Even on the home stretch of his era, Joachim Löw relies fully on the youth card. The national coach wants to start the World Cup qualification with the young stars Jamal Musiala and Florian Wirtz at the end of March. He has postponed the often requested return of the 2014 world champions to the formally strong Thomas Müller – he only wants to implement it in an EM emergency.
“I think you can already say that we are planning with both of them,” said Löw on RTL / ntv about the Munich shooting star Musiala (18) and Leverkusen’s top talent Wirtz (17). The duo will therefore be in the national team’s squad for the qualifying games against Iceland (25.3.), Romania (28th) and North Macedonia (31st), which Löw announced on Friday.
With a view to the European Championship (June 11th to July 11th) it is “good that I can see them for a few days with us, how they show themselves in our circle, that is perhaps a good indication of the direction of the tournament”, said Löw. However, this is not a guarantee of use. Musiala, for example, “made no promises” when he decided to play for the DFB and against the English selection, the national coach emphasized.
DFB games without the “English”?
This also applies to Müller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng. The trio is currently not an option, confirmed Löw. The former World Cup heroes know the processes in the DFB team well, he said, and could easily be integrated for the EM at short notice if necessary. Therefore a final decision has time until the nomination of the tournament squad in May.
Löw will probably be missing five players at the end of the month. Unless the classification of the United Kingdom as a virus variant area changes, Löw does not even want to bring his England legionnaires to the game in Bucharest. “We are in a bubble, and when players join in, there is always dangers,” he pointed out: “That is not the solution we want.” Accordingly, he has to do without Ilkay Gündogan, Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Antonio Rüdiger and Bernd Leno plan.
Moving the games like in the European Cup in order to circumvent quarantine orders is strictly rejected by Löw. Such an approach lacks “any logic” for him, he said with a view to the sometimes even higher corona numbers at the Champions League replacement location Budapest. “We said we weren’t going to move the internationals somewhere (…) because that doesn’t make much sense to us either,” said the 61-year-old about the home games in Duisburg.
Before the penultimate cadre nomination of his 15-year term in office, the national coach, who left in the summer, looked back “satisfied” – and confidently ahead. He believes that he will “manage the problems in defense” well in preparation for the European Championship. He is more concerned about the number of ball losses, as in the 6-0 debacle in Spain: “It’s much more difficult to train.”
Nevertheless, Löw is sure that his team will play “a great tournament”. And his legacy? “I am not authorized to make suggestions,” he emphasized, but gave his as yet unknown successor a warning: The work as a national coach is completely different from that in the club.
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