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Joachim Low ready to stay on as Germany coach

By Oliver Trust BERLIN Germany  (Xinhua) -- It only took five days for Joachim Low to decide to continue as Germany’s head coach. After the reigning world champions’ disastrous group stage exit at the 2018 World Cup, the 58-year-old had said he had to think about his future.

According to several media reports, Low has now informed the German Football Association (DFB) that he is prepared to face the new challenges and fulfil his contract that runs to 2022.

After Germany finished bottom of Group F to be eliminated in the World Cup group stage for the first time in its history, Low shut himself away at his home in Freiburg near the Swiss border. The country’s fans and media were all eagerly awaiting his decision.

Photos appeared of the coach sitting in cafes and driving around the Black Forest in his classic black Mercedes convertible.

Low’s decision may be good news for the DFB, with no suitable successor in sight. Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool), Thomas Tuchel (Paris St. Germain), Ralf Rangnick (RB Leipzig), former Borussia Dortmund coach and Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer, and former Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes were all unavailable.

The DFB had set a deadline for Low to make a decision, though neither party has yet confirmed the latest media reports.

After a weekend in isolation, the first hints about Low’s future came from his circle of friends, who said he did not want to retire after such a great disappointment.

The World Cup-winning coach will now have to face the biggest challenge of his career. After 12 years in charge, during which he reached at least the semi-final of five major tournaments, the former striker talked about the need to make radical changes.

After the Russia debacle, Low has come under fire from both Germany’s media and former international players. Critics said he had relied too heavily on his 2014 World Cup heroes, some of whom are said to have passed their peak. Low was also accused of ignoring the signs of complacency and a lack of motivation among the more established players.

Low and general manager Oliver Bierhoff were also said to be divided on other issues, such as the location of the team’s headquarters in Russia. While Bierhoff favored Vatutinki, near Moscow, Low wanted to stay in Sochi in southern Russia.

Low is now said to want to prove the 2018 World Cup was just a blip. The coach will now have to find a successful combination of established players and up-and-coming prospects. Low could not solve this conundrum in Russia, and the team lacked the necessary team spirit.

The German team was also accused of having no clear game plan in Russia. Low was criticized for not selecting youngsters like Leroy Sane (Manchester City) and instead relying on old hands like Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Sami Khedira (Juventus) and Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), many of whom seemed tired mentally.

At home, Low was asked by the DFB and several former and current international players to carry on and start preparing the team for the 2020 European Championships. These positive messages are said to have helped convince Low to stay, as he is aware he will be under enormous pressure right from the start.

“There are several reasons why we couldn’t perform as we wanted in Russia, all are my responsibility,” the coach commented. He is expected to consider Germany’s young talents for his future team.

Fans and media alike are demanding the association changes its approach, as it stands accused of having lost contact with supporters due to excessive commercialization around the German team. The public was excluded from nearly every training session, ticket prices are said to be too high and kick-off times too late.

Germany’s next competitive game will be against France on September 6 in the newly-formed Nations League.



Joachim Loew to remain Germany’s head coach

BERLIN Germany (Xinhua) -- Joachim Loew will fulfill his running contract and remain in charge as Germany’s head coach, the German FA (DFB) confirmed in an official statement on Tuesday.

Despite the disappointing group-stage exit by the 2014 FIFA World Cup champions, the DFB and head coach Loew agreed to fulfill the running contract until 2022.

“We had very open and trusting talks in which we addressed several issues. We are all firmly convinced that our national coach Joachim Loew will analyse the events of the past days very carefully. He will take the right steps and lead our team back on track,” Germany FA president Reinhard Grindl said.

Germany surprisingly crashed out in the group phase after losing to Mexico and South Korea, finishing bottom of the group. Hence, doubts about Loew’s future raised.

“I am very grateful for the trust that the DFB places in me. Despite the criticism due to our exit I feel a lot of support and encouragement. My disappointment is still huge but now I want to shape and rebuild the squad with full commitment,” Loew said.

The 58-year-old coach, who has been in charge since July 2006, is about to equal Sepp Herberger’s record of 169 matches as Germany coach. The former Freiburg player led Germany to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.

“I am pleased that we can continue our long successful path with Joachim Loew. I have the confidence that together we get back to our old strength,” Germany’s team captain Manuel Neuer added.

Germany host France for the first round of the UEFA Nations League on September 6.


Joachim Low to continue as German team coach

MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) -- Joachim Low will remain as the head coach of Germany despite their shock early exit from the 2018 World Cup, the Germany Football Federation (DFB) confirmed on Tuesday.

With the possible exception of Russia’s victory over Spain on penalties, the failure of the 2014 World Cup Champions to make it to the knockout stages in Russia, after defeats to Mexico and South Korea in their qualifying group, was the biggest surprise of the World Cup finals to date and was accompanied by soul-searching and calls for change.

That change may well come but on Tuesday the DFB confirmed it will be led by Low, who only in May signed a new contract to remain in charge of “der Mannschaft” until after the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.

“I am very grateful for the belief that the DFB has shown in me and I feel, generally, that despite the justified criticism towards me, a lot of support and encouragement too.”

“It was important for me, after a few days in which I did a lot of thinking, to sit down and have a face to face talk with the top of the federation,” said Low.

The 58-year-old has been in charge of Germany since 2009 and until this summer had never failed to lead Germany to at least the semifinals of every major tournament they have competed in leading them to the final of the 2008 European Championships, the semifinals in the 2010 World Cup (losing to Spain on both occasions), the semifinals of the 2012 and 2016 European Championships and to the title in the 2014 World Cup.

The news Low was remaining in charge was welcomed by German goalkeeper and captain Manuel Neuer, who said he was “pleased that we can continue our long, successful path with Jogi Low and I have the confidence that together we will regain our strength.”



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