Joachim Low reflects on ’15 long years full of lovely moments and disappointments’ as Germany boss and blames ‘lack of major tournament experience’ in young squad for defeat by England at Wembley
Joachim Low’s tenure as coach of Germany’s national team is over and the manager has reflected on ’15 long years’ at the helm.
The Germans advanced from the group stage of Euro 2020, unlike three years at the World Cup, but lost to England at Wembley on Tuesday in the round of 16.
‘I take responsibility for this exit, no ifs or buts,’ Low said Wednesday in his last press conference as manager. ‘It’s going to take a bit of time to get over this disappointment.’
Joachim Low spoke at his final press conference as Germany manager on Wednesday
England knocked out their old rivals at Wembley to progress to the last eight
Low led Germany to the World Cup title in 2014, and a semi-final appearance at Euro 2016, but his team never recovered from their early exit at the last World Cup.
An attempted reboot after the tournament in Russia failed to yield the desired results. First there was the embarrassing 6-0 loss to Spain last November, and then a 2-1 loss to North Macedonia in World Cup qualifying in March.
Shortly before the second of those two surprising results, Low announced that Euro 2020 would be his last tournament. And with no need to personally to persevere with the team’s rebuilding process, he recalled veterans Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels for the pandemic-delayed tournament.
‘We had or have many players in our ranks who have not yet had much tournament experience. And from my experience I know that it sometimes takes two or three tournaments until the players can perhaps reach their peak, that they can deal with things, with stressful situations during a tournament,’ Low said. ‘I believe that some players have not yet reached their limit.’
Low reflected that too many players lacked the experience of big tournaments
Both Muller and Hummels played key roles in helping Germany advance from a difficult group that included World Cup champion France, European champion Portugal and a well-organized Hungary team. But Germany’s chances at the tournament were ultimately undone by a failure to make more of its opportunities.
‘The team threw everything into it. It showed a very good mentality and a great will for all the games,’ Low said.
‘You could feel it, they wanted to achieve something. But something was missing in certain situations. It wasn’t just the case yesterday, you could feel it after we played 60 or 70 good minutes against Portugal, then again in the game against Hungary.’
Against England, Muller and Timo Werner failed to convert the best of Germany’s chances. Kai Havertz also went close, but England forwards Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane scored a goal each.
Low’s 198th match in charge was his last.
Germany were frustrated at Wembley and came unstuck in the second half of the game
Thomas Muller missed with a one-on-one chance against Jordan Pickford in the second half
It was only the second time Germany had failed to reach the quarter finals of a major tournament since Low took over as coach after the 2006 World Cup. The problem for Low is that it was right after the first.
‘I think they were 15 very long years for me with many lovely moments and of course disappointments. I think that this team, and several players who will certainly be part of it in the next years, has a very good future,’ Low said.
‘Of course I wish my successor, Hansi Flick, all the best and lots of success. And yes, my heart still beats in black, red and gold.’
Flick, Low’s former assistant, will take over for World Cup qualifying. Flick had a very successful spell in charge of Bayern Munich but will inherit the problems Low faced – most notably the lack of an out-and-out scorer – but he has some excellent young players to work with.
Low reflected on disappointments and great moments in his 15 years as Germany manager