Euro 2016 Qualifying Campaign Index


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen
Euro 2016 Group D Qualifier

"We're all disappointed. We were too naive in the final minutes."
Germany - Toni Kroos 71'
Ireland - John O'Shea 90'+4

A last minute goal from John O'Shea, in his 100th game for Ireland, stuns Germany as, with retirements, injuries and illnesses aplenty, they have now suffered their worst-ever start to a qualifying campaign. Though annoyed with conceding so late, Jogi refuses to panic, with the last qualifier of 2014 against Gibraltar, and remains confident for next year.

Match reports:
Last-Minute-Schock für den Weltmeister: 1:1 gegen Irland - needs no translation

Republic of Ireland's John O'Shea grabs late draw to shock Germany
'Naive' Germany can't overcome the Irish

Ireland's O'Shea stuns wasteful Germany with late equaliser

"We are all very disappointed," said Germany coach Joachim Löw. "To lead until the final minute and then they score with their first chance, it's disappointing."
"In the final minutes we were naive. We did not hold the ball but kept playing it away. I have no clear explanation for this."
We were only playing long passes forward instead of holding on to the ball. It was a tough game in general; we had to be patient. We then took one of our chances and should have calmly seen the result over the line. We were lacking width and depth to our game in the first half. That made it easy for Ireland to defend against us. We did better in the second 45 and applied more pressure, but we weren't rewarded with a second goal. We will win against Gibraltar and pool our strengths. Then we're back in it next year." from

No crisis here, says Germany boss Löw
Löw expects Germany to improve

"We had hoped for more points getting out of October. You can see it in the players' eyes, they are a little exhausted after a long season, the World Cup, then a short pre-season.
"There is a little bit missing from some of them, but next year we will be better and we will bounce back."
O'Shea enjoys 'special moment', Löw annoyed - match report
"In the last five or six minutes we had lost the control we had before. We lost some easy balls, we played it back to Manuel Neuer too often and failed to show ourselves and then we punted it long and the ball came back right away. Despite leading 1-0, we were suddenly a bit nervous and lost control.
In the past two games, we had the problem of scoring only one goal. In the first half against Ireland, we lacked depth and width so it wasn't a very difficult job for Ireland to defend against us. In the second half we fared better against an extremely defensive Ireland side. In Poland, we created more chances and did not score. Today we might have scored a second or even third. I don't think I have to change the squad.
We have always had pressure, it doesn't matter if we are world champions or not. As Germany, you always have the pressure of having to win. That has not really changed, maybe people have a different perception now. But during the [FIFA World Cup] for instance the pressure was a lot bigger than now during qualifying.
Generally, it is not completely surprising that certain players are lacking physical and mental freshness. We are not yet having the same dynamic, pace and precision we had before. But I had not expected us to, it was clear some players would need time after the World Cup.
Of course, we had expected to have more points coming out of October. But we will win against Gibraltar, then some players are coming back, others will be stronger again and then we will strike back.
Joachim Löw: "We'll fight back in the New Year" - from
When asked if Mats Hummels was a little late for the Ireland goal: "Overall, the centre back did things well. You have to bear in mind that Mats began preparing for the game a lot later and therefore it's normal that he was lacking a bit of freshness. For the equaliser, we took our eyes off the goal scorer for a fraction of a second. But these things happen in football. We lacked organisation in the box for the goal. But we could have also prevented the cross."
On leaders within the team:
"Obviously we miss players like Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira and Mesut Özil. But Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller, Jerome Boateng and Toni Kroos have taken on more responsibilty during these games and they did it well. But obviously we're excited to have one or two of our more experienced players back in the side."

"Im nächsten Jahr schlagen wir zurück" - a post-match interview with Jogi

Player ratings and statistics from

Analysis and post-match interview interview on RTL
Post-match press conference from

German newspapers round on Joachim Low's World Champions after poor start to Euro 2016 campaign - reaction in the German media
Rudderless Germany desperately need a World Cup hangover cure - analysis from Enis Koylu
Are Germany struggling to recreate World Cup form or is this a natural transition? - more thoughts on the challenges facing Jogi.

After match Day 3, Germany stand third in Group D, as per UEFA qualifying criteria. The remaining three qualifiers to take place in the 2014/2015 season are against the two sides below them in the table, Gibraltar and Georgia.

Bahnstreik-Opfer - Joachim Löw Zug nach Freiburg ersatzlos gestrichen
And even the journey home didn't run smoothly for Jogi, with a train driver's strike meaning all trains south were cancelled and he had to be driven the 495ekm home to Freiburg.

Starting Line-Up:
Manuel Neuer, Antonio Rüdiger, Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Erik Durm, Matthias Ginter (Lukas Podolski), Toni Kroos, Karim Bellarabi (Sebastian Rudy), Mario Götze, Julian Draxler (Max Kruse), Thomas Müller

It has been announced this morning that Andre Schürrle will miss tonight's match due to flu. - 14 October 2014

Training, 13 October 2014

Press Conference, Mercedes-Benz, Essen, 13 October 2014, with Julian Draxler

Germany determined to bounce back with a win - Löw

"The atmosphere within the team is not bad, it is good," Low told a media conference on Monday. "The players have been self-critical, we talked about our missed chances against Poland.
"If you ask me what the mood is like now, fury is the wrong word, anger is the wrong word. But what you can feel is some kind of determination, that we badly want these three points against Ireland.
Joachim Löw: Ireland are going to come at us just like Poland
"We've seen both of the Irish games and, having analysed that, we can expect sort of copy of Poland," said Löw in Essen today.
"We know that's nothing new to us, that Ireland are good fighters, have good commitment and a fantastic fighting spirit. They know how to defend, a very well organised team.
"And, just like Poland, they have four excellent players up front. Robbie Keane, for example, who is very experienced. Aiden McGeady and James McClean and other players coming in from the wings who are very good at dribbling around their opponents.
"I think Poland and Ireland are similar as far as that's concerned - fast on the counter coming from the wings and putting crosses in.
"They will come with high confidence, they are group leaders and with three teams possibly being able to qualify, they have a more than reasonable chance of making it to France."
"The objective is Euro 2016," said Löw, "It was obvious for me from the start that we can't really replace someone like Lahm without any hiccups along the way. He was in a league of his own and will be hard to replace."
Germany have gone from hunter to hunted, admits Löw ahead of Irish test
"The difficulties we are experiencing at the moment are of a type that we have experienced many times before. But generally speaking, I don't think the position now is any more difficult than it's always been."We used to be the hunter; now we are the prey. We know that teams like Scotland will play with incredible motivation against us, but that was true even after [the World Cup in] 2010 and [Euro] 2012."We know the situation, we know how to get by it, but it's no different now than it used to be."

"We have experienced this before, post tournament is never easy," said Low, who was speaking on the forecourt of a Mercedes Benz car showroom.
"Some players have more difficulties than others to get back into a steady rhythm and over the years players become more susceptible to injury and lose their form.
"There are different types of players, not all of them have problems, but some do after a major tournament. This has not been any different.
"As world champions, we used to be the hunter and now we are the prey. Scotland and Poland played with incredible motivation against us, but we know the drill and we know how to deal with it." -

Germany primed to be hunters again after setback in Warsaw
"I would give my fullbacks a whole lot of time," he says. "Obviously Lahm has played in this position for many years and showed world class on right and left, so it was going to be difficult to replace someone like him. This is a fantasy we can forget about.
"We have candidates like Sebastian Rudy. [Erik] Durm has pace and stamina . . . He is technically gifted and has class, but has to work on his positioning. And [Antonio] Rüdiger . . we can't expect him to leave his mark on the German game being the age he is, but he is very good in the air and very fast. The objective is 2016, and it was always obvious to me we can't replace Lahm without hiccups. He was in a league of his own."
"It is something Hansi and I have been talking about for years," Löw says. "That is where the coaches play them and, as a consequence, the back positions can be a little bit vacant. We realise this, and it is something we need to discuss."
Germany's Kramer ruled out of Ireland game - Löw
"Everyone is at our disposal apart from Christoph Kramer and not because he was injured in the game but last night had flu symptoms and he had fever and some sort of stomach bug," Löw said. "So we will send him home."
"We have several options in midfield for Kramer. There is Sebastian Rudy or Matthias Ginter," said Löw.
"But also more attacking options and it is possible to integrate the one or the other attacking player in the team."
"I won't plan big changes, one or two which have to happen. Bellarabi will play from the start because he did it very well in the first game," Löw said.
"The atmosphere within the team is not bad. It is good," said the coach when asked whether the Germans felt like a "wounded animal" as they were described by Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane.
"The players have been self-critical, we talked about our missed chances against Poland. Everyone knows that if we lead at halftime against Ireland we can take the three points home," the German said.
"Maybe anger is the wrong word but we want the three points and we are not disappointed after the Poland result. I did not have to pick up my players."
Löw: "Iren haben ahnliche spielertypen wie die Polen" - a summary of the press conference on

On the question of the full-back positions:
"I will be patient with them because we lost a world-class player in Philipp Lahm. Erik Durm has plenty of potential - his positional play is good and he is quick. He did make a few too many mistakes in the Poland game though. Toni Rüdiger was steady but will need more time."
Calling up replacements:
"I'm not going to call up someone just for the Ireland game. There will be some different players in the squad for the games against Gibraltar and Spain in November. The same goes for the matches in March."

When asked about players' workloads:
"The load on players is too high," Löw said. "The high demands on teams in national leagues and of course the Champions League - it's too much. If you look at the players, they need more of a break. Some players only get as little as three weeks after a major tournament and it's straight back to the grind. Many of the players who are with us now, if you analyse their situation they have too short a break before they are reintegrated into their clubs in pre-season. It's simply not enough."
"Maybe it doesn't make a difference over one particular season but it certainly does over several. i agree with Toni Kroos: some of my players play too much."

"The difficulties we are experiencing at the moment are of a type that we have experienced many times before. But generally speaking, I don't think the position now is any more difficult than it's always been.
"We used to be the hunter; now we are the prey. We know that teams like Scotland will play with incredible motivation against us - but that was true even after [the World Cup in] 2010 and [Euro] 2012.
"We know the situation, we know how to get by it, but it's no different now than it used to be." - from The Guardian

And just when Jogi thought he had enough to resolve, he is set some more puzzles on this DFB film

German View: 'Worse Cop' Roy vs 'Gentleman' Löw - 13 October 2014
This Irish blog describes Jogi as "a gentleman drinking espresso in a nice cafe".

Despite loss to Poland, Germany coach Joachim Löw rubbishes talk of decline - 13 October 2014

"After a loss you must look for a reaction. We have to get our strength back and we must win the match on Tuesday. Republic of Ireland will play in the same way, they will be playing defensively." - from - 11 October 2014

Germany will respect Ireland in Euro 2016 qualifier, insists Joachim Löw - 8 October 2014

"The two games in October are important for us, if we do well against Poland and then Ireland we will be able to build up a good lead and it's a good opportunity for us,' said Loew as the German squad assembled yesterday for training.
"But we are only at the start of a long journey and no one will have qualified after just three games. We are world champions but that will not win us games.
Scotland have already shown that we have tough opponents in this group so we will respect Poland and also Ireland.
I knew it would be difficult. Scotland had not lost in a year.
The Irish play with real effort, enthusiasm and passion and we cannot underestimate any of our opponents,
Joachim Löw expecting an "unpleasant" night against Ireland, from - 3 October 2014
"Ireland have a new coach in Martin O'Neill and they, like us, started off the qualifiers with a win," said Löw.
"It can be unpleasant to play against them. Most of their players play in the Premier League in England, they are strong and never give up. The football culture of the Irish people excites me, they have a real passion and devotion for their team.
"I expect a very intense game but I am looking forward to the atmosphere in Gelsenkirchen."
"Even for the world champions, Euro 2016 qualification is not automatic," he says."But I have confidence in the players and these games against Ireland and Poland are an opportunity for us to push forward."
Original quotes on

Full squad details for the October qualifiers can be found on my Poland match page.

Last updated 16 October 2014
With thanks to everyone, especially Lucille, Silke, Persephone, Susanne and Elfriede.
Anything else you think I should include on this page? Let me know!