Euro 2016 Qualifying Campaign Index


Thursday, 8 October 2015

Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Euro 2016 Group D Qualifier

"It was an unexpected and totally unnecessary defeat."

Goalscorer - Shane Long 70'

After dominating most of the game, Germany lose to a single long-ball goal from Ireland, leaving Group D to move into a final climatic showdown between Germany, Poland and Ireland on Sunday for the two automatic places.

Ireland stun wasteful Germany with shock win
Germany waiting on Euro spot after defeat to Ireland

Substitute Shane Long scores in famous win

"I can't fault the team's fighting spirit, but we failed to show the composure and quality to score goals. We were the dominant side, but couldn't make the dominance count. In the second half, we were a bit too careless. We lacked the final ball. Then we make one solitary mistake and concede the goal.

Mario Götze will definitely not be playing on Sunday. For Bastian Schweinsteiger, we'll have to wait and see. The chances are slim though."

Sloppy German finishing leaves Euro 2016 champagne on ice

"At the end of the day we were lacking the final touch, the final pass never arrived and then we go and make a mistake and concede a goal and this should never have happened with such possession," said Löw.
"I am disappointed by this defeat but at least we still have it in our own hands."
"We have to make it clear to the team that they must convert their chances better. We cannot be that wasteful. Normally we score a lot of goals but there are the occasional matches and there have been some recently -- where we make very little out of a lot chances," said Löw.

"For Bastian it looks like he may not be able to make it in time for Sunday," Löw said. "Two-three days, that's how long he needs to rest so it will be very, very tight.
"But we know what we have to do. We must now beat Georgia and automatically qualify."

Löw laments 'unexpected, unnecessary' defeat
"We had a lot of chances and did not convert them, and then we make one mistake and get punished," he said to RTL after his side had to wait until the final 10 minutes to record their first shot on target.
"It was an unexpected and unnecessary defeat. We talked about these things beforehand. We handled them well all the time. Just that one time we did not and it was a goal.
"Of course it would have been better to have two or three more training sessions, but that was not the reason for this defeat.
"In the end we lacked the final commitment in the last third when it was about scoring."
Germany manager Joachim Löw believes defeat against Ireland was 'unnecessary'
"Overall, it was the most unnecessary defeat that we have had to accept in the last few years.
"It was expected that Ireland would defend with nine sometimes even ten men, getting behind the ball and then try long hopeful balls in their attack.
"All of us have to digest this game. We avoided 99 of the long balls and kept possession. But the 100th ball was just too many."
"Eine der unnötigsten Niederlagen der letzten Jahre" - a post-match interview
Jogi said that Bastian Schweinsteiger would have played had he been fit, but his absence was not the cause of the defeat, as they have other excellent players to take his place.

Ireland can't get enough of Germany

From the Irish Press:
Joachim Löw at a loss as to why Germany squandered initiative
"We avoided 99 of those long balls but the 100th was one too many" - Löw

In the hours following the match, Jogi's '99 Long Balls' comment (seen in the DFB press conference below) came in for considerable criticism from the Irish media with great umbrage being taken by some fans and even apologies demanded at his comment on their tactics.  Having probably watched more Joachim Löw's interviews than all of the Irish section at the Aviva Stadium combined, I saw his comments as nothing more than frustration at the loss, and surely for that the Irish should take it as a compliment? It is Jogi's right to talk about any tactics, good or bad, his opponents use and their belief it gives them the right to personally deride him, when his comment were purely football based, smacks of the very churlishness of which he was being accused.
Joachim Löw has never hidden his desire to make the game attractive to watch and skillful and for that I, for one, as a paying football fan, am grateful. Never apologise, Jogi, for trying to make the world a more beautiful place, on and off the pitch.

The Real Specialists in Bitterness - my comments on the Irish comments on Jogi's comments

Post-match press conference

Post-match interview on RTL

"The Jogi highlights"

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

Joachim Löw made two changes from the last game against Scotland. Matthias Ginter came in for Emre Can at right-back, and Marco Reus returned in place of Bastian Schweinsteiger who had withdrawn after suffering an injury in training.

Training, Aviva Stadium, Dublin, 7 October 2015

Press Conference, Intercontinental Hotel, Dublin, 7 October 2015, with Mats Hummels

Joachim Löw to field a settled Germany side against Ireland
"There will be no too many changes. The team played very well in the two games against Poland and Scotland in September so while I am thinking about the odd position, you can take it for granted that there will not be many changes."
"This a bit of an unusual pre-match phase in that most of my players played last Sunday with Bayern against Dortmund, Arsenal against Manchester United and on top of that, a lot of them played games in midweek as well. That of course has its knock-on effects on the tiredness of players. So when I look at them, I can see in their eyes that they need some days of regeneration, which is exactly what I gave them."
"We split them into two training groups and resolved with the training staff only to have one regular training session today, which I hope - and am convinced - will suffice for us to come away with a good performance. We know what is at stake but all our players are fit, with the exception of Lukas Podolski. "
'They play more imaginatively than the Scots' - Germany coach talks up Ireland
"We don't always get a 6-1 result - it was very much matches of attrition [in past encounters between Ireland and Germany].They're stronger physically than Scotland. They play more imaginatively in attack than the Scots. So we have to look out for that. They know how to make life difficult for the opposition, they're very robust and they can also play on the counter."
"Ireland have it all to play for, they can qualify directly or at least [finish] third. We also know just like Scotland, they will fight until the last minute. But we want to take the game to them and impose our own match philosophy."
Pre-match preparation - Psychological rehabilitation was not required. It was not as bad as portrayed by the media. Players totally able to put bad results behind them. This happens every time national team meet up, there are some winners from the weekend game and there are some losers. Dortmund players handled defeat to Bayern Munich well. Germany has a really united squad and they are now focused on international football. On the recent controversy over Mats Hummels speaking out after Dortmund's defeat, he said Mats was perfectly entitled to voice criticism, as he did not single out any individual player, only team tactics and preparation. When speaking next, Mats thanked Jogi for his support, pointing out that he had also included himself in the criticism, a fact that the media conveniently chose to ignore.

The full back situation - Has no concerns at all. There may be opportunities to change around these positions, and give some other players some young experience. Jonas Hector is still very young and has played well in the national team so far. Matthias Ginter and Antonio Rüdiger are other examples. We can't expect them to replace world class players like Philipp Lahm, but they need time and must learn. I don't have a problem with giving them a chance and trying new things.

Mario Götze has shown in the last few games just how important he is. There may have been a time when he wasn't happy at Bayern, but it was internally spoken about and I know that Pep Guardiola likes to rotate his players so as not to burden anyone in particular. For teams like Barcelona/Bayern Munich/Real Madrid, it is only natural to have 15-18 world class players at disposal, naturally some have to sit on bench. This will mean some players don't always play. I think he did very well with both of his goals against Poland, he emulated a striker with the confidence he showed. I have always said that there is no doubt about him, he fits into our game plan very well. Has never doubted his abilities, Mario is a multi-use player and will remain so.

He was asked about the sad news of Gerd Müller's Alzheimer's diagnosis. Jogi called him quite simply the greatest German forward of all time, goal ratio in all the Bundesliga, European and international football is incredible. However now is the time for his privacy to be observed with as little comment passed as possible.

Somewhat inevitably the first question asked in English was on Jürgen Klopp, strongly linked with the vacant Liverpool job, with the additional question of whether Jogi would at any point in the future be interested in coaching in the Premier League.

Jürgen Klopp "is a good fit" for Liverpool, says Germany boss Joachim Löw

"I think there are strong parallels between Dortmund and Liverpool with the passion and size of their support," he said.
"I think it is a good fit.
"I'm not party to the negotiations between Liverpool and Mr Klopp so I don't know how they are progressing, but if an agreement can be reached it will be good for both.
"Mr Klopp, if you look back, was fantastically successful, exceptionally successful at Dortmund. He unleashed a lot of emotion in Dortmund supporters and [he can do the same for Liverpool.]"
However as far as he personally is concerned, he has a contract with the DFB until 2018, not looking at anything else beyond that at this stage.

He is not irritated about Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund game taking place on the Sunday so close to the national squad meeting up. It would have been nicer had they had one more day rest but in the end it doesn't matter.

Löw: "Die Tür ist absolut nicht zu"
As far as Euro 2016 squad, that is anything but finalised. He has a long list of players that can enter contention at any time, the door is always open, and he is happy with new players coming through, such as Leroy Sane and Daniel Caligiuri. Observing Mario Gomez who has regained his scoring habits, happy for him, and he is anything but written off. The final selection for Euro 2016 will not be made until next May. The core squad there, yes, but the door always open. Surprise call ups happened in the past and very well m happen again.

Löw: "Doesn't plan on making many changes" - a summary of the press conference on

Tag Eins in Dublin - from

Lukas Podolski to miss Internationals - 6 October 2015
After a diagnosis from the DFB medical team, Lukas Podolski will play no part the internationals due to an ankle injury sustained in Turkey.

Löw left with a single training session to prepare for Ireland

Löw und 15 Spieler fehlen beim DFB-Training
There will not be a full training session today as Joachim Löw will be monitoring the fitness of fifteen of his players back at their Frankfurt hotel.

Trifft Mario Gomez bald wieder für die Nationalmannschaft? - Jogi speaks on arrival in Frankfurt

Löw von Gomez' Leistungen angetan
Jogi has spoken of his delight at Mario Gomez' season so far at Besiktas. "I am absolutely thrilled. I know what pressure there is in Turkey, at clubs like Besiktas, Fenerbahce und Galatasaray. From what I hear from Turkey, Mario is incredibly popular. He is accepted and this is just what Mario needs, an environment where he can get back his form. I am pleased that he has made this step."

Viel Erholung für Liga-Verlierer - 5 October 2015
With many of his players arriving direct from domestic duty the day before (17 out of 23 had played Sunday), Jogi spoke of the very short time he had for preparation ahead of Thursday's game in Dublin.
Today will be rest, tomorrow regeneration and training will start on Wednesday, he said, adding that detailed training sessions would not be possible in the unusually short time they have.

"We know how dangerous the Irish are" - Germany boss issues warning ahead of Aviva encounter

Löw said he noticed a few tired faces when the squad started to arrive at the team base in Frankfurt on Monday - less than 24 hours after playing for their respective clubs - and he has just two sessions before the flight to Dublin."That's never been the case before and we still have a difficult programme ahead of us," Löw told SID, an AFP subsidiary.
Löw praised his side for "excellently implementing" his game plan and proving "they can retrieve a class performance when it matters most".
"We know how dangerous the Irish are, not just from our home match," said Löw, who can expect a hot reception from the 50,000-strong crowd at the Aviva Stadium.
"Playing against the Irish in Dublin is never a foregone conclusion."But I have great confidence in my players, they know what it takes and I need players who are in a good rhythm."
The only change in the squad from last month's internationals is Bernd Leno, who takes one of the goal-keeping spots from Ron-Robert Zieler. - 2 October 2015

Joachim Löw adds Bernd Leno to squad for Euro 2016 double-header

"We want to bring our qualifying campaign to a serious and focused conclusion.
"Our aim is to beat both Ireland and Georgia to qualify for France as group winners.
"I have the utmost faith in the players, who fulfilled their duties excellently in September.
"These players are getting regular games and challenges for their clubs on a domestic and European level and they are all in a good rhythm.
"That's a good scenario for our decisive group games."
(On Ireland)  "We already knew how dangerous the Irish were even before we met them in the reverse fixture," Löw said."Playing against Ireland in Dublin is not something you can take lightly. We can expect an amazing atmosphere with the fans getting right behind their Irish team and urging them on to the very last minute.We're going to have to keep our cool and also be patient if we want to survive there, but if we call up our potential and focus on our qualities, then we will create chances.
"I'm looking forward to the game and the atmosphere in Dublin."
"The only thing we're concerned about is finishing top of the group and secure direct passage to the Euros," said the head coach. "Once qualification is over, we have a new situation where we will definitely be experimenting." - from

Full squad:
Goalkeepers:  Manuel Neuer (Bayern München), Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona), Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen)
Defenders:  Jérome Boateng (Bayern München), Emre Can (Liverpool), Matthias Ginter, Mats Hummels (both Borussia Dortmund), Jonas Hector (FC Köln), Shkodran Mustafi (Valencia), Sebastian Rudy (1899 Hoffenheim)
Midfielders:  Karim Bellarabi, Christoph Kramer (both Bayer Leverkusen), Ilkay Gündogan, Marco Reus (both Borussia Dortmund), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Thomas Müller (Bayern München), Mesut Özil (Arsenal), Lukas Podolski (Galatasaray), André Schürrle (VfL Wolfsburg), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United)
Forwards:  Mario Götze (Bayern München), Max Kruse (VfL Wolfsburg), Kevin Volland (1899 Hoffenheim)

German manager Joachim Löw: We'll be going for a win in Dublin - from - 9 September 2015

We're in a very, very good position, so even a draw in Ireland would be enough for us, but we never go into a game with that attitude. We want to win in Ireland and qualify in style. - from

Confident Löw predicts Germany win in Ireland

The home qualifier, played last October, ended in a 1-1 draw.

Last updated 13 October 2015
With thanks to everyone on the Group, especially Sarah, Susanne, Lucille, Silke, Delmy, Elfriede and Si.
Anything else you think I should include on this page? Let me know!