Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Allianz Arena, Munich

"All of my players did their jobs well today."

Germany - Toni Kroos 24', Mario Götze 43', Jonas Hector 59', Mesut Özil 75' (pg)
Italy - Stephan El Shaarawy 83'

Germany are back in the winning vein with an emphatic win in Munich, as Jogi secures his first-ever success over the Italians and Germany's biggest margin of victory against them for eighty years.

Italian curse ended with big German win
Goals galore in Munich as Germany beat Italy 4-1
Ozil seals emphatic win for Löw's men

Gala Display in Munich as Die Mannschaft thrash lethargic Italy - with minute-by-minute report on the game.

"We played cleverly today, defended well and attacked well. Mesut Özil and Toni Kroos did their jobs at defensive midfield brilliantly." - from

"We lost our concentration and discipline against England, and we were not convincing. It was better against Italy, but we still have to work on these things. It's understandable that we weren't playing to the limit the whole time, but we certainly have a chance when the team is playing well. Nevertheless, there are still a few things that are important and we have to improve, such as how the defensive performance, starting attacking moves and making runs."

Joachim Löw delighted Germany bounced back with Italy victory

"We've not had something like this against Italy for a long time, but we played clever, defended well and attacked well. It was a good game from us tonight,'' Low told ARD television. "All of our players fulfilled their jobs really well.
"We were beating England 2-0 and we just lacked that concentration to go the distance and we were taught a lesson. Tonight we wanted to show we can concentrate for the full game and be disciplined and we did that.''
Joachim Löw hopeful Mario Götze's Germany goal will turn season around
"Mario earned this [performance] himself," Löw told reporters. "I can understand why he may be playing less at Bayern at the moment because they have a great squad and he was injured for a long time.
"But Mario has worked hard in the past weeks, he did individual training sessions to get back to his best and I hope the game today gave him the self-confidence he needs for the coming weeks."
Löw: "Götze has worked hard" - a summary of post match comments on
When asked why Marc-Andre ter Stegen was chosen for goalkeeping duties in the absence of Manuel Neuer, he explained "Marc has not been with us for a while so we wanted to see him in action again. He was a little hesitant on a couple of occasions when he was called on to release the ball, and he has to watch out for that and find an option a little quicker. But he still played well - he handled what was thrown at him today very well. He has a certain calmness and aura at the back."

Joachim Löw outlines key areas for Germany improvement

"The fact we didn't pull out all the stops is understandable, but when the teams plays well, then we have options."Nevertheless, there are a few areas such as our behaviour in defence, our build-up play and our running patterns which we must improve on."
"Obviously, it's important that the team has the feeling they can beat Italy, but the game won't play an important role for the European Championships," he said."When things get going, the Italians will certainly play very differently."

Löw experimented with a 5-4-1 formation, using Real Madrid's Kroos and Ozil as two central attacking midfielders, and the move paid off with Kroos scoring the first goal and Ozil converting a second-half penalty.
"I wanted to try something out and we played with a back three (plus two wing-backs) so we could take risks with three centre-backs," said Löw.
"It depends on how disciplined the midfield players are - and Toni and Mesut did that exceptionally well, both in defence and on attack. It was a risk, but these are the sort of games where you take them."

When asked about who had most impressed him, Joachim Löw said he did not want to single out any particular player, but that they have all done well. Special praise for the three-man defence whom he called tactically outstanding. Jonas Hector and Sebastian Rudy, he said were full of energy on the wings and were excellent going forward. "The team played with great discipline and concentration and particularly expressed their technical qualities."

"Wir haben ein sehr gutes Spiel gemacht" - post-match media interview

Player ratings from

Media analysis:
Germany turn on the style to win back the fans
Germany thrash Italy but Euro 2016 is foremost in their thoughts
Germany Still Have Questions to Answer Despite Big Win over Italy

Looking ahead to the next major date in the calender - the selection of his preliminary squad on 17 May - Jogi joked that the job had been made easier with everyone now being in form, but said a lot would depend on what happens in the upcoming weeks. It was, however, clear that in the Italy game many players had fought hard for their place.

Match highlights from

Post-match interview with ARD

DFB post-match press conference

Starting line-up:
Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Jonas Hector (Matthias Ginter), Antonio Rüdiger, Mats Hummels, Shkodran Mustafi, Sebastian Rudy, Toni Kroos (Christoph Kramer), Mesut Ozil, Julian Draxler (Kevin Volland), Mario Götze (Marco Reus), Thomas Müller (Emre Can)
Thomas Müller was given the Germany captain's armband for the first time.

With the defeat by England, it was to be expected, I suppose, that we woke up on the morning of the Italy game to the keyboard know-it-alls yet again telling Jogi how to do his job.
Three things Löw must address for Germany's Italy challenge, and beyond
The players Joachim Löw has to bring in to his squad - immediately.

Neuer withdraws from the squad - 28 March 2016
Manuel Neuer has left the DFB squad in Munich and travelled home this afternoon. The World Goalkeeper of the Year is suffering from a stomach illness, and the coaches, after discussion with the team doctors, decided it would be best for him to continue his recovery at home.
Germany are also without Sami Khedira for their final training session this afternoon. The midfielder is completing an individual recovery session at the team hotel, meaning there are 20 outfield players and three goalkeepers (Marc-André ter Stegen, Kevin Trapp and Bernd Leno) for the session in the Allianz Arena.

Training, Munich, 28 March 2016

At the press conference the day before the England match, Jogi confirmed that Mario Götze will start against Italy. He did not watch the game between Spain and Italy but heard that Italy were very strong. "Italy are always one of the favourites for a European Championship, but this is not a surprise", he said. - 25 March 2016

On his Italian opponents, when the squad were announced "They also qualified without losing. Italy are clever and efficient. They are incredibly well organised and move around tactically at the absolute highest level. The Italian team is experienced, well coordinated and it is a real challenge to beat them." - 18 March 2016

The full squad and team news ahead of the March friendlies can be found on my England match page.

Last updated 31 March 2016
With thanks to everyone on the Group, espcially Silke, Susanne, Lucille, Sarah, Elfriede, Paola and Delmy.
Anything else you think I should include on this page? Let me know!