Germany turns on coach Loew after Spain debacle

Germany turns on coach Loew after Spain debacle
Germany’s coach Joachim Loew stands at the bench during the UEFA Nations League game between Spain and Germany at La Cartuja stadium in Seville, November 17, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 18 November 2020

Germany turns on coach Loew after Spain debacle

Germany turns on coach Loew after Spain debacle
  • The 6-0 drubbing in Seville on Tuesday was Germany’s heaviest defeat for 89 years as Spain completely dominated the Nations League match
  • Loew led Germany to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil but the credit from that triumph was largely dissipated by the debacle at the 2018 finals in Russia

BERLIN: Germany coach Joachim Loew faces the biggest crisis of his 14-year reign after his side crashed to a historic defeat to Spain, with former players and the media questioning Wednesday whether he should lead the team into next year’s European championship finals.
The 6-0 drubbing in Seville on Tuesday was Germany’s heaviest defeat for 89 years as Spain completely dominated the Nations League match.
The Bild daily was blunt, headlining its coverage: “Loew should offer to resign.”
“Just seven months before the Euro, the German FA has to answer the question whether Joachim Loew is still the right man for the tournament,” the paper said.
Ferran Torres scored a brilliant hat-trick as Spain attacked at will with Loew’s Germany side offering little resistance as they slumped to their heaviest defeat since losing 6-0 in Berlin against Austria in 1931.
Loew batted off questions about his future in the post-match press conference.
“You have to ask others. I can’t answer that spontaneously,” he replied when asked if he was worried about his job.
Loew led Germany to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil but the credit from that triumph was largely dissipated by the debacle at the 2018 finals in Russia when Germany crashed out in the group phase.
His contract with the German Football Association runs until the 2022 World Cup and Loew still appears to have the support of Germany team director Oliver Bierhoff.
“The confidence is completely there,” Bierhoff insisted in the wake of the drubbing, but promised a “hard analysis.”
Bierhoff pointed to a lineup on Tuesday containing veteran players Manuel Neuer, Ilkay Gundogan and Toni Kroos as proof that “lack of experience of the players is no excuse.”
Bierhoff though said he intended to be in his job next year, telling FAZ newspaper: “The path that the national coach has taken, I will follow up to and including the European Championship.”
Bastian Schweinsteiger, who won the 2014 World Cup under Loew, was horrified by the performance.
“It did not feel like a team — there were no commands” in the German ranks, said the 36-year-old former Bayern Munich and Manchester United midfielder, who is now a media pundit.
“You only heard the Spanish talking. You have to change something. The German national team can’t play like that.
“There are certain values, which I didn’t see on the pitch.”
Munich-based newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung said the humiliation in Spain begs the questions “How much longer with Jogi Loew?.”
Magazine Sport Bild reported the German FA are toying with the idea of Bayern coach Hansi Flick replacing Loew, but that is unlikely to happen before the Euro 2020 finals.
Schweinsteiger reignited the debate about whether three other veteran players who Loew has sidelined from the national team — Mats Hummels and Bayern’s Champions League-winning pair Jerome Boateng and Thomas Mueller — should be reinstated.
Loew told all three in 2019 that their Germany careers were over, yet the trio are all currently in great form for their clubs.
“This is the German team, it has to bring together the best players,” Schweinsteiger said, adding that Mueller and Boateng would be in his team for Euro 2020 if he were coach.
Arsenal’s German midfielder Mesut Ozil — another player who has not featured since the 2018 World Cup slump — agreed, tweeting: “Time to take @JeromeBoateng back.”
However, ex-Germany and Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann warned that the louder the calls to recall the trio, the less likely Loew is to listen.
“I have the feeling, the more calls there are for them to return, the less he wants to do it,” Hamann told Sky Sports. “He seems to be very stubborn about it.”
Time is running out for Loew to prove he can turn things around before the Euro 2020 finals, postponed from last year, kick off in June with Germany in a tough group including reigning champions Portugal and World Cup holders France.


DeChambeau: Power gives him advantage for Saudi International

DeChambeau: Power gives him advantage for Saudi International
Updated 19 January 2021

DeChambeau: Power gives him advantage for Saudi International

DeChambeau: Power gives him advantage for Saudi International
  • Physically transformed 2020 US Open champion relishing head-to-head with World No. 1 Dustin Johnson

JEDDAH: Big-hitting Bryson DeChambeau believes the length of Royal Greens Golf & Country Club’s tee-to-green puts him in prime position to pip world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and claim victory at next month’s Saudi International.

The 2020 US Open champion, famed worldwide for his colossal tee shots, the longest in Tour history, is King Abdullah Economic City-bound for his second crack at taking the Saudi crown that alluded him in 2019.

He was pipped to the title by Johnson, who returns alongside the biggest names in golf for the third annual hosting of the European Tour event next month.

However, 27-year-old DeChambeau heads to the Kingdom a different golfer this year, having not only transformed his physique and game to out-drive all other professional players, but as a Major champion, after clinching the US Open back in September.

He believes these two factors could prove critical in his quest for first place in two weeks’ time.

He said: “I feel like I have an even better advantage on the golf course because it is a bit of a bomber’s paradise, and I love that opportunity.

“When I played there, I finished sixth. I have a lot of great memories about the golf course and the character of the holes and being on the Red Sea, it was pretty unique and something that I want to experience again.

“I will tell you, though, that hitting it far there will be an advantage with some of the par 5s and I think it will fit me well, a lot better than the other golf courses.”

Much of the build-up around November’s delayed hosting of the Masters was focused on DeChambeau and how the Augusta course suited his big-hitting style of play.

However, it was to be his 2018 Ryder Cup teammate Johnson who eventually came out on top, further cementing his position as the world’s best. The fact that he will be teeing off against “DJ” next month is something that only adds to the excitement for DeChambeau, as he continues on his own mission to one day achieve top spot in World Golf rankings.

“Having a world No. 1 playing puts a little fire in my belly,” said DeChambeau. “I want to go over there and play and beat him. I was fortunate enough to clip him by one or two in Kapalua and if I keep doing that, if I keep beating him in every event, eventually the tables will turn.”

In his quest to be the world’s best, DeChambeau has famously reworked his entire game — and physique. In 2020 alone he gained 40 pounds to build his strength, and as a result extended his length off the tee by anywhere from 30 to 70 yards.

Although the tournament will be held without fans due to coronavirus disease restrictions, it will be shown live on KSA Sports, and DeChambeau is gearing up to show the Kingdom exactly what he has been working towards.