watching closely over the next few weeks to see who impresses. We'll see who is in a position to perform at the top of their game this summer after a tiring season. That's what I expect from the players as well. The World Cup is the biggest tournament there is - the players need to be able to focus on this in every game, every training session, not just with the national team, but at their clubs as well. We need 23 players who can perform at the highest level this summer - I need players who will give everything for the team, even if they have to sit on the bench at some point. We had the right team spirit in 2014, we know that the tournament will push us beyond our limits. We are the World Cup holders, Confed Cup winners - we are the team to beat, so these two friendlies have come at the right time. I will experiment with a few things to get a look at some new players, which is all important for the squad selection."

"We need to take another step as a team if we want to be successful. We need to play even better than at the 2014 World Cup. It's not easy to defend the World Cup title - anything can happen at the tournament. We need players who have reached the top of their game and we need to hope none of the important players get injured. We need to stay calm in important situations. Since we're now the team to beat, our performances need to go above and beyond those in 2014."

Joachim Löw: "México viene jugando al nivel de Argentina y Chile"
Jogi was also asked about Mexico, and replied that he knew the Mexican team well from the Confederations Cup and that in recent years they have been playing at the same level as Argentina or Chile.

Training, Paul-Janes-Stadion, Düsseldorf, 21 March 2018

Erstes Training und Pressekonferenz in Düsseldorf

Löw startet Training mit 25 Spielern - Rudy fehlt - 21 March 2018

German national team gathers ahead of Spain, Brazil friendlies - 20 March 2018

"Before we name the final World Cup squad, we want to see and feel that the players put our goals above everything else and give everything they've got to achieve them," Löw said after he arrived that the team hotel on Monday. "If we want to be successful in Russia, we will have to have an unconditional hunger for success."
Neue Trikots, neuer Slogan: Löw und DFB-Team startklar
The German squad met up in Düsseldorf for the first international break of the season, the first day being taken over by marketing and photoshoots!

Auftakt ins WM-Jahr - 20 March 2018

Löw erklärt bei Eurosport Nichtberücksichtigung: "Götze nicht in Form, Reus braucht Stabilität" - 16 March 2018
In a guest appearance on Eurosport for the Friday night Bundesliga match between Freiburg and Stuttgart, Jogi explained his reasons for not choosing the Dortmund duo. He explained Reus needed time to return to 100% after his long injury break. Mario Götze he said had "incredible potential and he's a player I trust, but right now he's not in the form we want him to be."

Joachim Löw has selected a squad of 25 players for the upcoming friendlies against Spain and Brazil. - 16 March 2018

Head coach Joachim Löw on the squad: "We made a conscious effort to start this World Cup year with a larger group of players. It's important to us that we concentrate on working with the players and to also start having more personal dialogue with them as well. We're obviously aware that the next few weeks are very important in their clubs' seasons. That is their priority right now. All the more important, however, is that they are aware of how critical these games are in our selection process for the final squad that we will take to the World Cup in the summer. Success and performance is the most important thing to us, so we want to see that the players are ready to give their all to achieve that. If we want to be successful in Russia, we have to regain the hunger and drive that took us all the way four years ago."

Germany coach Joachim Löw gives Marco Reus some time off

One surprise exclusion to some was Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus and Jogi explained why "It's very important to us that Marco is brought along slowly and that no further pressure is put on him. He needs to be pain-free and fully fit above all else. He also has to train and play regularly over an extended period of time to get back into a rhythm and through that build up his confidence."

"We have a huge pool of players to select from for a lot of positions, but for others it's not so much. For those positions we need players who are flexible and can play in multiple roles. However, the door for World Cup selection is definitely not closed, and there are some players who we will be keeping a watchful eye on over the next few weeks."

On Germany's March opponents, he said "The games against Spain and Brazil will be really tough tests against teams from the highest level of international football. These games are not about the results though, aside from a bit of national pride. I want to see how much passion we play with and how we put our tactics into practice. I have a lot of respect for both teams and they've clearly improved since the World Cup in 2014. Either country could very well lift the trophy in the summer." - from dfb.de

The full squad is as follows:
Goalkeepers:  Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona), Kevin Trapp (Paris St Germain)
Defenders:  Matthias Ginter (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Mats Hummels, Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Süle, Jérôme Boateng (all Bayern München), Antonio Rüdiger (Chelsea), Marvin Plattenhardt (Hertha BSc), Jonas Hector (Köln)
Sami Khedira (Juventus), Julian Draxler (Paris Saint-Germain), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Sandro Wagner, Thomas Müller, Sebastian Rudy (all Bayern Munich), Mesut Özil (Arsenal), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig), Emre Can (Liverpool), Leroy Sané, Ilkay Gündogan (both Manchester City), Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Mario Gomez (Stuttgart), Leon Goretzka (Schalke), Lars Stindl (Borussia Mönchengladbach)

At a FIFA World Cup Coaches' Workshop held in Sochi, assistant coach Thomas Schneider confirmed that Manuel Neuer will be not available for the upcoming friendlies against Spain and Brazil later in the month. - from ESPN.com, 1 March 2018

Last updated 25 March 2018.
With thanks to everyone, especially Lucille, Susanne and Silke.
Anything else you think I should include on this page? Let me know!