Euro 2016 Qualifying Campaign Index


Sunday, 11 October 2015

RB Arena, Leipzig
Euro 2016 Group D Qualifier

"We won the group and can be happy about that, but I am not satisfied with the last two matches."

Germany - Thomas Müller 50', Max Kruse 79'
Georgia - Jaba Kankava 53'

Germany win their match, finish Group D in top stop qualifying automatically for Euro 2016, and that, on the day, was all that matters!!!

Germany ride their luck to qualify - from

Germany struggle past Georgia to qualify for Euro 2016
Kruse secures top spot for world champions
Germany qualify after Georgia threaten a shock

Joachim Löw 'not satisfied' with Germany performance

"We are like a boxer at the moment. We're landing punches but they're not knocking the opponent out."
"It will take some hard work to get back to the level of performances of the World Cup but there is a long way to go until the finals and we know that a long period of preparation will do us a lot of good."
"Tactically there are a few things we need to consider. Our style of play will remain mostly the same but there are some details that need adjusting."
"It is not our style to send long balls into the box. It would be better to approach the opponents' goal with combinations."
"But in France we will meet teams that will attack us, not like some of the defensive teams we have met recently."
Löw: World-class Neuer saved below-par Germany
"We can draw the same conclusions as against Ireland," he told reporters."We have again missed three or four chances at the beginning and then came the frustration. From there, some errors crept in and we had big trouble in the second half."
"Manuel Neuer had to make two or three world-class saves to prevent us from falling behind. We are sometimes not attentive enough. Unfortunately, you have to say we have allowed a few clear chances at the back."
"In general we can be pleased that we have won the group and managed qualification, but we are not satisfied with the last two games. That is not our standard."
Reus misses sum up Germany's problems - Löw
"Marco is usually an excellent player, who would not miss such opportunities," said Löw."He has a lot of quality, but he has not taken two or three big chances. Again in this game we have not taken the variety of opportunities we created."
Germany will rediscover killer instinct for Euro 2016 - Löw
"We know that is not what we demand from ourselves. Not the way we are currently operating in front of goal. We made our own life difficult," Loew told reporters. "We sang the same song as in Ireland. Three, four huge chances early on and then the mistakes start creeping in," he said. "First of all, we are satisfied with the qualification but not satisfied with our last two games. That is not our standard. We have work ahead of us."
"We need to do more but the team has the quality," he said. "If we have three four weeks of a training camp (before the tournament) then the team always raises its level."
"I don't want us to play long balls to feed the forward but it is an alternative to have a confident striker," he said.
Match analysis from

Bundestrainer Löw im Gespräch: "Wir brauchen keinen neuen Hrubesch"Jogi agreed the team are now needing six or seven chances to score a goal. This has been the same throughout qualifying. The efficiency from the World Cup is missing.

the World Cup we were more efficient. We have good finishers. Marco Reus, Thomas Schürrle and Thomas Müller can all score, and when one of them is in form and has the confidence I am happy putting them as strikers. It's good when you have somebody who can score inside the box, but we can't allow ourselves to think that we need another Horst Hrubesh. Our game should be set up the same way as it has been up until now. We don't want to just be swinging balls in when there can be a method to our play. Players like Selke or Mario Gomez also aren't the best in the air, so it's better to use a combination." - from

When asked if anything needed 'fixing', he replied "We have the problem that we play very well down the middle. The full backs are taught to defend at their own clubs. Jonas Hector does the job well, but at Köln he is a defender who plays on the break. We lacked the burst down the wing, and when we did break, we went down the middle. When the opposition sit back, you need one-on-one players. Emre Can, Matthias Ginter or Hector are very alert defensively, but they lack the forward going aspect of the game."

Jogi's post-match remarks about his full-backs lead to the usual over-exaggeration in the media, with claims of an 'attack' on his players and Jogi 'stirring things up' for their clubs:
Joachim Löw stänkert gegen Jonas Hector und den 1. FC Köln
Joachim Löw kritisiert Hector, den Effzeh und Stöger - conveniently completely omitting any part of the actual quote that included the praise of Hector.
Football is fast becoming a game where perhaps it would be better not to have post-match press conferences, if coaches and managers are not allowed to pass fair comment on the game that has just ended!

While Joachim Löw himself has admitted that he was not fully happy with the performance last night, the usual doom-and-gloom merchants have naturally come out of hibernation after the game, believing that what they saw last night somehow has dented all chances at Euro 2016.
Since the team met up less than six days ago, they have had two plane flights and two full days of regeneration, leaving them a mere two afternoons of training together.
Do take a look at my Chlle match page from March 2014. Seem familiar?
The simple truth is that before Euro 2016 the German squad will have six weeks' training before and then during the tournament, locked together at their base, and with Jogi and his staff there to ensure everything is and will be running smoothly. Believe me, as in 2014, after Jogi has again had a chance to work his magic, THAT is when you will see the real Germany!

The Final Group table can be found on my Euro 2016 Qualifying Campaign Index

DFB post-match press conference

Post-match interview

"The Jogi highlights"

Starting Line-Up:Manuel Neuer, Jonas Hector, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Matthias Ginter, Toni Kroos, Ilkay Gundogan, Marco Reus (Karim Bellarabi), Mesut Ozil, Thomas Müller, Andre Schürrle (Max Kruse)

The only change from the Ireland game was Andre Schürrle replacing injured Mario Götze.

Jogi's pre-match message on RTL

Training, RB Arena, Leipzig, 10 October 2015

Abschlusstraining in Leipzig

Press Conference, Leipzig, 10 October 2015, with Manuel Neuer

Löw won't make changes ahead of vital Georgia clash

"There won't be many changes from the team that faced Ireland," Löw told reporters at a press conference on Saturday. "We're creating chances, that's the most important thing. But we need to sharpen our concentration."
"We've certainly lacked efficiency in the months following the World Cup. We need five or six great chances to score and we can't let that happen again against Georgia," explained Löw.
We were disappointed about not getting a result in Dublin. But I don't think that anything dramatic has happened. We were disappointed, but at the same time we're confident that we will bounce back.

About a potential arrogance in the team "Not one of our players is showing signs of arrogance. I never had that feeling about my team. We became erratic during the game with Ireland, but not arrogant. Perhaps the lack of concentration also played a part. The fact is, we don't always have a lot of time to practice so we have to strengthen our players mentally through conversations. The team has to learn to take better advantage of their chances and score goals early. Otherwise we give the opposition confidence. Our game in the final third has to improve."

"I have no doubts on our idea of how to play the game. We will sit down and discuss what areas of our game didn't work so well and try to improve them. Our defence has looked solid lately, but we made one mistake in our last game. If you look at the statistics, you will see that we require too many chances to score. Our efficiency has not been on point in the last year and we need to work on that. We have to take every chance, as if it was the only chance we had in the game. Our control of the game is excellent, but we aren't as clinical as we once were."

He also spoke of the team's shock that Mario Götze has been ruled out for up to twelve weeks - "We were shocked to hear how severe the injury really was. He had just rediscovered a good form, not just with us, but also at his club FC Bayern. Therefore we are all very sad for him."

Bastian Schweinsteiger's injury not expected to be long-term issue Read more at:

"For Bastian it looks like he may not be able to make it in time for Sunday," Low told reporters. "Two to three days, that's how long he needs to rest so it will be very, very tight."
A decision on whether he can play or not Sunday evening will be made at short notice. If he is 100% fit, then he will start.

Leipzig as the venue for the match - Leipzig is a great venue for our team, as we've celebrated a lot of success here already. We look forward to the game and to the fans, who will give us great support once again.

Strikers such as Klose and Gomez - We've had this discussion for a few years now. Do their styles of play fit into our team? Mario Gomez definitely has a lot of quality and he remains a prospect for this team. Our team is able to create goals from open play and it's important for me that a player fits into our philosophy.

The tactical focus of his full backs - Our tactical focus should not be to keep playing balls back into the centre. Our full backs have different qualities to going into one-on-one situations. Jonas Hector has often proven that he can work his way out of a tricky situation. I can't expect Hector to go off on one dribble after the other in order to spread out the opposition. He finds a different solution.

The lacking quality from the bench - I don't see it like that. During a tournament, it's difficult to compensate for a poor game or a mistake, but during the qualification period it's possible. We have players coming on from the bench who also bring fresh impulses to the team, even if some of them aren't playing to their absolute best currently.

Leading figures in the team - You always look out for players who take matters into their own hands. We lost three important players after the World Cup, but apart from Bastian Schweinsteiger, we have players who are leading figures within the team. Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller and Jerome Boateng are certainly among them. Sami Khedira has a lot of influence on the team as well, even if he isn't playing as much recently.

With thanks to

Ankunft in Leipzig - 9 October 2015

Mario Götze out for ten to twelve weeks
Mario Götze will be unavailable for club and country for at least ten weeks, which was confirmed by the medical staff after the Republic of Ireland European Championship qualifier last night.
"Mario has picked up a tendon rupture in his thigh after making a lunge," said team doctor Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt. Götze is now being treated by the medical team in Leipzig. "It's annoying for us and a real shame for him," said Joachim Löw. "We wish him a good and speedy recovery. I am sure that he will be able to pick up his form again once he returns."

"Alle bleiben im Hotel": Löw streicht Nationalspielern den freien Abend
The German team will not have free time this evening and will remain in the hotel, after arriving in Leipzig from their defeat in Dublin last night.

And on the final qualifier, the head coach said: "In Leipzig we want to put on a strong performance to round off the qualification in front of our home fans. We won't underestimate the Georgian's, we will take them seriously and prepare fully. They have nothing to lose and will give everything against the World Champions. Leipzig is a special place for us to play; the fans love to watch the national team there. For me personally, our third-placed play-off match during the 2005 Confederations Cup against Mexico [4-3 after extra time] will always remain a special memory for me." - from

The full squad for the October internationals can be found on my Ireland page.

Last updated 1 November 2015
With thanks to everyone on the Group, especially Sarah, Silke, Delmy, Susanne and Lucille.
Anything else you think I should include on this page? Let me know!