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German media ring alarm bells after World Cup shocker

By Oliver Trust BERLIN Germany (Xinhua) -- A worried look was written all over the face of Joachim Loew after his team were beaten 1-0 by underdogs Mexico in their Group F curtain-raiser. Just as the 58-year-old has to find solutions by Saturday when the struggling 2014 World Champions have to defeat Sweden, alarm bells are ringing among German media and fans.

From smug to helpless and embarrassed - the range of comments couldn’t have been more negative as the unexpected defeat has left the titleholders in shock.

“World Cup fear after defeat” headlined the tabloid Bild. The paper talked about an “embarrassing performance” and a “disastrous evening.” The Sueddeutsche Zeitung in Munich said, “there is a reason to be concerned.” And Die Welt commented: “Germany in danger of exiting at the group stage.” The “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” only saw “winners from yesterday” on the pitch indicating the German team has passed its peak. 

Former German national goalkeeper Oliver Kahn called the poor German performance “bloodless” and spoke about a team “whose members have stopped talking to one another.” The former Bayern Munich goalkeeper said he saw no effort to support teammates. 

Kahn blamed key players Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Oezil (Arsenal) and Julian Draxler (Paris St Germain) for a poor attitude and said they were “unable to support for their teammates.” The 49-year-old complained that a healthy team spirit was lacking.

Others blamed Sami Khedira and Oezil for not having the necessary quality. Coach Loew is falling under attack and is accused of having gambled away the game with the wrong line-up and substitutes.

Kahn said the German tactical system was easy to read and the team was unable to provide solutions. “They have massive problems when the opponent is counterattacking at high speed,” Kahn commented. 

Loew spoke about an “unusual situation” for his team as German hadn’t lost a curtain raiser at a World Cup since 1982. “We’ll have to deal with the new situation,” Loew stressed. The World Cup-winning coach seemed uncertain about how to go about finding a solution, but said he is expecting a “the team to react in the next game.”

The coach said the team has to prove it can overcome obstacles and demanded greater effort from his players. “Too many want the ball played directly to their foot,” the former striker said.

Central defender Mats Hummels accused his teammates of neglecting defensive issues “as Jerome and I were left alone most of the time. I spoke about it several times, but they didn’t listen” Hummels said, adding that the team had lost the right balance between defense and offense.

“I don’t know why we played like that. We already had our wakeup call with the poor friendly against Saudi Arabia in advance of the World Cup. But not everybody has taken the warning shot to heart,” Hummels stressed.

Right back Joshua Kimmich said the team now has to be on high alert and demanded a turnaround. “We should stop talking about the 2014 World Cup title. It’s time to face reality. We have some things to improve before the Sweden game,” the Bayern Munich player stressed.

Loew will have to change his line-up after the oldest German team since 2002 failed to prove it is still hungry for success. It will be up to leading figures like the captain Manuel Neuer to convince Loew to pick hungry reserves Marc Reus, Julian Brandt and Ilkay Guendogan.

Loew has to change the team’s simple structure. In 2018, the team’s previously successful strategy and organization don’t appear to be enough for Germany’s coach to fulfill his dream of retaining the World Cup.

As Loew canceled today’s media activities and decided to only practice behind closed doors, it looks as if the German coach is fully aware of the critical situation they find themselves in. 

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Mexico ‘want more’ after beating Germany, says midfielder Layun

MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) -- Mexico’s surprise 1-0 victory over defending World Cup champions Germany has left El Tri players wanting more, defender-turned-midfielder Miguel Layun said on Monday.

A first-half strike from Hirving Lozano condemned Germany to their first defeat in an opening World Cup mach since 1982 on Sunday.

“We had goose bumps,” Layun told a news conference. “I want to say thank you to all our fans, their messages mean a lot to us.

“Yesterday we took a big step forward, but hopefully it will only help us know that we can face all rivals on an equal footing. It was an historic triumph but in the end we want more than that,” he added.

Layun praised the impact of Mexico’s Colombian coach Juan Carlos Osorio, who has remoulded the Sevilla player as a midfielder in recent months.

“I have never understood criticism aimed at the mister,” Layun said. “He is as happy as we are, but he is already thinking about the next game. For me, the mister is a genius,” he continued.

Mexico, who are aiming to make the World Cup round of 16 for a seventh consecutive time, will play South Korea in Rostov-on-Don in their next match on Saturday.

             

 

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