Euro 2016 Qualifying Campaign Index


Friday, 4 September 2015

Commerzbank-Arena, Frankfurt
Euro 2016 Group D Qualifier

" We only had one goal: To win the game and claim the top spot in the standings."
Germany - Thomas Müller 12', Mario Götze 19', 82'
Poland - Robert Lewandowski 36'

Germany leapfrog Poland into 'pole position' in Group D with an entertaining win.

Joachim Löw, yet again, brings the best out of Mario Götze whose two goals justify his coach's pre-match confidence in him.

Germany go top with 3-1 win over Poland
Götze takes Germany top as Poles suffer first loss - from UEFA

Götze leads Germany to 3-1 win over Poland and top spot
Götze brace sinks Poland 3:1, Germany returning to form

Löw: Three points most important

"After last year, where we had some not so good games [in qualifying], it was clear that we needed to win this game at home," he said. "We therefore had only one aim: to win the game, that was the most important thing."Overall, I am very happy, the team played with great focus."
Low added: "Poland's only chances resulted from our mistakes."
Of his team's performance, he said " We played very well in the first 35 minutes and should've added a third goal to our lead. We then made mistakes which allowed Poland to create chances and they used one of them to make it 2-1. It was a close game again after that. But in the end we took advantage of our superiority. We showed a dominant performance for long spells in this game." but added that they could improve on putting the match to bed earlier.

Götze goals help Germany beat Poland

"Overall the first 35 minutes we played very well. We made some mistakes and I would have liked to see less."
"Mario was superb tonight. He was moving a lot, going deep or pulling back and how he scored those two goals was just classy."
In a post match interview on, he went on to say of Mario "He constantly on the move and created gaps and space for his team mates and he also scored two goals. He showed a very good performance."

Joachim Löw pleased with Emre Can performance

"I like the way he plays, I was pleased with Emre's first game [for Germany]. It was not easy for him to withstand the pressure of playing the group leaders Poland, in his first game; he has done well."e is not a player who is used to playing in the right side of a back four. It was good to see him do well. He tackled well, showed strength and has a good passing game.
"It was a decent debut performance. Technically he is clever, he plays clean, simple passes and has a good positional sense."
On his full backs in general - "We knew that we were taking a risk, if both of our full-backs were positioned high up on the pitch. Jonas Hector has so far always fulfilled our expectations and shown good, consistent performances in training sessions as well. His clarity and his simple, steady and reliable style of play and his solid technique have helped him do a great job."

Joachim Löw: "Die Mannschaft hat es gut gelöst" - a post-match interview with Jogi

Götze double sends hosts top - with links to match stats and player ratings

Zwei Tore von Mario Götze - wie Jogi Löw dem Bayern-Star zum Erfolg verhalf - how Jogi has helped his young star to success, by Focus.
Das Götze-Rätsel - Bild discusses why Mario Götze performs better for Germany, and lists the confidence he feels under Jogi as one reason.

Meanwhile Jogi's pre-match comments on the state of English football continued to make the headlines in the UK media:
Roy Hodgson admits Germany boss Joachim Löw is RIGHT about English football

Videos of Jogi's DFB Post-Match Press Conference and his Jogi's wonderful celebration at Mario Götze's first goal!

Post-match interview with Jogi on RTL

Starting Line-Up:
Manuel Neuer, Jonas Hector, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Emre Can, Toni Kroos, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Karim Bellarabi (Ilkay Gündogan), Mesut Ozil, Thomas Müller, Mario Götze (Lukas Podolski)

Mario Götze started up front, as expected following Jogi's press conference. Emre Can made his debut for Germany at right-back.

An interview with Jogi shown in the pre-match coverage

Löw geht gegen Polen in sein Jubiläumsjahr - 4 September 2015
T-Online points out that this match marks Jogi moving into his tenth year as Bundestrainer.

Training, Commerzbank Arena, Frankfurt, 3 September 2015

Press Conference, Commerzbank Arena, Frankfurt, 3 September 2015, with Mario Götze

On the morning of Joachim Löw's first DFB press conference of the season, the news broke that Marco Reus had fractured a toe in his last Bundesliga game and had had to withdraw.

Löw: Germany can cope with Reus absence

"It is unfortunate for us and Reus that he is out injured," he told reporters. "He got a knock on Sunday against Hertha [Berlin] and on Wednesday he was ruled out of the international games as he has fractured his toe. I am disappointed that he won't play because he is somebody who can produce special moments. But we won't call up anyone else to the squad, we have enough players who are good going forward. We won't complain.
"We have several players who can play in his position, like Andre Schurrle, Lukas Podolski or Mario Gotze. I will make my final decision after our final training session. Our tactics won't change and Marco Reus' job will be taken over by others. One of our strengths is that our players are very versatile and are not bound to one position. We are very flexible and the injury won't have too much of an impact."
Germany projecting cool ahead of Poland showdown

"Of course we're approaching a "Heiß Herbst" (heavy/hot autumn), but I don't think our backs are against the wall," Löw told the packed tent of reporters. "Neither I nor the team is particularly nervous. We're glad that the decisive weeks are coming."

Löw pressure a motivation for Germany

"I don't feel the pressure," said Löw. "I see it as motivation. There are always pressure situations in campaigns. There is going to be a lot of spice in the last four games but we have to use it as motivation rather than think about pressure."
"The last year has been anything but easy. We have had problems. We have been in a bit of a hole. We are under pressure to book our place in France. Our players have always showed what they can do when the going gets tough. We want to get the maximum amount of points from the next two games."
"My own expectations are comparatively high. Not having seen my team for the last few months, when you meet them on the training pitch, you wake up to the fact that not all of your hopes and expectations will be fulfilled.
"It is always difficult to meet the coach's expectations after one or two sessions but my sense of security gets stronger with every session. The players are gelling once again. They will be there when it really counts - against Poland and Scotland - and will raise their game.
"We must distribute the space we get fairly and strategically well. We want our players to switch positions and create chaos in the opponent's box.
"Teams like us, who pride themselves on playing good, attacking football, often feel even more pressure facing a tough defence. Teams like Poland have a clear way of playing - they want to be organised in defence, not let a lot through and to play on the counter. Therefore, it's up to us to find our way through and to find ways in which we can pose a threat to them - but also how we can avoid being countered.
"At the moment, Poland are full of confidence, they're top of the group - we know that we're up against a tough opponent. It certainly won't be a walk in the park."

Germany out to burst Poland's euphoria bubble, says Löw

"Poland are on a high, they are a bit euphoric," Löw told reporters on Thursday. "They are group leaders and they know they can qualify for a big event again. They have a good harmony and they are enjoying their game. We know we will meet an opponent who is dangerous and it won't take care of itself automatically."
"Poland have a clear philosophy," Löw said."For example in all games apart from Gibraltar they have less possession than the opponents, even less when they played Georgia. They give the game to the opponent and wait. For us the issue is what solutions can we find, how do we move in that space, what runs we make. Also how can we stop their counterattacks. These are the two issues which we need to solve tomorrow."
A confirmed starter tomorrow is Mario Götze. Jogi spoke of his quality. "Mario is a very important player for us. I know how much quality he has."He is a player who thrives on being in confined spaces. He will start [against Poland] and show everyone what he has to offer."

More Personnel points:
Mesut Ozil will play. Had no problems in training yesterday and his knee is not holding him back. He was also asked about Mesut's comment, when asked, that he would not say no to playing in the Olympics, Jogi said it could not see how a player would be able to play in both tournaments, and the European Championships takes priority.
Lukas Podolski - Move to Galatasaray positive and absolutely necessary for him. Needed to play regularly.
Emre Can - "is certainly a good option for full back, which we will try again in training. He is a flexible player. He has made a good impression because of his great passing technique and he has adjusted to the team well. It is important tomorrow that we attack down the wings, therefore, we need attacking players. So it will be either Sebastian Rudy or Can."

He did not consider it a problem that there were now only four Bayern Munich players in his team. He did not believe the Bundesliga was losing players to abroad. Most of the World Cup winning team still play in Germany.

On the expectations of the team: "In the last year it's been quite difficult to make major changes, since so many players have been injured and the team lacked a bit of stability. The question is where we want the team to be in 2018 - what kind of football do we want to play, as the game itself will have evolved by then. Next year's European Championship in France will be a good marker - we're going into the tournament as world champions, but not necessarily as automatic favourites. Our second mission is also very important - defending our World Cup title in 2018. Playing three at the back isn't the key to everything - those tactics have been exhausted, and it's now about how we can be flexible in that system. The players of the future are defined by different standards - who has the sharpest mind, who can anticipate what's going to happen, who can pick the right option with little space to work in. We have to improve our players in these areas, and that way we'll find a way to break down tight defences."

Germany coach Joachim Löw considers it all but impossible for any of his players to compete both at next year's Rio de Janeiro Olympics and Euro 2016, saying the fatigue of playing two tournaments in a summer was too much. Löw said on Thursday any such Olympic hopes would have to give way to the Euro.
"Obviously the Olympics are an emotional issue. For me, however, it is unthinkable to play both tournaments," he told reporters, adding that it would require two preparation phases for the player for each tournament as well as the long competitions. The German club season will also start in the same month of August as the Olympics.
"I think it makes no sense. It would help no one. So it is vastly unlikely (to happen) and priority for us is the Euro," Löw said. - from

And Jogi's comments about English football were sure to attract the headlines in the British press:

The Premier League's spending is ruining England's national team, says Germany boss Joachim Löw

"Premier League clubs are now paying three times what they used to. But the good thing is that money is being ploughed back into the Bundesliga.That helps make the German national team stronger because in the last few years 100 million has been put back into youth development."
"That money has been used to make the standard of young players better. The English will have to face up to the fact their young players don't get the minutes for their clubs."
and went on to point out how England thus suffer in tournaments, having recently failed to get beyond the Quarter Final stages.
A summary of the press conference from

Der Tag in Frankfurt from and a report on the day's events from ZDF

Germany's Reus ruled out of qualifiers with fractured toe - 3 September 2015

Training, Kleine Kampfbahn Training Ground, Frankfurt, 2 September 2015

Training, Kleine Kampfbahn Training Ground, Frankfurt, 1 September 2015

Trainingsimpressionen - video from

Joachim Löw vor einem "heißen Herbst" - 1 September 2015
What Jogi has called the 'hot autumn' begins for the German national team!

The German squad arrive in Frankfurt and Jogi is interviewed - 31 August 2015

Schweinsteiger and Löw warn against complacency ahead of Poland clash

"It's pretty clear that there will be no walkovers," Löw told the DFB's official website. "Poland and Scotland are both hoping to qualify for next summer's EURO in France, justifiably so.
"After a below-par year we are in a little bit of a tricky spot. We are determined to win both games, but we need to invest a lot against both teams. We are confident though and we have the quality to beat both sides."
Germany could be without Arsenal's Mesut Özil for Friday's match in Frankfurt with the attacking midfielder struggling due to a knee injury.
Assistant coach Thomas Schneider said he's confident that Özil will play, but a more informed decision can be expected after he trains for the first time on Wednesday.
"Mesut needs to get here first," Löw said. "Then he will be examined by our doctors, we need to get a clearer picture first. Then we we will see what we can do. There's still plenty of time before Friday."
Löw: "Poland and Scotland will not be walkovers" - a new interview on
"Poland are top of the group, they are high on confidence and there is a good feeling in the team. They counter a lot, similar to Portugal for example. They are always at their most dangerous when their opponent loses the ball, as they have three or four incredible attackers. We are prepared for both teams."
Asked about the transfer window, which ended in Europe during the 24-hour period the team arrived in Frankfurt, he said "Sometimes it's quite alarming to see some of the figures that are paid. Ultimately you just have to accept it, that's the way the market is now. But it's still staggering to see." Speaking specifically about Julian Draxler, whose move from Schalke to Wolfsburg had just been confirmed, Jogi said that Julian had kept him informed and that it could be very positive for him to take on a new challenge. He described Wolfsburg as a very ambitious club.
Away from football, Jogi was questioned on whether there were to be any action taken by the DFB to speak out against recent violence towards refugees, "We are obviously prepared to take on any responsibility we can on the pitch. That's something we will discuss within the DFB. The team and the DFB will definitely be making a statement of sorts in the coming days. We have come up with an idea, it's something we will discuss over the next few days. Overall, I believe each and everyone of us can do there to offer our help and support."

"Wir haben die Mission Titelverteidigung im Blick" - an interview in Süddeutsche-Zeitung.
"For me the decisive factor is that we can become group leaders. And will." he said, but also spoke of the long term goal in defending their World Cup title in 2018. When their record since the World Cup was discussed, he explained that 90& of the teams they now play against come out physically strong, tactically well-coached and defensively well-organized, and that the challenge is not to proceed against such teams with force, but by playing football.
Daniel Ginczek of VfB Stuttgart is one player under observation for the national team, however Jogi added "But if he is a solution, he has to show in the coming months." He corrected the notion that there is a limitless supply of talented young players in Germany. "That's not true. We are talking about world-class quality, not just that of good league players."
Löw: "Rafinha ist kein Thema"
He also denied that attempts to bring Bayern Munich Brazilian Rafinha into the national team. "This is not an issue for us" he said "We have not in the past pushed for naturalisation of players on the national team."

Löw: Germany less reliant on Schweinsteiger now
Germany boss Joachim Löw has suggested he will use captain Bastian Schweinsteiger sparingly over the coming years amid concerns over the midfielder's displays for new club Manchester United.
Low, though, remains convinced of Schweinsteiger's importance to Die Mannschaft, but ackowledges that he must pick and choose when he fields his skipper to ensure he is always operating at 100 per cent.
"Maybe I no longer need Bastian in every match now," Low told Suddeutsche Zeitung.
"I need him when it is important for us. Then I know that he performs and assumes responsibility and his will to win is like no other."
"The European Championships in France is for us a great goal but our thoughts go already beyond in all plans," he continued. "We have the 2018 World Cup in mind - Mission: Title Defence."
On the subject of Germany's upcoming games, he added: "The decisive factor for me is that we can be on our own as leaders.
"The goal is to win both games. I know many players of my team for many years and I know that, in games like against Poland, they are motivated to the tips of their hair."

Rätsel um Özils Knie-Verletzung - 30 August 2015
After the news that Mesut Ozil had missed Arsenal's Premier League win over Newcastle on Saturday with a knee problem, it is believed that he will still meet up with the German squad on Monday.

Emre Can called up by Germany for the first time as Joachim Löw praises Liverpool star - 28 August 2015

"Emre has developed well at Liverpool and he is versatile. We like his presence and dynamism. Now we just want to get to know him better over the next few days."
On Matthias Ginter, recalled to the squad, "Matthias had a difficult year at Dortmund but he battled through, and he's profiting from this now. His form is on the up - he's shown some really good performances recently. We know that we can use him in various positions."

There was one change in the goal-keeping selections. Marc-Andre ter Stegen moving up from the U-21 squad, at the expense of Roman Weidenfeller. "Manuel Neuer is our number one, after that there's currently no need to say anything else. We know Marc and know about his enormous potential." he said.

On the current situation in Group D, Löw says, "Qualification is in our hands and so is winning the group. But our goal can only be to win these two games, and I'm assuming that we'll do that. We dropped a few points earlier in qualification so we have to embrace this situation. I'm convinced by the quality of my team and by the character of each player. We know what the deal is; we want to and will pick it up a notch. We are ready."
Löw has had his say on the Polish team: "We knew how dangerous they were even before the meeting in Warsaw. Adam Nawalka has quality players in his squad, and he has been able to build a real sense of unity. Qualification so far has shown how stable the Polish team is - just three goals conceded is an impressive defensive record."
The national coach continued: "They have shown their impressive diversity going forward. Nine different players have scored in qualification so far. We can't therefore just concentrate on Robert Lewandowski. We have to be aware of this. Generally though, we don't want to focus too much on the opposition, we're more interested in our own performance. We have the quality and the belief to play our football against any team." - from

Full squad:
Goalkeepers:  Manuel Neuer (Bayern München), Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96)
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 (Bayer Leverkusen), Ilkay Gündogan, Marco Reus (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)

The away qualifier, played last October, resulted in a 2-0 win for Poland.

Last updated 7 September 2015
With thanks to everyone on the Group, especially Lucille, Silke, Sarah, Susanne, Tatjana and Delmy.
Anything else you think I should include on this page? Let me know!