Saturday, 26 March 2016

Olympiastadion, Berlin

"It is obviously annoying if you throw away a 2-0 lead but that is what happened today."

Germany - Toni Kroos 43', Mario Gomez 57'
England - Harry Kane 61', Jamie Vardy 74', Eric Dier 90+1'

England celebrates like its 1966 as they beat Germany in a friendly (so does that make them the new Argentina?)

England comes from behind to beat Germany 3-2 in Berlin
Stale Germany deservedly stunned by bullish England
Germany squander 2-0 lead against England

Dier hits last-gasp winner as England fight back from two goals down - with live ticker from the game

Comments from Joachim Löw on"You can say that England deserved to win the match. It is obviously annoying if you throw away a 2-0 lead but that is what happened today. We had a lot of problems attacking from midfield. There were times when we actually had the ball and the opposition came back into it. The team wasn't able to calm the game down. There were too many spaces because our organisation was poor."

Joachim Löw calls Germany's loss to England 'absolutely annoying'

"All in all I can say it is absolutely annoying for a coach to see you team squander a 2-0 lead," he said.
"I think, having lost this game it is not entirely undeserved, even when we were 2-0 up we weren't as in control as I would like us to be, we had problems in our structure and didn't create too many chances -- so England in a way deserved to win.
"If you ask me for conclusions to be drawn from this game there are some. This was a friendly match and they are all about showing us areas that need improvement and to be worked on."
Low: England were deserved winners
"I think that England earned the win," Low told DW Sports. "We did not play very dynamically and never really had control.
"Jamie Vardy's goal ways very hard to defend.
"There were a lot more holes [in the second half] than there were in the first half, and England played faster."
Joachim Löw admits superior performance from England
We know the areas we have to work on, some of the combinations didn't work and left a lot to be desired," said Löw.
"In the second-half, we gave away a crazy amount of space. We didn't stand compact in defence, we lost balls on the counter and the English had more and more space for their quick attackers to exploit."
Joachim Low admits Germany didn't defend well enough and lacked control against a 'faster' England

DFB Post match press conference
Löw: "It was a good lesson"
On Jogi said " We allowed them a lot of chances and we didn't build our attacks the way we usually do. We had problems with our build-up game throughout the entire match and consequently didn't create many opportunities of our own. Our combinations and our movement didn't go as planned. Our organisation and compact positioning was lacking, especially in the second half. We allowed England an crazy amount of space, despite holding a lead. We can't allow that to happen. We also didn't manage to execute our counter attacks effectively."
On individuals within the team, he said he was satisfied with Mario Gomez's performance, it being a difficult game for a striker as the side did not create their chances. "It was already noticeable in training that he was more dynamic and confident. He's regained his scoring touch."
On Jonathan Tah: "It was difficult for him, but he played well in the 45 minutes he was on the pitch. We shouldn't make the mistake to only criticise the centre backs for the goals we conceded. There were other reasons for those goals."

In the post-match interview, Joachim Löw also explained he had withdrawn Mats Hummels at half-time as a precaution, as the defender was suffering from muscle cramps.

Joachim Löw: Germany have to improve before the Euros

"We weren't always convincing during our qualifying campaign and we need to learn from that. We have to improve before the Euros in the summer."
"The world champions are automatically among the favourites to win the European title, but so are France, Belgium, Italy and Spain - they all have the ambition to win the title."

Joachim Löw: "Man ärgert sich schon" - another post-match interview

How Germany reacted to England's stunning win - from

Elder statesman Löw: Easy, easy - we'll get things sorted in time -

Videos of thematch in full length, the match highlights and the Jogi highlights

Post-match interview on das aktuelle Sportstudio

Starting Line Up:
Manuel Neuer; Emre Can, Antonio Rüdiger, Mats Hummels (Jonathan Tah), Jonas Hector; Toni Kroos, Sami Khedira; Thomas Müller (Lukas Podolski 75), Mesut Özil, Marco Reus (Andre Schürrle); Mario Gomez (Mario Götze).

An Interview with ZDF

Abschlusstraining in Berlin

Press Conference, Mercedes-Benz Club, Berlin, 25 March 2016

Joachim Löw opened his second press conference of the week by confirming that all the players with squad were fit and healthy. Julian Draxler and Karim Bellarabi had both returned to training the day before and therefore they had a full complement to choose from.

He was asked about Mario Gomez and revealed he will start tomorrow. "We watched Mario in Turkey. He has noticeably more self-belief, we see that in every training session. It's also visible in his body language. He is scoring regularly in the league, and I was impressed with his performance in France too. I plan to start him from the beginning tomorrow, he deserves it after his performances in training in the last few days."

Germany's Joachim Löw hails England duo Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane

"These are two really important games coming up for us because these two teams will play big roles during the European Championship," said Löw.
"It is important as a nation how the team plays, and we can take a lot out of it for our preparation. It is also important for the players and how they can present themselves before we select the squad for the Euros. But, even though it is a prestigious game, we are going to try things out, maybe even from the beginning, I want to use this game and get some new insight maybe over 90 minutes."
"The result isn't that important but these are the only two matches before we pick our squad. Of course we want to win - both teams want to win -and it will be an open game. England have improved a lot recently due to the coach, Roy Hodgson, who has had a big impact on the team. I have known him for some time, also from when he was Switzerland coach. His teams have always been well coordinated and difficult to play against, and they are really good on the counterattack. We are looking forward to this test."

"We've watched Vardy and he is a spectacular player," added the Germany coach.
"We spoke about [Vardy] the last couple of days. He is a player who is always looking to find the gap in the defence and get in behind. That is where he hurts you the most and I think that is one of his biggest qualities. Kane could play as well, I'm not sure if they have played together already, but that could really impact our defence. He is a fantastic player."

Liverpool transfer target Mario Gotze should carefully consider next move, says Germany boss Joachim Low
"I had a talk with him last night about his situation at Bayern Munich and we decided he would play against Italy in Munich next week,' said Löw.
"We had great talks about his situation and there will of course be a new coach in Bayern next season so the first thing he should do is talk to the new coach.'

He added, "He will feature tomorrow at some point, the timing of his introduction is dependent upon the nature of the game. In Munich, he will get his chance from the beginning. He needs the game practice, although he still has some catching up to do in terms of fitness, but he, too, is aware of that. I hope that he gets some match practice at Bayern München, but we need to help him as much as we can too. He will only return to his previous level through minutes on the pitch."

Jonas Hector and the full-back positions - "At the moment, Hector is playing on the left for us. His performances in training have confirmed our high expectations; he is developing and doing well. We have played a few different players on the right in the past, but the final decision has not yet been made. I will try out two players there, but not make any final decisions yet. Matthias Ginter has played there, Emre Can and Sebastian Rudy too - and of course Benedikt Höwedes. We have lots of different options."

Other points: This issue has rightfully been discussed a lot in recent times, as we are currently in a difficult situation. Everything you can think of is being done to ensure the Euros are conducted peacefully. Safety is at the forefront of everything, there's no doubt about that, but then we don't want games in front of empty stadiums.
...his expectations of the game: They're ideal opposition for us, games against England are always special. For me it will be important to try everything out again. I will use both games to watch certain players, looking ahead to the squad nominations. The result is not the most important thing, especially as these are the last two games before I name the squad. We are all looking forward to the match, as both teams are capable of emerging victorious. If I am able to learn a bit more about my players, then I will be satisfied.
...the U21s: You can't draw too many conclusions from yesterday's match, a win against the Faroe Islands is expected. We are certainly watching a few of the younger players, particularly because of their impressive recent performances. Leroy Sané has been with us before and has impressed - there are a few players who can hope to be invited to the EUROs. We have had talks with five or six players and told them that if their performances continue they will be considered for the final squad. Even if you forget the tournament this summer, it is very promising looking ahead to the World Cup in 2018."

Germany boss Joachim Löw happy to call on Foxes defender Robert Huth - from the Leicester Mercury

"Huth is a very good central defender and I'd be happy if he wins the Premier League," said Low."He has been very good. I know that if something happens we can call on him, but we have other people in our pocket."
He also confirmed that he had not spoken to Jürgen Klopp about England players in his club side, as they had been watching Liverpool themselves.

England have improved a lot BECAUSE of Roy Hodgson insists Germany rival Joachim Löw

"England has improved a lot recently, due to the coach Roy Hodgson - he had a big impact on the team."I have known him for some time, also in Switzerland [Hodgson managed the Swiss national team at the 1994 World Cup]. The team has always been well co-ordinated, it is difficult for us to play against them and they are really good on the counter-attack.
Asked about Belgium, Joachim Löw did express surprise that they were No 1 in the FIFA rankings but that they are a top team. Their youth teams are very strong with good invididual players. They are one of favourites for the tournament as the coach Marc Wilmoots knows the pl ayers well and those players do play in top (club) sides, so do have a lot of experience.

Joachim Löw makes light of German crisis over Franz Beckenbauer
...Löw would only say that the tournament, when he served as Jurgen Klinsmann's assistant, remains a great memory for him.
(An answer which, although possibly not realised by the British media, he has been giving to the German press since the story broke.)

During the press conference, Joachim Löw joined everyone in the world of football in paying tribute to Johan Cruyff, whose sad passing had been announced the day before.
"I got to meet and talk to Johan Cruyff on one occasion and I am very sorry that he has passed away. I would like to express my sincere condolences.
I remember him not only as a very good player, from the things he did during the 1974 World Cup, but also as a coach.
He revolutionised football and, in particular, he embodied everything about Barcelona's playing philosophy."

For me personally Johan Cruyff was, in the 1970's, one of my first footballing idols. His incredible talent on it, and his persona off it inspiring this 12-year-old to keep a journal throughout the 1974 World Cup writing about each match, with special enthusiasm for the Dutch, their stars and unique brand of total football. Although my journal has long been lost to time, it was for the same reasons that shortly after the 2010 World Cup, this website "A Whole Lotta Löw" was born and therefore, in its own way, owes so much to him.

Thank you, Johan, for all you gave us. Your legacy and influence will live on forever.

Löw machts wie Maradona - 24 March 2016
During training Jogi harks back to a 2010 press conference and the famous Diego Maradona cigar.

Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger not 'written off' for Euro 2016 - Löw

"It's bitter," Low said. "Bastian was on the right track. I know that he has been looking forward to his time with the national team and the two friendlies. I have told Bastian that I have not written him off for the European Championship.
"The tournament does not start tomorrow. There is still time, we don't have to make a decision today. Bastian is a top professional, his attitude has role-model character. I know that he will give it his all to return to full fitness for the tournament."

Press Conference, Berlin, 23 March 2016, with Oliver Bierhoff

Looking ahead to the two upcoming friendlies, Joachim Löw said "We purposefully chose two strong opponents, and look forward to what will be two special matches. We always have interesting matches against England and Italy. For that reason we increased the size of the squad. Every player will have the opportunity to stand out, both in training and on the pitch - it's their last chance before squad nominations."

He has not yet decided who will line up against England tomorrow, that will be decided after the final training session. However he does not anticipate those players who've competed in the Champions League or Europa League won't play 90 minutes in both matches.

There was, however, bad news on his captain:
'It does not look positive' - Löw confirms Schweinsteiger will miss England clash

"Schweinsteiger has injured his medial collateral ligament. He cannot play in our two games," said Löw ahead of Saturday's clash with England in Berlin.
"We have to wait for the results, but it does not look positive. We expect a call from Dr. Muller-Wohlfarth today."
Germany boss Joachim Löw: Mario Götze will be in Euro 2016 squad
"Mario is in my plans," he told a news conference on Wednesday. "He can be an important player for us. He's got great ability, can play in the tiny spaces. You will be rewarded for supporting Gotze. He can do things others can't do."
Gotze, considered one of Germany's most promising talents in his youth, had looked close to his best this season before sustaining the groin injury on international duty in October.
Germany defender Mats Hummels said this week that his former Borussia Dortmund teammate would be given the support he needs during the international break, and Low added: "I will talk to Mario in the next couple of days.
"I can understand his situation at Bayern in part. He was out injured for a long time, and at Munich you always need to win games. I could see in training that he is not fully back to his old form and fitness."

"We will continue to scout our young players in the next few weeks," Low said. "Some of them have left an outstanding impression in the Bundesliga or Champions League. We have a few names on the list, and they are certainly not written off just because they are not here."
"Competition is in full swing. It will be a thrilling race for the squad places, and the young players have put in great performances."

Looking ahead to Saturday's meeting with England in Berlin, Low said Roy Hodgson's new-look squad was reminiscent of Germany's youthful side in 2010, when they reached the World Cup semifinals.
"They've undergone a change in recent years," the Bundestrainer said. "I see parallels with our team in 2010. They are well-organised, are stable at the back and don't concede a lot of goals. England have rejuvenated their squad. They have a good transition, wait for the counter and want to score goals."

Löw stellt Kruse Rückkehr in Aussicht
After the dropping of Max Kruse earlier in the week and the headlines this had created in the press, Joachim Löw stressed that he hoped he would learn a lesson and did not completely rule him out of the European Championships. While he did not care what a player did in his private life, he had spoken to Kruse about the need to remain professional, which he had not done. "I will continue to monitor him on and off the field." said Jogi "as I do all players".

Other points:

- On Antonio Rüdiger "I've visited him in Rome, and I think that he's playing under a good manager and working very professionally. The emphasis on a strong defence in Italy has done him a lot of good. It was a step in the right direction for him to move there."Did plan to have a larger squad than usual, so can sit down and talk with the players.
- Does not expect Phillip Lahm to return to international football. He spoke to him after the World Cup and he knows his decision was final.
- Have four centre-backs in the squad. Would like to see Jonathan Tah play from the start in one match.

Joachim Löw also spoke about the terrible events in Brussels the day before "The events in Brussels are shocking and have triggered a lot of thoughts on our part. When you see something like that, the memories from France come flooding back. We won't be fazed by this. The issue of security and safety will no doubt by discussed once again. We hope and expect the European Championships to be completed in peace, and for the football to be at the forefront. We will focus on our preparation and trust the security systems in place."

Löw: "Götze will go to the Euros" - summary from

Löw trainiert in Quietschgrün - 23 March 2016
Meanwhile, on his first appearance of the year on the coaching field, Jogi's new Electric Lime training kit made the headlines in Bild.

England are contenders for Euro 2016 crown, says Germany's Joachim Löw

"This will be a taste of what we can expect at the Euros," he said, speaking before the friendlies against England and Italy. "The opponents are both interesting and are two of the favourites to win the European Championship. It will be a good test."
"The battle for places in the Germany squad is seriously beginning now - there are still eight weeks until the end of the season. We have selected a large squad in order to speak with the players about what we expect. We are looking at their form and fitness as a whole."

Löw unconcerned by Schweinsteiger struggles
The former Bayern Munich star has only recently come back following a knee injury, but his boss believes he will be have no problem in making Euro 2016
Germany coach Joachim Löw sees no reason to worry about Bastian Schweinsteiger's fitness following the Manchester United midfielder's recent injury problems. The 31-year-old spent two months on the sidelines between January and March due to a knee injury picked up against Sheffield United in the FA Cup.
However, the World Cup winner recently made his comeback and Löw has little doubt the experienced midfielder will be ready when it matters most.
"Bastian has recently returned to the pitch again," Low told SID.
"Of course, he still has some room for improvement physically as he is not 100 per cent just yet, but that is only logical. There is still plenty of time until Euro 2016.
"And he hardly completed a full session with the team during the 2014 World Cup either. He was there when it mattered most, though. He knows his body really well and know what he has to do.
"He remains hugely ambitious and wants to keep performing at the highest level."
Recent reports suggested Schweinsteiger could retire from international football after the showpiece in France, but Low is adamant they have not discussed a potential farewell yet.
"There is no agreement with Schweinsteiger that Euro 2016 will be his last tournament for Germany," Löw added.
"We don't discuss things like that before a tournament. It is not an issue at this point."

Löw: "The competition for places in the squad is beginning seriously now" - 22 March 2016
More of the SID interview, which covered some comments published over previous days including those on Marcus Sorg's appointment and Sami Khedira's earlier media comments, appeared on
On individual players, Jogi was asked about young talents such as Leroy Sane and Joshua Kimmich, and explained some of the U21 players had deliberately been left out of the senior squad to their two important qualifiers but "the door is open; we will continue to watch these players intently because there could well be a few surprises when we announce the squad for the European Championship." On Jonathan Tah, they were very excited by his prospects, but did not want to put too much pressure on him right now.
Asked again about the Paris attacks, he replied "What happened in Paris and in the weeks after wasn't easy but we have come to terms with it. At any other time between internationals, we try to analyse and see how the match developed and what we have to do. We watch other leagues a lot as well and speak a lot with particular players and coaches. That is why we always have enough to do between games, as it is always good to step back and think outside of the box to be able to come up with strategies."

Asked what gave him confidence, Jogi replied "Each of us knows that when the team is totally focused we can put in outstanding performances. When we begin our preparation every member of the squad will be working as hard as they can. At other times, the players are often playing in the Champions League, Bundesliga, for their clubs and the national side, but I know that when the European Championship begins we will be able to take it up a notch."

Der Tag in Berlin: Ankunft, Schreibstunde und Training - the first day in Berlin from

Löw drops Kruse from Germany squad - 21 March 2016
The following statement was posted on the DFB website later that afternoon:
Germany coach Joachim Löw has dropped VfL Wolfsburg's Max Kruse from his squad for the upcoming international friendlies. The manager cited a number of incidents involving the 28-year-old which he deemed unprofessional and not in keeping with the example expected of him as a Germany international.
"I spoke to Max Kruse last week and told him exactly what I expect of him, both on and off the pitch," said Joachim Löw. "I want players who are also focused on their football and the European Championship in between games. The incident last weekend doesn't meet my expectations. Max has behaved unprofessionally yet again and I won't accept that. The Euros this summer are drawing closer and we have big aims with the national team. We need players who are focused and are conscious of their responsibilities as a role model."

Löw-Warnung: "Ein paar Dinge aufzeigen" - 21 March 2016
On the morning when various 'negative' headlines appeared regarding striker Max Kruse, Jogi said the squad get-together will give the opportunity to remind the players what is expected of them.

Germany coach Joachim Löw sees captain Bastian Schweinsteiger as a key figure for the world champions at Euro 2016.The 31-year-old midfielder has struggled with form and fitness in his first season at Manchester United.But Löw told dpa that the former Bayern Munich man remains an influential figure in the national team.
Schweinsteiger, who has 114 caps, has "won everything at club and international level," Löw said."The team can profit from his maturity, experience and personality," Löw said. "Especially at a tournament it is very important to have players with leadership qualities."
Löw also has no doubts about 23-year-old midfielder Mario Götze who has just returned to the Bayern squad after five months out through injury."I always count on Mario because he is a a player who is unpredictable and technically good, who fits our philosophy," he said of the player who scored the winning goal in the 1-0 extra-time victory over Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final."He needs a few games, needs training sessions. For Euro 2016 I am planning with Mario, that's clear."
"He was injured a long time and one shouldn't expect too much of him in these two matches. But he has enough time until the European Championship," Löw said.
Löw has a worry over midfielder Mesut Oezil, who appeared to pick up an injury and was taken off in Arsenal's 2-0 win at Everton on Saturday.
Injured Bayern central defender Jerome Boateng meanwhile said on German television late Saturday he hoped to be back by the middle of April, in time for Euro 2016 in France from June 10 to July 10. - from dpa, 20 March 2016

Löw nimmt Weltmeister in die Pflicht
Joachim Löw has agreed with perceived criticism of the national team from Sami Khedira made in January, admitting that the team did not fully live up to expectations in their qualifying campaign.
"Sami Khedira is certainly not entirely wrong. If we do not improve our form in the tournament, it will be hard. If you want to win a tournament you have to - as we did in Brazil - be at your best for six, seven games.""We have a mixed qualification campaig behind us. Behind us is a mixed qualification. We did not dominate the group as we usually do. After the World Cup, things were not quite so simple. We had a lot of injuries, and had to play with different formations."

The only new name in Joachim Löw's squad for the friendlies against England and Italy is Bayer Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah. - 18 March 2016

Tah in 27-man squad for challenging friendlies

"With Jerome Boateng and Benedikt Höwedes injured, we wanted to try different options in defence. We have watched Jonathan Tah quite a lot recently and we're eager to see how he gets on in the squad," said the Germany manager following Tah's call-up.
The 20-year-old is the only debutant in the squad, with Löw opting for more proven players for the two tough friendlies. The match comes too soon for the Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gündogan, who has recently recovered from a bruised foot. Mario Götze and Bastian Schweinsteiger both make the squad despite only recently returning from long-term injuries. "They have made progress with their clubs following their injuries. As the captain, Bastian was determined to come along. That attitude sets a good example. He is an absolute leader. The match against England is obviously very special for him after his move to Manchester United, as is the following match in Munich," told the Germany manager.
"What's important for us now is that we very clearly communicate to players what we expect from them, looking ahead to the Euros. What we want to see from them in the next few weeks, in training and in the matches, etc. That's why we have nominated such a big squad. That doesn't mean that those who aren't here have been written off. On the contrary, we are also looking at a few of the younger players," continued Löw. On why he didn't select more players from the Under-21 squad Löw admitted, "Horst Hrubesch's side have two important matches at home against the Faroe Islands and Russia. They have the opportunity to secure qualification for the 2017 European Championship with two wins."
On the matches against England and Italy, Germany's World Cup winning coach said: "These matches are real classic ties; people want to see these match-ups. It will be a welcome chance for us to start the European Championship positively and get in the mood for the tournament. Though we know that the players are approaching decisive weeks for their clubs, both domestically and in Europe. We always want to measure ourselves against the best in the national team. For me, England and Italy are, along with Spain, Belgium, France and us, among the favourites for the tournament. Ultimately, we expect to gain a lot of valuable knowledge, which is always more important than the result."

Löw had praise for a young England side: "After the disappointment of an early exit at the World Cup, the team has developed well. England have undergone a lot of change and are playing dynamic and successful football with lots of young players under Roy Hodgson. They are very consistent and clinical. Ten matches, ten wins, 31 goals and only three conceded - that record in their European Championship qualification group says everything about the strength of the team."

Full squad:
Goalkeepers:  Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Kevin Trapp (Paris Saint-Germain)Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona)
Defenders:  Emre Can (Liverpool),Mats Hummels, Matthias Ginter (Borussia Dortmund), Jonas Hector (FC Köln), Shkodran Mustafi (Valencia), Antonio Rüdiger (AS Roma), Sebastian Rudy (Hoffenheim), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen)
Midfielders:  Karim Bellarabi, Christoph Kramer (both Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler, André Schürrle (both VfL Wolfsburg), Sami Khedira (Juventus),Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Thomas Müller (Bayern München), Mesut Özil (Arsenal), Lukas Podolski (Galatasaray), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Manchester United)
Forwards:  Mario Gomez (Besiktas), Mario Götze (Bayern München), Max Kruse (VfL Wolfsburg), Kevin Volland (1899 Hoffenheim)

Last updated 30 March 2016.
With thanks to everyone on the Group, especially Lucille, Silke, Susanne, Elfriede, Sarah, Debbie and Delmy.
Anything else you think I should include on this page? Let me know!