< Denmark, 17 June 2012

Italy, 28 June 2012 >

GERMANY 4 - 2 GREECE

Friday 22 June 2012

Gdansk
Euro 2012, Quarter-Finals

"To be cheeky is a good thing."

18 June 2012 - 22 June 2012

Goalscorers:
Germany - Philipp Lahm 39', Sami Khedira 61', Miroslav Klose 58', Marco Reus 74'
Greece - Georgios Samaras 55', Dimitris Salpingidis 89' (pg)

Germany storm through to the Semi-Finals, setting an international football record with their 15th consecutive competitive match victory!

Germany beat Greece 4-2 with 'class performance'
Germany overpower Greece in Gdansk
Löw's men hit the heights
Jogi Löw Masterstroke Steers Germany To Semifinal

Löw gamble pays off as Germany crush Greece
Germany's Joachim Löw happy with his 'cheeky' tinkering

"Today it was the time to bring in some fresh faces and different types of players who could do a job and I think it worked very well. I thought after three victories, with which I was satisfied, we needed to be unpredictable against Greece because they know us very well."
On his lineup being made public earlier in the day, he said: "It is not the way I would have wanted but it is the way it happened and that is that.
"I don't think there is any question we absolutely deserved to win this match. Greece scored two goals out of one chance and the only thing I can say is we didn't take chances at the start of the game. They had a strong defence but in the second half we didn't let them hassle us because of the goal we conceded. We put in a good performance and the whole way we played was fantastic."
Löw impressed as Germany march on
"It was a day of changes," Löw said.
"After three wins in a row, I had the feeling I had to change something and bring some fresh air into the team. It was the time to change something."
"Khedira is having an unbelievably good run. He trains well, he always wants to have the ball. His team-mates feel that and they trust him. Ozil played with absolute class. He made very good runs and he managed to give the right impulses for the team."
Löw was reluctant to comment when asked which of Italy or England he would rather face in the last four: "That is pretty hard to say."
"England plays a lot more disciplined than in 2010 for example and Italy is always a difficult opponent. It doesn't matter who (progresses)."
Özil oozes class as Germany march on
"He completely deserved the award, he was always there - when we were on the attack, he was always in the game, always available, always on the move. He did a lot. He made the connection between the players at the back and the attackers, everything went through him."
Germany set new world record with 15th consecutive win - and review them all in my Match Record Section.

Joachim Löw the brains behind Germany's dominance
Joachim Löw's Decision Not Arrogant And Why His Critics Were So Wrong - one writer has his say!
International media praise Löw - a review of the compliments flowing for Jogi and Germany throughout Europe!

Low: It hurt to drop Gomez from starting line-up

"Naturally it hurt me to do that [drop Gomez]" Low told DFB.de. "Mario scored three goals and was involved in another. Podolski too scored a goal last game but the time was right to make changes. "It worked out well in the end. Reus played well, so did Schurrle and Klose. That was the key to the win."
German line-up mole leaves Löw fuming
"I can't say exactly from where this [leak] has come," admitted Löw ahead of his team's semi-final against England or Italy in Warsaw on Thursday. "The players talk to their agents, perhaps it comes from there."
"They phone home and talk with friends, either because they are happy or disappointed. I am certain it doesn't come from the players. These are other channels, but they are unidentifiable. It is not good when the cards are on the table so early."
Löw: "Großes Kompliment an die Mannschaft" - Jogi is interviewed on dfb.de
"It was the day for changes" - a translation of the dfb.de article on bundesliga.de
Joachim Löw: "Die Zeit war reif, etwas zu verändern" - a post-match interview in sueddeutsche.
Joachim Löw wird zum EM-Magier - Whatever Jogi touches in the EM turns to gold, says the Berliner Morgenpost.

UEFA Post-Match Press Conference

"First of all, I would like to say it was a fantastic performance from our team. For the fourth time in a row, we have qualified for the semi-final of a major tournament. Nobody thought we could have done that back in 2004. We have won 15 games in a row. We are the youngest team at this tournament and have great prospects for the future. I am proud of my players. We absolutely deserved to win tonight."
"Greece scored two goals out of one chance. We were good from the start but perhaps the only thing I can say is that we didn't take advantage of our chances early on. I was irritated at that stage and my emotions are expressed at times like that."
"After three wins here, I wasn't dissatisfied with my team in the slightest, but I had been planning on making the changes to the lineup for a while. I thought we had to be unpredictable against Greece, because I felt they would be ready for us. It is good to be cheeky like that from time to time. I thought the plan worked out quite well. Looking ahead, I think the four teams in the semi-finals will be serious contenders for the title. We know from now on games of this magnitude are decided by small details, and we can't allow a single mistake."
Comments thanks to UEFA.com

The press conference can be watched on the UEFA website



A post-match interview on ZDF



Joachim Löw: Germany won't take Greece lightly

"We did not really take our chances early on against Denmark and we had problems after that," he said. "Look at our games against England or Argentina at the 2010 World Cup - we took an early lead and that opened the game up as they had to throw men forwards."
If Germany cannot unlock the Greek defence early on, though, Low will not panic. "You are not going to see me nervous," he said. "I may be animated and enjoy our good passes and get angry with the bad ones, but we need to be patient. "I don't think the fans are going to think 'wow, what a game' with both sides going all out for a win, as was maybe the case against Holland. "Greece's priority will be to keep a clean sheet."
Löw ein Weltklassetrainer - profile from ZDF - 22 June 2012
Training, PGE Arena, Gdansk, 21 June 2012

UEFA Press Conference, Gdansk, 21 June 2012

"We feel good and are looking forward to the game. We feel we are at home here in Gdansk as this has been our base for some weeks now. We are prepared for Greece. They have so far played a great tournament and are a dynamic team who are also defensively very good."
"Bastian Schweinsteiger will play tomorrow. He had a problem with his ankle and didn't train to full capacity over the past few days. Today he was back with the squad though and he is ready."
"It could be a tight game. They will defend their territory. Greece are not the sort of team you rip apart. In the last third of the pitch if we run at them and play at a high tempo we will get chances."
"Greece might be a little disturbed by the absence of [the suspended Giorgos] Karagounis but whoever fills in will integrate and will be just as motivated. He will want to take his chance. Maybe it's a loss for them but we must prepare for a different type of player who will also have his qualities."
Summary thanks to UEFA.com

Also:
Asked about Mats Hummels, Jogi said so far has played very well, does what a central defender has to do and he is very good at winning balls and strong in one-on-ones. Has helped to build up play from the back, uses spaces very well.
The Media in light of Thomas Müller's recent comments - He has not been reading very much, seen a few pictures of enthusiasm at home, the public viewings and great enthusiasm, looking really good and that motivates team. Sometimes do think criticism is a little too much, but won't affect the team. Know they can improve a little, so totally focused on game and not on how criticial media are.

Joachim Low: Greece are not the Chelsea of the Mediterranean

"I have heard a few times that they are the Chelsea of the Mediterranean, but it is not that way," Low told reporters. Greece play good combination football. Their defence is strong, they are strong in the tackle and defending and countering is in their blood."
"They have been playing that way for years. It was similar or practically the same in 2004 [when they became European champions in Portugal]."
"They get written off sometimes, but then they are always there. But anyway, Chelsea play a different [style of] football to what we saw in the final or semi-finals of the Champions League."
"Logically we are favourites, but we can deal with that."
"But remember knockout games have their own character so it won't be the case that the favourite automatically reaches the next round. We saw that in the group when Russia were the big favourites and we have all seen what happened."
"But if we show all of our inner strength and belief, then we are strong enough to beat the Greeks of course. I am convinced we will win."
The press conference can be watched on UEFA.com

Joachim Loew points Germany to a bright future - 'Flawless', 'the architect of the revival in German football' and 'off-field matchwinner' is how Jogi is described in this article!

Scouting for the German team - DW profiles the Scouting Project at the Sports University of Cologne

"We cannot allow ourselves be led by our opponents," said current German coach Joachim Löw. "But it is very important to know their strengths and weaknesses. "I don't care to know if players are 1.94 meters tall or if they weigh 85 kilos - we want to know about the characters of the players," Löw added.
Löw wary of paying Greeks lip service - 21 June 2012
Germany coach Joachim Loew has said he will watch his language ahead of Friday's Euro 2012 quarter-final with Greece after learning a deaf German lip-reader is tweeting his pitch-side comments.
"I have said some pretty hefty expletives, I have to admit that. So I will probably have to beware of that a little bit more in the future," said Löw after learning about football-fan Julia Probst.

Joachim Löw - Seine Typen, seine Taktik, sein Traum... - a four page feature from focus.de

Löw hatte Ärger mit Viertelfinal-Schiri - 20 June 2012
It was revealed today that the referee for Friday's game will be Damir Skomina, the fourth official with whom Jogi clashed in Euro 2008. Full details on my Austria 2008 page!

Jogis geheime Schlachtpläne - All about Jogi's secret notebook from Bild.de (photo, right)

Press Conference, Gdansk, 19 June 2012

German Löw dodges politics, eyes Ozil explosion
Germany coach Joachim Löw on Tuesday refused to be drawn into the political discussion surrounding his team's Euro 2012 quarter-final against Greece, saying for him it was a "normal" football match. The game, billed by the media of both countries as the clash of the eurozone, pits the eurozone's problem child against its rich northern paymaster.
"(German Chancellor) Angela Merkel and us, we have a good relationship and an agreement that she does not advise me on the lineups and I do not advise her on political statements," Löw told reporters. "It is just a normal quarter-final game against Greece and nothing else," Löw said
Löw, however, did not hesitate to comment on Greece playmaker Giorgos Karagounis' absence due to suspension. Karagounis scored the only goal against Russia. "I think he is the one who has been having the big ideas in the Greek game for years. He is the connection between the defense and the players in attack and for Greece his absence is painful."
Löw's squad trained on Tuesday without Mesut Ozil, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lars Bender, all nursing minor knocks after the 2-1 win over Denmark on Sunday. "This is purely a precautionary measure. They are all fit," the 52-year-old coach said. Ozil, a key player in the Germans' run to third place at the 2010 World Cup, has yet to shine in this tournament but Löw said it would happen. "There will still be an Ozil explosion in this tournament. Just like in South Africa after the group stage," he said.

Germany coach Joachim Löw insists his football philosophy has not changed

"Are you insinuating we are moving from our philosophy? I don't agree," said Löw. "We don't play to grind out goalless draws. The attack-mindedness is the same and we won a strong group. I have read many times we need more balance and we conceded some goals last season that was a warning sign I had to read. We need to be solid in defence, but look at these opponents.
Even the Dutch retreated against us. You can't always play as vertically as you want. It can be a consequence of the opponent playing deep."
"My basic philosophy of attacking football has not changed. You can play happy-go-lucky football against Brazil in a friendly but not in a tournament. My level of relaxation has not changed, the fact speak for themselves. We took nine points from the so called 'group of death' so we achieved all that could be achieved."
"A back four is not just defensive. We have offensive full-backs," he said. "We've done away with two holding midfielders and there is no way I could tell [Bastian] Schweinsteiger and [Mesut] Özil to track back and defend. This is not my philosophy.
Midfielders must do everything. Özil has been excellent. Sometimes a coach sees it more than others. Özil is a great distributor and does a lot of running. He just needs his team-mates to give him more options. No ifs and buts, he sacrifices himself for the team but maybe we will wait for the explosion like the World Cup against England and Argentina."
Löw believes tournament favourites Spain are suffering similar problems against negative opposition. Asked if he thought the Spaniards had underperformed, he said: "I watched them twice and they are world class. "They suffer the same problem of teams playing deep but you can rely on them always finding a chance and goal. They have Iniesta, representative of their fine footballing culture."
Low: Germany will improve in the knockout stages
(Preparations for the quarter-final) "It actually started this morning," he said. "The players trained quite hard. There's not much leisure time, normal rhythm in training, one training session a day. The pressure will rise naturally, the first day after the match there is a decrease, that's normal."
"Italy are one of the favourites, that's clear. They've developed well since 2010. They're more offence-minded and the team is younger now. But for me that's not important now, I focus on Greece, then we'll see."
I don't think Spain are weak in a physical sense. Spain are world class. I've seen them twice now. Croatia tried to destroy the game but Spain always have chances, they can always score. When I see [Andres] Iniesta, I can only say: That's the essence of good football, there's nothing better."
(Training today) "Schweinsteiger was a bit off-colour, Lars Bender as well, but nothing serious. Everybody will be in training tomorrow. [Sami] Khedira and Schweinsteiger had to do lots of work."
Löw gearing up for Greeks

Löw: "Vorbereitung auf Griechenland hat begonnen" - a summary of the press conference from dfb.de
Live ticker from the press conference

The full press conference, with Jogi and Holger Badstuber, can be watched on tv.dfb.de

Ranking the Managing Jobs of the Euro 2012 Coaches
As the Group stage draws to a close, the Bleacher Report assesses the 16 national coaches, and ranks their them in order, 1st to 16th (and no prizes for guessing who is number one!)


At the Spain v Croatia final Group C match in Gdansk - 18 June 2012


Regeneration Day after the Denmark game. - 18 June 2012

Low taking nothing for granted as Germany prepare for Greece in quarter-finals
Germanys Löw expects tough battle with Greece

"Against Greece, it will be a completely different type of match," said German head coach Löw.
"Nevertheless, they play a very similar game to the Danes, as they are very dangerous in attack and strong in defence. It will be tough."
"We need to be a little better in attack, but we have completed three tough games and now we don't have to travel."

"I've never played Greece and now it's time. No one thought they would make it as Russia had been so strong. I think they've had three or four chances at this tournament and scored three goals; they're masters of efficiency. They're hard and great at the back, strong in the tackle; it's like biting into a rock." from 90soccer.com - 17 June 2012


< Denmark, 17 June 2012 | Italy, 28 June 2012 >

Last updated 27 June 2012
With thanks to everyone on the Group for their help and support, especially Natascha, Silke, Maren, Rocio, Fanny, Denise and Nic!
See my Index Page for photograph credits.  Also thanks to UEFA.com
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