World Cup 2018 Qualifying Campaign Index


Friday, 11 November 2016

Stadio Olimpico di Serravalle, San Marino
World Cup 2018 Group C Qualifier

"The team tried to score goals and they succeeded."

Sami Khedira 7', Serge Gnabry 9', 58', 76', Jonas Hector 32', 65', Mattia Stefanelli (og) 82', Kevin Volland 85'

While San Marino were never going to the toughest of opponents, Joachim Löw's decision to play some newcomers is justified, especially in the performance of Serge Gnabry who becomes the first German player for forty years to score a hat-trick on his debut.

With 95 victories, Joachim Löw has now indisputably more wins as German national team coach than anyone before him, and Germany maintain their 100% record in qualifying after their final competitive game of 2016.

Serge Gnabry hits hat trick as Germany rout San Marino
Gnabry hits hat-trick as Germany ease to win over San Marino

Germany blasts San Marino 8-0 in World Cup qualifying

This opponent obviously wasn't the benchmark we have set for ourselves and you shouldn't overrate the result. But our qualifying campaign has been going smoothly so far. We've recorded four wins and kept four clean sheets. That was our aspiration and our expectation. We wanted to dominate the group right from the start and we've accomplished that so far."

Low hails Germany domination after crushing San Marino

"After the World Cup win it was not so easy, and we have not always met our standards," Löw told the DFB website.
"That is why we have said before the World Cup qualifying that we want to dominate the group from the start and we have managed so far."
"The game was, of course, not a benchmark. The team tried to score goals and they succeeded," Löw said.
"Serge has shown in training that he is very fast and in the final third is strong. We said before the game that we want to let the opponent run a lot.
"We want to play some youngsters, and it is of course good for the players to join us.
"Today one can not overestimate all this, but it is also good for someone like Serge for the coming months."
Löw: A special occasion for every player - post-match interview with Jogi

Dolmetscherin bricht Jogi-Pressekonferenz ab
Meeting him can have that effect on you!
Bild explain how sitting next to Jogi was too much for one female translator!

Löws Kapuze wird zum Renner im Netz
And, yet again, Jogi's attire became all the rage!

Germany coach Joachim Löw defends Thomas Muller after San Marino anger - 14 November 2016
Germany head coach Joachim Low has defended Thomas Muller after he was criticised by the San Marino Football Association.
Löw told a news conference (in Milan, before the Italy match): "We started the match with all respect. We said that we were out to score as many goals as possible. We did that."
"But you can't compare San Marino to other teams or playing in the Champions League. They were just not professional players. In this respect, Thomas Muller was right."

Congratulations Jogi - the record is yours...

After a couple of matches where it had been unclear whether wins counted as draws, or the exact number of Sepp Herberger's wins, the victory against San Marino took Jogi to 95 victories. This secured for him, without doubt, the record set in 1964.

Joachim Low, the record-breaker - FIFA pay tribute

Jogi, modest as ever, refused to the drawn on the record saying "I'm happy about every win, but these type of statistics aren't important to me."

Urgroßneffe von Herberger lobt Löw

"I'm not going to leave until you agree"
Jürgen Klinsmann tells of how he had to persuade Jogi to take on the job of Bundestrainer.

Banner from Mercedes-Benz Fußball

RTL, however, during their post-match interview reported that Jogi's record was in fact not just the German one (as had been widely reported) but was an ALL-TIME Worldwide record. I must admit I had done extensive searches to attempt to find an international coach who had won more, without success. We now know why.

So - unless anyone can tell me differently - it's Joachim Löw Recordtrainer, not just for Germany, but for the World!

The 'Jogi highlights'

Post-match interview with RTL

Post-match press conference

Starting Line-Up:
Marc-André Ter Stegen, Benjamin Henrichs, Joshua Kimmich, Mats Hummels, Jonas Hector, Sami Khedira (Leon Goretzka), Ilkay Gündogan, Thomas Müller, Mario Götze (Max Meyer), Serge Gnabry, Mario Gomez (Kevin Volland)

Jogi gave debuts to two players - Serge Gnabry and Benjamin Henrichs, in a side with several changes from the previous qualifier. The captain's armband went to Sami Khedira.

Training, Misano, 10 November 2016

Press Conference, Hotel Savoia Lungomare, Rimini, 10 November 2016, with Sami Khedira and Miroslav Klose

Arriving from Rimini on the Wednesday, two days before the match, meant there was time for only one press conference, and it was a different role for a familiar face, as Miroslav Klose appeared at his first press conference since joining the coaching staff of the DFB.

Jogi said of Miro "I am really happy that we have Miro on board. I had thought about Hansi Flick at the time he became sporting director of the DFB in 2014 and how we could integrate former players in to the coaching set-up. We had spoken to Miro about it in advance and offered him the chance to do his coaching badges. He wouldn't just be a role model to the players in the junior national teams. Miro has a lot of experience and we will show him the ropes in the upcoming months. After that, he will be great support in helping us develop our attacking play. He will observe closely and be able to give some insightful tips to the players. He will also be with us for the international games in March. In between then, we will see each other a few times. Following that, it will be time for the Confederations Cup and I think that we will be able to benefit from his input."

He also joked that Miro was still eligible to play - should he be required!

Klose excited to learn from Low

"We are happy to have Miroslav Klose with us. He is not only a role model for the younger players, he can take on an area of specialisation. For example running as a striker and movement etc.
"Therefore we will use him in these processes, he will analyse our attack and offer some tips to our players.
"Now we will start with the initial work, and in March he will be with us. We will have meetings with him and there will be the Confed[erations] Cup, too."

Germany boss Joachim Low says his side won't be chasing a goalscoring record when they take on San Marino

"To break the record is not the aim. Our aim is to be focused, not to be arrogant, create chances and score goals and take a clear result back home with us," said Löw.
Jogi named three definite starters for the San Marino game, Marc-André ter Stegen,Ilkay Gündogan and Mario Gomez. The rest of the side will be decided after training tonight.

Löw names just three for San Marino match as Klose rejoins the fold

"The plan is for all of the players to get playing time," Löw said. "This is the point of such matches, that I would like to give young players a chance."

On the various players that have had to drop out, or are being rested, he said this would not make any different to their style of play: "We have a good team, with a lot of young players in the squad. There will therefore be no change in our style of play. Other players now have a chance to perform and state their claim. Ilkay Gündogan will play tomorrow and Mario Gomez, who has been out for a while, will also start. We will think about the other positions in the team in training this evening."

Similarities between new boy Benjamin Henrichs and Philipp Lahm: "All new players who join the squad should get game time. That's the whole idea of these games. Henrichs has now played in many different positions for Leverkusen. He is still very young and has to keep developing himself. It is interesting that he can play on both the right and the left and has no issues in making that switch. What I have seen of him has been very good, whether it be in the Bundesliga or the Champions League. I don't think we should be making comparisons of him to other players, though. Philipp Lahm is a special player, who has put in consistent performances for many years. He has played on the right, the left, as a defensive midfielder and even just off the striker. He had an exceptional career with the national team and Benjamin Henrichs has a long way to go before he reaches that. However, he has the makings of a good player."

The difficulties of integrating young players: "That won't be difficult. We have a lot of tests for them, including the Confederations Cup in 2017. These will be good opportunities to see the young players in action and watch them closely in training. Following that, we will be able to tell which players will make it to the World Cup in 2018 and which ones will probably get a chance at the EUROS in 2020. At major tournaments, it's not about picking players based on age, but picking the best 23 players at your disposal. The players have all the right qualities. At the beginning of my time as head coach of Germany, we didn't have that pool of players. Back then the players weren't even regulars for their clubs. We are therefore delighted that young players nowadays are getting chances with their clubs. Only then can players really develop."

Training, Stadio di Santamonica di Misano, 9 November 2016

Erstes Training in Rimini

Reise nach Rimini

Germany to travel to Rimini without Neuer or Brandt - 9 November 2016
Germany will have to do without their captain and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer as well as attacking player Julian Brandt in their World Cup qualifier against San Marino on Friday. Neuer has pulled out of the match as he's not feeling 100 per cent, while Julian Brandt will not be available for selection against San Marino due to a stomach bug. Neither boarded the flight to Rimini with the rest of the Germany squad this afternoon.

Kroos withdraws from squad due to injury - 8 November 2016
The Germany national football team will be without Toni Kroos for their upcoming fixtures against San Marino and Italy. The midfield strategist suffered a hairline crack in his fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot whilst playing for Real Madrid against CD Leganés on Sunday. It wasn't an impact injury. The midfielder cannot train for the next ten days.

Boateng ruled out of upcoming internationals - 7 November 2016
Jerome Boateng has been ruled out of the upcoming international fixtures due to an accumulation of fluid in his right knee, which has prevented him from training in recent days.

Löw calls up Gerhardt, Gnabry and Henrichs - 4 November 2016
Nine World Cup winners, returnee Mario Gomez and three Germany U21 players have been named in the Germany national team for the last two international fixtures of 2016. Benjamin Henrichs, Yannick Gerhardt and Olympic Silver medallist Serge Gnabry have all been called up to the squad from the U21s.
Julian Brandt, Max Meyer and Leon Goretzka have all been called up as well. Leon Goretzka made his first appearance for the Germany national team in the 0-0 draw against Poland in Hamburg in 2014. The squad is made up of 25 players altogether, eight of whom are 21 years old or younger.
Head coach Joachim Löw spoke about his squad announcement. "We are taking the last World Cup qualifier this year just as seriously as the previous three. Our goal has to be to beat San Marino and increase our lead at the top of our group. At the same time, we want to give young players the chance to prove themselves at an international level. We will see Serge Gnabry, Yannick Gerhardt and Benjamin Henrichs play. We have taken note of their good performances over the last few months and they all deserve the call-up.
Leroy Sané, André Schürrle and Antonio Rüdiger are not part of the squad. Sané has been called up to the Germany U21s after recovering from his long-term injury. Schürrle and Rüdiger are training at their own clubs after returning to fitness in order to get back into the swing of things.

Ozil left out of Germany squad

"The players in other top international leagues don't have a winter break, like in the Bundesliga, so it's a good thing in some cases to give these players a break," Low told a news conference when asked about Ozil's omission.
"We do not want to be arrogant against San Marino, we will be very focused and serious about our tasks. For them, the game against the world champions is of course something special."

The full squad is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona)
Defenders: Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Joshua Kimmich, (all Bayern Munich) Yannick Gerhardt (VfL Wolfsburg), Jonas Hector (FC Köln), Benjamin Henrichs, Jonathan Tah (both Bayer Leverkusen), Benedikt Höwedes (Schalke 04), Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal), Sebastian Rudy (Hoffenheim)
Midfield/Forwards:  Julian Brandt, Kevin Volland (both Bayer Leverkusen), Serge Gnabry (Werder Bremen), Mario Götze, Julian Weigl (both Borussia Dortmund), Mario Gomez (VfL Wolfsburg), Leon Goretzka, Max Meyer (both Schalke 04), Ilkay Gündogan (Manchester City), Sami Khedira (Juventus), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich)

Last updated 13 November 2016
With thanks to everyone, especially Lucille, Silke, Susanne, Sarah, Elfriede and Debbie. I could not do this without you!
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