Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Estadio Balaidos, Vigo

"I dont think you can ask for a better end to the year than that."

Toni Kroos 89'

Joachim Löw caps off a wonderful year for him, Germany and all those of us who support him by achieving his first win against Spain and his 80th in total as Bundestrainer.

Germany strike late to defeat Spain
Kroos fires Germany to victory against Spain
Germany victorious in Spain thanks to Toni Kroos's 89th-minute winner

Kroos goal seals Germany victory over Spain
Spain end year with soggy defeat - from

Löw: I don't think you can ask for a better end to the year

I'm very happy with our defensive display. We were better going forward in the second half than we were in the first. We have to keep on developing and improving in areas, but that was a good start today."

The three centre-backs did their job very well and both wing-backs did well on the wings. We knew that Spain would play high balls into the box and therefore we had to be solid in the centre of defence, and we did that well.

Löw revels in perfect finish to 2014
"I think we tried to play with order and attacked calmly. Spain always combine their play well, so we had to put another man in midfield," he said.
"Furthermore we lacked Hummels and Boateng and Spain always have fast wingers who join up with the attack.
"I'm happy to say that our defence had an exceptional game."

(On beating Spain)  It's only a side note, even though it's obviously nice to beat the European Champions. I would have been happy with a 0-0 because even despite us missing some players, we did a lot of things well tactically. And we did it in a game between two sides, who have dominated world football over the last few years.

Spain win boosts Löw's spirits for 2015
"We haven't delivered particularly convincing performances recently and lag behind a little in our European Championship qualifiers, so it's nice to end this sensational year with the feeling of success against a top team," said Löw.
"I still have a few appointments (in 2014), and after such a great and exciting year, it will be good to come back, following a bit of rest, after the winter break.
"In January and February, we will then start working again as a coaching team with the squad and individual players.
"We'll also discuss which new approaches we'll take in 2015."
"It was a game under very difficult conditions and the condition of the pitch wasn't particularly good, so it was a successful evening."I'd have been happy with a 0-0 draw, because we played well tactically despite missing several players with injury."
Löw: "Successful end to a sensational year" - post-match interview on
Jogi praised goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler and explained why he had been chosen over Roman Weidenfeller:  "Robert played simply because Roman Weidenfeller played a game before the World Cup. I am very happy with Robert. He made two or three great saves and made sure that we didn't go behind. But what particularly impressed me was that he played well and in the opening stages he remained composed, so that we could safely play out from the back."
He also spoke of his choice to use only three substitutes instead of the allowed six:  I wanted to give a few players the chance to play for 90 minutes. That's why I only made three substitutions, although I planned to do things differently before the game.

Joachim Löw erklärt, weshalb er nicht mehr wechselte - another press interview

Bundestrainer tippt auf deutschen Weltfußballer 2014
Jogi would not commit himself as to a name for the Ballon d'Or winner, but said he hoped he came from Germany.

Germany coach Joachim Löw plays down Thomas Muller injury worry
The 25-year-old was withdrawn after just 22 minutes following a collision with Sergio Ramos in Vigo and was replaced by Karim Bellarabi.

Coach Joachim Löw added: "I think he will be fine in a few days."
In his post-match interviews, Jogi also sent his commiserations to his former skipper Philipp Lahm who had broken his ankle in training back in Germany earlier in the day "I was quite shocked. I feel very sorry for Philipp and wish him a speedy recovery."

Match facts: This was Spain's first home defeat under Vincente del Bosque and the first time in six years that they have had less possession than their opponent!

The match in full length can be watched on youtube.


Post-match interview on ARD

Post-match press conference

Pre-match scenes from ARD

Starting Line-Up:
Ron-Robert Zieler, Antonio Rüdiger, Benedikt Höwedes, Skhodran Mustafi, Sebastian Rudy, Sami Khedira (Lars Bender), Toni Kroos, Erik Durm, Thomas Müller (Karim Bellarabi), Mario Götze (Max Kruse), Kevin Volland
As against Gibraltar, manager Joachim Löw started with a back three, Benedikt Höwedes, Shkodran Mustafi and Antonio Rüdiger lining up in front of Ron-Robert Zieler, who was preferred to Roman Weidenfeller in goal. Kevin Volland was chosen to lead the attack.

Champions and gentlemen - a profile on the opposing coaches and their admiration for each other - 18 November 2014
Del Bosque has never hidden his admiration for German football and for Löw: "He is the perfect national coach. After we weren't able to, we were pleased to see Germany go on to win the World Cup. I greatly admire Löw. We have the utmost respect for his work and elegance".
Löw did not hesitate when we asked him for the first word that popped into his head when he thought of Del Bosque: "Gentleman. You never hear him say anything inappropriate, or show a lack of disrespect. His behaviour is exemplary. When he talks, he's one of those people you have to listen to and learn from".

Training, Estadio Balaidos, Vigo, 17 November 2014

Press Conference, Hotel Ciudad de Vigo, 17 November 2014, with Toni Kroos

The German team touched down In Vigo for the last international of the season, slightly late as their flight from Munich was delayed by fog, .

Joachim Löw went immediately into a press conference and, after Toni Kroos had spoken, was clear was he wanted from his players, "I expect a good performance and the players to be ready mentally as I will be judging every single one of them." he said.
"Obviously, it wouldn't be good to end the year with a loss. But it certainly won't play a role next year or in at the Euros in 2016. If you draw 2-2 with Cameroon in May, it doesn't affect the team for weeks. I hope that we can have a good preparation for the tournament in 2015, qualify and the players can remain injury free."

Germany coach Joachim Löw to make changes for Spain friendly

"Of course, I'm really looking forward to the game," he said at the pre-match media conference. "We're playing against a very good and technically-strong team. For us and for the individual players, this game is a very good test. But it is a pity for us that some key players are missing."
"I hadn't expected it to be so extreme," said Löw when asked about Germany's 'decline' since winning the World Cup in July. "There are problems that we have to deal with in everyday life. We will find our way back to the top in the next year, I'm pretty sure of that.
"I can say now, that whatever the outcome, that it has been a sensational year. Somehow we must handle this difficult situation."
"Dieses Jahr war sensationell gut"
Talking of their 'sensational year', Jogi said they had their special place in history, and this would not be cancelled out by a friendly!

"I don't think that we'll have more of the possession tomorrow. I expect us to be compact and solid against a well organised team. We'll have players such as Toni Kroos, Benedkit Höwedes and Thomas Müller, who all have experience and can lead the team." - from

Personnel matters:
- Sami Khedira will be captain, if fit. He and Skhodran Mustafi have had small knocks but will play.
- Has not yet decided who will replace Manuel Neuer in goal.
- Kevin Volland will start and Antonio Rudiger will also make an appearance. Will decide on the final starting line-up tonight.

Also discussed was Vigo as the venue: "Of course, it would be nice to play in Barcelona or Madrid. I think that Spain choose to play in smaller cities more often than not and that's completely fine.

Löw: "Estamos influenciados por el juego de España"
The Spanish football media focused on comments from Jogi ('el técnico teuton') of how Spanish football had influenced him.
Löw: We have definitely been influenced by Spain's game, but we've also tried to apply our own style

"To be honest, when I started, I had watched a lot of Spanish football, with Jürgen Klinsmann too. I shadowed a club manager in Spain and I found it impressive that you could almost lay a stencil over the pitch and there was a disciplined approach. We have definitely been influenced by Spain's game, but we have also tried to apply our own style."
And praise for Jogi and the German team from his Spanish counterpart, Vicente del Bosque:
"Germany have always behaved very well towards us. There is a great relationship with [Germany Coach] Joachim Low because he has conducted himself well after defeats. Their behaviour has always been correct and they have shown the right character for sportsmen. One of the demands of sport is to show this behaviour." - from

Löw: "2015 wird weniger schwierig"
In a new interview with Jogi from ZDF, Joachim Löw speaks about the 'die Mannschaft' movie, the World Cup, Spain and looks ahead to 2015 - 16 November 2014

The DFB website announced this morning that Jerome Boateng has been ruled out of the Spain friendly. The FC Bayern defender will not be available for selection due to muscular problems in his left calf. Joachim Löw has called up Robin Knoche to the senior squad for the first time as a replacement. - 16 November 2014

Löw: We must end 2014 positively

"We must show that we can still bring a positive end to the World Cup year with a different performance and a different tension (against Spain)," insisted Löw. "There have been many tributes and celebrations, but we have to free our minds and draw a line (under the World Cup) by the end of the year."
"A few players will perhaps be happy when the World Cup year is finally over. It was to be expected that there would be a drop in tempo after such a big success and that the players would be mentally tired."
"I expect that in the new year, the players will come back after a three-week break fresher both physically and mentally. (Against Spain), we want to once again show what we're made of and, possibly, to win, but it's certainly not a revenge for our previous defeats (in the EURO 2008 final and World Cup 2010 semi-final)."
Manuel Neuer will not be in goal for the Germany national side for their international friendly against Spain in Vigo this coming Tuesday. The number one has left the DFB-Team hotel due to a pain in his right knee and will not re-join the squad at the scheduled meet-up in Munich on Sunday evening.
Joachim L?w stated: "I would have liked to play with the best team possible against Spain but we didn't want to take any risks with Manuel. We have two excellent alternatives in the form of Roman Weidenfeller and Ron-Robert Zieler, who will have more than deserved an appearance against Spain. I know that I can completely rely on them both." from

"The game against Spain [a friendly on Tuesday] will be different. They have a totally different way of playing, are way more attacking and have more individual quality. We will need to choose a different lineup and play a different game." - from - 14 November 2014

"Spain have dominated football in recent years," explained Löw: "I have a lot of respect for them. Both teams will be extremely motivated. We are looking forward to facing one of the best teams in the world.", from - 7 November 2014

For squad selection and news prior to the two November matches, see my Gibraltar page.

Last updated 20 November 2014
With thanks to everyone on the Group, especially Silke, Lucille, Susanne, Debbie and Elfriede.

Anything else you think I should include on this page? Let me know!