BERLIN: The German press turned viciously on Joachim Loew after the former world champions were hammered by the Netherlands, which leaves the future of Germany’s head coach in doubt with current world champions France looming on Tuesday.
“Not at the moment,” Loew replied in the post match press conference when asked if he can still decide his future following the 3-0 drubbing at the weekend — Germany’s heaviest defeat to the Dutch.
Netherlands captain Virgil Van Dijk gave the hosts a first-half lead before late goals by Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum capped a golden night for the “Oranje” in Amsterdam.
“That was a brutal and disappointing defeat, especially as we had the game under control in the first 30 minutes,” said Loew, whose contract runs until 2022.
“At the moment, you can literally feel that we do not have the self-confidence that we used to have.”
“After conceding, you could see that recent results have led to a lack of confidence. Why are we not scoring? That’s difficult to answer, we have clear chances.”
It could have been 4-0 as Depay also hit the crossbar in the dying stages as the German defense collapsed in the last 10 minutes.
If Loew’s side loses to France in Paris on Tuesday, it will mean a record sixth defeat for Germany in a calender year.
Having steered Germany to the 2014 World Cup title, Loew was irritated when asked if the heavy defeat was his 168th — and final — international.
“For me, or what?” he replied, flustered, with his 12-year reign in peril.
“We need to move on quickly (to the next question), I am the wrong person to talk to about that.”
He only signed a new contract until 2022 with the German Football Association (DFB) in May, yet unless results improve, his position is becoming untenable.
After the World Cup debacle, when Germany crashed out after finishing bottom of their group, Loew again finds his team last in their Nations League pool.
The Germans must win their last two games, against the French on Tuesday and Dutch in Gelsenkirchen on November 19, or risk relegation.
Loew appears to be safe until the home match against the Dutch in five weeks.
Germany’s main newspapers were brutal with the head coach.
“Bottom marks for Loew! Irritation after questions over his future as a national coach,” said Germany’s top-selling daily Bild.
Football magazine Kicker pointed out that despite Loew’s promises of a fresh start, little has changed.
“New start? Loew’s team are continuing the World Cup story.
“After the 3-0 debacle, the German team is fighting relegation. This is not a snapshot, but the logical consequence after a series of mistakes.
“It raises — again — the question of Loew’s future.”
Germany’s other top papers were equally damning.
“A scary evening,” said Munich-based Sueddeutsche Zeitung, who reported on Saturday that Loew’s contract contains a clause allowing either party to terminate it early.
For a proud football nation, top newspaper Welt pointed out an uncomfortable truth, “3-0 defeat to the Netherlands — Germany is just a mediocre European nation.”
“Loew must break away from his base of World Cup winners,” commented the paper, echoing what many fans feel.
“Loew is slowly running out of arguments. He must react — the team needs new impulses.”