Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Fritz-Walter-Stadion, Kaiserslautern

"Mistakes will always happen and that's why we play friendlies. But I'm always ready to take risks in those games."

Germany - Marco Reus 17', Lukas Podolski 81'
Australia - James Troisi 40', Mile Jedinak 50'

Joachim Löw's faith in Lukas Podolski is rewarded with a late equaliser as Germany draw with Australia. Jogi, however, as always maintains the need to experiment in such friendlies as he starts with a three-man back line, and two strikers up front.

Germany held at home by Australia
Podolski salvages a draw for Germany over Australia

Australia hold Germany in entertaining draw
Socceroos give world champions Germany a scare in draw

Podolski rescues draw for World champions - with links to player ratings and live ticker

"I wanted to accommodate for the personnel situation. The game was a little hectic in general. The first half was decent from our point of view, but we weren't level headed enough in the second 45. We had some good chances at the start of it, but then all of a sudden we found ourselves behind. We couldn't find the right structure in the second half and we didn't get a foothold defensively throughout the whole game. We didn't implement things the way we had hoped. We know that we have to win on Sunday in Georgia." said Jogi on

Löw: We got it wrong defensively

"We didn't do the things the way we wanted to," Low said on the German Football Association's website.
"We couldn't find our structure in the second half, and throughout the whole game we didn't get it right defensively.
"Overall, the game was too hectic. We know that we've got to win in Georgia on Sunday."
Germany's World Cup hangover starting to concern Joachim Löw
"We need to increase the tension and tackle the game there with more concentration," insisted Löw.
"I am always prepared to take risks in friendly games, but we can no longer do that now in qualifiers."
"Manche wollen Poldi abschreiben - aber er hat seine Klasse" - in a post-match interview Jogi spoke of his belief in his goalscorer
"I have the feeling that some people had written Lukas off. But I know that he's always good for a goal and he can vitalize the team. His goal scoring record speaks for itself. Lukas hasn't played much recently and it would obviously be good if that changed. But he still has the right zip about him and is in a good state physically. He's always dangerous when called upon."
Löw: "It doesn't just happen at the flick of a switch" - Jogi speaks to
Talking of his reasons for taking Holger Badstuber off at half-time, he said "I made the change at half time because Holger Badstuber had taken a knock. It takes time when you want to make changes. We'll continue to try it out in the future but it's important to be able to work on it at training more often. It doesn't just happen at the flick of a switch. You need games and time at training to work on it."
He added that he was happy both Holger and Ilkay Gündogan were back after months on the sidelines. "It was clear that I couldn't expect everything from both players. They need weeks, maybe months in order to get back to their best. There are always ups and downs after such a long time out. They're not 100% yet but everything went well for where they're currently at."
On goalkeeper Rob-Robert Zieler - "Ron played very, very well in Spain so therefore he was pleased with the decision. I don't think he could have done anything about the goals."

Match highlights from

Post-match interview on ZDF

Post-match press conference

Starting Line-Up:
Ron-Robert Zieler, Holger Badstuber (Sebastian Rudy), Benedikt Höwedes, Shkodran Mustafi, Sami Khedira (Christoph Kramer), Jonas Hector, Mesut Ozil, Ilkay Gündogan, Karim Bellarabi (Andre Schürrle), Marco Reus (Lukas Podolski), Mario Götze (Max Kruse)

Joachim Löw, "Das nötige Feuer holen"
Jogi is interviewed on ZDF
Training, Kampfbahn training ground, Frankfurt, 24 March 2015

Press Conference, Frankfurt, 24 March 2015, with Bastian Schweinsteiger

At his first press conference of 2015, Joachim Löw spoke of the welcome return of players such as captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, Marco Reus, Ilkay Gündogan and Hologer Badstuber, giving them more options than immediately after the World Cup.

Neuer out of Germany friendly

"Manuel is suffering from an inflammation to his knee and will not play against Australia," Löw said at a press conference.
"He will be sidelined for two days and resume training on Thursday. I think he will be ready in time for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Georgia, but we will not take any risks."
Who will keep goal has not been decided yet, Jogi intends to sit down and discuss with goalkeeping coach Andreas Köpke. Holger Badstuber and Ilkay Gündogan will be on the field tomorrow.

He stressed the importance of Bastian Schweinsteiger, who is back in good form and taking on a leading role at Bayern Munich. "It's important for the team to have such a leader on the pitch."

"We've had a long break and haven't been together for a while. It's an unfamiliar situation for us after failed to win a couple of games. That means that we have to win our next few European qualifiers as we have a tough autumn with games in Ireland and Scotland, as well as playing Poland at home. We want to gain momentum from the game against Australia to take into the game in Georgia. The team can't just turn up expecting to win. You have to have patience after such a long break but we need to get results."

Löw: "Australia a sporting country that never gives up"

"Results need to come and I expect that, because we are capable of better performances," "Australia has always been a sporting country that never stops working. Socceroos performance at the Asian Cup was great. Australia had a typically British style, with long-balls, but now you don't see that. They play good football," said Löw.
Joachim Löw impressed by Ange Postecoglou's Asian champions - from
"In 2010 it was obvious they were very defensively-minded, playing the long-ball game - typically British I would almost say - long balls forward and trying to win the second balls," Löw said. "These days no longer, with the new coach."
"I think the new coach was the Australian champion with two different teams wasn't he? So they are trying to play combination play and they don't just have defensive qualities but also have a very effective forward-oriented (strategy), trying to press very high, something that was not known with previous Australian teams. "Australia have made big headway in terms of style and approach."
Emre Can could receive first Germany call-up next season - Joachim Low
Jogi explained his more conservative squad selection. An agreement has been made with U21 coach Horst Hrubesch that players such as Emre Can, Max Meyer, Leon Goretzka and Kevin Volland will play at the Under-21 Euros in June
"We have made changes through those who have come back from injuries and there will maybe be more changes in the upcoming season. But right now, I don't see the necessity to bring in new players," Löw said.
"Emre Can, [Hoffenheim attacker] Kevin Volland, [Schalke midfielders] Max Meyer and Leon Goretzka -- they shall play the tournament in June," Low said, citing the generation of Sami Khedira, Manuel Neuer, Mesut Ozil and Mats Hummels as role models after their 2009 European Under-21 Championship win."
"I prefer them to play a tournament at the highest level and we'll give the cards a shuffle after that. Those with good performances at the European Under-21 Championship will definitely get an invitation."
Asked about omitted Mario Gomez, he replied "We always keep an eye on him. If Mario finds his rhythm and is playing and scoring regularly then he'll obviously be an option looking ahead to the Euros. He has a lot of quality in the box. It's important that he's flexible. We have different types of players. Every position has to be filled no matter what type of player is playing."

Ozil had Arsenal permission to visit Berlin, says Löw
Germany head coach Joachim Low says Mesut Ozil had Arsenal's permission to be in Berlin following claims he could face questions from the club over a night out.
Ozil, who missed the Gunners' 2-1 win over Newcastle due to illness, was reportedly seen at a night club in the German capital late on Saturday.
There has been no indication Arsenal could consider disciplinary action against the midfielder and Low has revealed the 26-year-old had been given permission to make the trip to his homeland despite missing the match with the Magpies.

"It's anyone's guess whether he was partying or not," Low told reporters ahead of Wednesday's friendly with Australia.
"He has told me that he was in Berlin. I spoke to him and he said that he was weakened by a cold during last week and so Arsene Wenger and Ozil together took the decision to not play him at the weekend. After the match, he was allowed to fly to Berlin."
Low also defended his decision to call up Lukas Podolski, despite the on-loan Gunners forward having struggled to find form at Inter in 2015.
"I saw his match against Cesena in the stadium and then spoke to Lukas the following day," Low said. "The match was revived when he came on at half time. He is overall in better physical shape, but of course he has had initial difficulties in Italy.
"Lukas has always been there for us in the last 11 years. He gave it his all for the team. He has played loads of games and scored many goals. And he still has a lot of quality -- age has not taken its toll.
"He has our full support behind him. This will help him at his club, wherever he will be playing. It's important for him that he gets to play regularly and plays well."
In the open question session, Jogi was asked about the breaking Germanwings plane tragedy. Jogi, naturally, spoke of the horror he felt, as we all do, at the news. However, personally, I think such a question had no place at a live football press conference at a time when the Head of State of the country had yet to make an official statement.

Summary of press conference on

Training, Kampfbahn training ground, Frankfurt, 23 March 2015

Der Tag in Frankfurt

Jogi arrives at the team hotel in Frankfurt - 23 March 2015

Baustellen und ein "heißer Herbst" für Löw und Co.
"World Champions against Asian champions - that's a nice start to the international year," Jogi was quoted, but went on to say that the far more important game is the one in Germany. He spoke of winning the next game against Georgia, and in the summer against Gibraltar, before the 'hot autumn' begins with games against the other three nations. "Of course I'm totally convinced that we can do that," he said.
"I am pleased that Holger and Ilkay will be there again. They were, prior to their injuries, pillars of our team,"

Germany mull problem areas for Socceroos clash - 22 March 2015

"The team which won the World Cup doesn't exist any more, that was a unique constellation where everything fitted perfectly," said Löw.
"There are a few other 'building sites' which still need working on."
"But we also need attacking solutions, because we have seen that opponents tend to play defensively," Löw added.
Immediate talking points of the squad are returns, after long-term injuries, for Holger Badstuber and Ilkay Gundogan. Jogi had announced through the press the day before that Lukas Podolski would be in the squad. - 20 March 2015

Badstuber returns to German colours in Löw's latest squad
Badstuber and Gündogan return to Löw's squad

The squad will be led by captain Bastian Schweinsteiger of FC Bayern, who is back in the DFB-Team for the first time since the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina following injuries.
"Bastian is our captain, he has tremendous leadership qualities. We need him both on and off the pitch," said manager Joachim Löw. "Having him back is a huge bonus for us. I'm confident that he can kick on from his good performances in the Bundesliga and Champions League with FC Bayern."
(Badstuber and Gündogan)  "The pair have a long period of suffering behind them," said Joachim Löw on returnees Badstuber and Gündogan. "I was moved to see Holger and Ilkay back on the pitch again and I'm impressed at how quickly they have returned to their high standards. It's remarkable just how well they have dealt with the situation. They have worked hard for months and never lost their optimism, despite a number of setbacks."
The Germany boss said that they have been called up for a different reason though: "Their involvement in the squad isn't in recognition of them fighting their way back though; it's a reward for their recent performances. We've always kept in touch with both players. It will be nice to welcome them back to the squad and we can now look to the future with the two of them instead of looking back.
"World Champions against Asian Champions - it's a great way to kick off 2015 on the international stage," said Löw. "The meeting with Australia is also a welcome opportunity for us to get into our rhythm ahead of the important game in Tbilisi against Georgia. I watched a few of Australia's games at the Asian Cup and I was impressed. They are well organised and very solid. They conceded just three goals in the entire tournament, which speaks for itself. However, we want to give the supporters in Kaiserslautern a good game and pick up some momentum for the Georgia match by winning."

Full squad:
Goalkeepers:  Manuel Neuer (Bayern München), Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96)
Defenders:  Holger Badstuber, Jérome Boateng (both Bayern München), Jonas Hector (FC Köln), Benedikt Höwedes (Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Shkodran Mustafi (Valencia), Sebastian Rudy (1899 Hoffenheim)
Midfielders:  Karim Bellarabi (Bayer 04 Leverkusen), Ilkay Gündogan, Marco Reus (both Borussia Dortmund), Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos (both Real Madrid), Christoph Kramer (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Thomas Müller, Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern München), Mesut Özil (Arsenal), Lukas Podolski (Inter Milan), André Schürrle (VfL Wolfsburg)
Forwards:  Mario Götze (Bayern München), Max Kruse (Borussia Mönchengladbach)

German international boss Jogi Low says Lukas Podolski needs the squad's support, and is refusing to drop him.
Low feels that the 121-time capped attacker deserves a show of loyalty during a challenging period of his career.
He is quoted by Spiegel: "He still has our trust, and we hope we can give him impetus and strength. The national team has always been there for Lukas. I think at this time he needs our support, he has earned (it)."
Low met up with Podolski in Italy last week to check on him, and believes he can still be a valuable part of his squad. He added that the Arsenal owned star has never pulled out of an international as a fixture in the team for a decade, he should not ruthlessly be discarded. - from - 20 March 2015

Löw über Podolski"Er hat immer noch unser Vertrauen" - 19 March 2015

Joachim Löw has faced Australia twice before as Bundestrainer, the last time being a 2-1 defeat in a 2011 friendly.
The first time, however, was an altogether more memorable occasion as Jogi kicked off his World Cup career in South Africa with a 4-0 memorable Group victory and the first appearance of a certain blue sweater!

Last updated 31 March 2015
With thanks to everyone on the Group, especially Lucille, Silke, Delmy and Susanne.
Anything else you think I should include on this page? Let me know!