Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Rhein Energie Stadion, Köln

"We played against two strong oppositions at a high level
and have two good results to show for it."
Alexandre Lacazette 33', 71'
Timo Werner 56', Lars Stindl 90+3'

Germany go through a full calender year unbeaten for the first time since Jogi became Bundestrainer.

Germany end 2017 with 2-2 draw against France
Late Lars Stindl goal earns Germany a draw against France

Late Stindl strike extends Germany's unbeaten run

"I am very pleased with both friendlies. Going these two games unbeaten was by no means a formality, given England and France's individual brilliance."

"It was important not be nervous after going behind today and to keep playing our game. It's clear that when we put the pressure on up front, we create good chances. Our quick turnaround from defence to attack for the first equaliser particularly impressed me. Playing the ball at the right time, that takes real skill in football. We did that very well today."

Germany fightback delights Löw

On individual players, Jogi had plenty of praise for Timo Werner and Kevin Trapp:"Timo Werner showed exactly what we wanted to see from him. He drops deep and poses a constant threat in front of goal. He's had a fantastic year with us. I'm pleased for Kevin Trapp as well, who was able to make some excellent saves against a top opponent. Today's game will give him confidence."

Making his return to the German side since a lengthy absence with a metabolic illness, Jogi confirmed Mario Götze was on the right track "[He's] moving well and looking good physically. He needs a few more games to get back to his highest level but he's got a tough year behind him. His pass leading to Stindl's goal was a lovely moment."

Löw: "This team plays at the highest level" - post-match comments on

Jogi explained that the result was not the most important aspect of the game. "Of course, it gives us a good feeling to get the draw, but overall we can be very pleased with how the year has gone. I'm completely relaxed now - there won't be any sleepless nights for me!"

Asked what he thought the team needed to work on, he replied "There's always work to do. Even after a great year, we need to make improvements. We could've used space on the field better and we could've been more organised and compact defensively. These are things we'll fine-tune during our training camp. The team give me plenty to think about, but I'm not worried!"

The message he left with the players "I told them what we're expecting in the World Cup. The players have to continue the season in the same vein if we want to be successful in Russia, but they all know what they have to do and what's expected of them. We've established a very strong base from which to develop from. We know what we can do, and so I'm not worried about the build-up. The team play football at the highest level, but of course you also need to be strong mentally to do well at a World Cup. Every team will be looking to trip us up. Some serious challenges await us and we have to be ready for that."

Joachim Löw said he was approaching the draw in Moscow on 1 December with a certain amount of nervousness, but added "Afterwards, you can start preparing for your opponents and we'll also decide which of the two training camp locations we choose."

Joachim Löw: "Ich habe keine schlaflosen Nächte" - post-match interview
Jogi Löw, der Tiefenentspannte

And the talk of Italy's shock exist goes on:
Löw hails de Rossi's angry response as a 'moment of greatness'

"I read yesterday that De Rossi said he wouldn't want to be subbed in, because they needed a striker. For me that is greatness," Low said after Germany's 2-2 friendly draw against France on Tuesday.
"So I think it's a little sad for Italy. I would've been happy if the Italians were part of [the World Cup]."
Löw said the absence of the four-time world champions, who failed to qualify for the first time since 1958, was a huge blow to the showpiece tournament.

"We can't influence the draw. Everything can happen. In Italy's case, I congratulate the Swedes. I saw the game, they defended well and gave everything," Löw said.
"But I think it's sad for Italy, because for such a big tournament [it's a pity]. If Germany or France or even Brazil or Argentina [miss out], for me there is something missing without the Italian team.
"It's also sad that Chile isn't qualified, they didn't manage it. For Italy though it is kind of a chance for a new beginning. Some of their players are ending their career.
"I have the biggest respect for those players, that played not only for Juventus, but also those that played in the national team. Gianluigi Buffon - biggest respect. [Leonardo] Bonucci or also De Rossi or the others. That's pure class."

Opinion: Joachim Löw's quest for perfection - looks back on 2017

Buddha am Spielfeldrand - with Jogi described as a Buddha - definitely a new one for me!

Jogi is rather amused by the presence of a Flitzer
(pitch invader) in stoppage time
- followed by Lars Stindl's equaliser!

Post-match interview on ARD
and why Jogi had to leave quickly

Post-match press conference

Starting Line-Up:
Kevin Trapp, Emre Can (Lars Stindl), Mats Hummels (Antonio Rüdiger), Niklas Söle, Marvin Plattenhardt, Sami Khedira (Sebastian Rudy), Toni Kroos. Ilkay Gündogan (Mario Götze), Mesut Özil, Julian Draxler, Timo Werner (Sandro Wagner)

Training, Köln, 13 November 2017

Press Conference, Köln, 13 November 2017, with Toni Kroos

"These November fixtures against real quality are a good barometer for us. We want to try out a few things in these games. It's a different proposition to the England game. France are incredibly strong offensively and have a lot of midfielders and strikers who are at the top of the game. They will be more dangerous going forward than England and we need to be ready for that. We also want to give more on the attacking front, too.

"The French team have a diverse array of attacking talent. They have a lot of options - the head coach has played a big role in getting the team to where they are now. It's positive that Didier Deschamps has been manager for such a long time. France were good in 2014, even better in 2016 and now are stronger again and I attribute much of that development to Deschamps. They also have a brilliant youth system." He added that whlle the likes of Pogba and Dembele may not be playing, France have enough quality forwards to be dangerous.

Jogi added it was not about getting revenge for their loss to France in Euro 2016 "You can't change that result. It'll be a testing game for both sides, but I'm not expecting France to put all their cards out on the table. Both teams are in a position to start fine-tuning. We need players who will be concentrated and really up for it. Tempo and emotion will be important."

Starting line-up news:
Kevin Trapp will start in goal. "I can also say that Sami Khedira and Toni Kroos will be in the line-up from the first whistle. We'll make some changes at half-time, but I will wait to the final training session to decide who comes on. There will be substitutions in a few positions."

On Kevin Trapp he added " We've switched it up a lot in the past six months. Kevin's always been in and around the team since Manuel Neuer's injury, and he played very well against Denmark in the run-up to the Confederations Cup. Marc-André ter Stegen and Bernd Leno have also played. Kevin's made a good impression in training; he knows the French players well. We feel good about giving him the nod on Tuesday. We trust him - he's a very good goalkeeper."

Jogi went on to talk about his pleasure with Leroy Sané's development "I visited him a few weeks ago in England. Players like Leroy can make the difference in a match. He's developed physically since moving to the Premier League and is now playing regularly for Manchester City. That's improved his standing in the national team. His football style can be very important for us."

Joachim Löw talks of establishing 'error culture' ahead of France friendly

"I want to establish an error culture in friendlies. We can make mistakes, learn from them and correct them," said Löw
On the winter break and having time for regeneration: "The winter break is shorter in a World Cup year, but that doesn't change our preparation. The load on the players is high - they're playing every three to four days. You've definitely got to be careful and we make sure to rest players when they need it. Winning is not the most important thing for me. It's about learning from our mistakes and improving. When you make three to five changes in the team, sometimes there isn't enough time to completely gel in training. We don't mind mistakes, but we need to learn from them."

Looking back at 2017, Joachim Löw concluded it had been a long but successful year "Remember, we also had the Confederations Cup in the summer. The year has gone as planned - no losses and World Cup qualification completed successfully. It's all gone very satisfactorily so far."

Jogi again commented about the late kick-off creating problems for families who wanted to attend, and said that it would not be the first time such a match was not a sell-out. He said friendlies were not necessarily any longer of great importance to the fans.

World Cup without Italy would be a 'disaster', says Löw

"It would be disaster for Italy not to progress, but Sweden would deserve it too.
"They developed well and have good individual players. I don't mind the team which will progress in the end, but I am excited though, especially because of the first leg."
However having beaten them in Euro 2016, the question of them being their 'jinx' team was no longer applicable.

Paris attack memories haunt Loew, Deschamps - from

"You do not forget something like that. The memories return again and again," said Loew at a press conference on Monday.
"That was a dramatic experience and one you wouldn't want to go through again.
"You manage to block things out a bit, but it (the evening) was marked by a fear of being inside the stadium."
Jogi added that he had complete trust in the security teams.

Löw: "Trapp will start in goal against France" - summary of the press conference on

Training, Köln, 12 November 2017

Rückreise nach Köln - 12 November 2017

Germany football coach Joachim Löw: "My role is to be a visionary" - a great interview with

"The role of a coach is varied. We have many tasks. To be a visionary that always looks a little bit towards the future: How should the team develop? How should it play at a tournament? Of course you also have to be the contact person for the players, where social competence also plays a role. I am kind of someone who should lead the team and therefore need a certain relationship with my players. On the other hand I am the public relations worker that needs to represent the team and the sport to the outside world. Multilayered and multifaceted. Thank God I have a good team that supports me in every respect."
After the match against England four days earlier, Jogi revealed that Mario Götze will return against France "I'm going to play Mario Götze on Tuesday. I think they will be a slightly tougher test than England. France has some world class players in midfield, with incredible pace and more routes to goal. There will be a few changes. We want to spread the workload for the boys because many of them are in the middle of two-game weeks. We have to think ahead. We can try and test out more things this year. The specific match details can be dealt with in training when we are together for a longer period of time." - from,

But Jerome Boateng will not be present "We won't take any risks with Jerome. He hasn't trained this week. Instead he's had treatment and he'll have more on Saturday and Sunday. He'll return to Munich and won't be available for us against France" - 10 November 2017

"Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Thomas Lemar are all excellent players," enthused Löw.
"The first 15 players in the French team are all very well trained and very comfortable on the ball, they are fast and very athletic," said Löw. - from

In his press release at the time of announcing his squad for the November internationals, Jogi said "These two teams are of a very high standard. They'll be two great tests that will give us a good view of where we are at ahead of next year's tournament. France also have some outstanding players, who have received brilliant training, and are also fast and athletic. It's nice to finish off the year in front of our home fans and be able to show what we've got against a top team. We're looking forward to the challenge and the support of our fans in Cologne." from, 3 November 2017

The full squad selection for the November friendlies can be found on my England match page.

Last updated 18 November 2017.
With thanks to everyone, especially Lucille, Susanne and Silke.
Anything else you think I should include on this page? Let me know!