Low given space to deal with Spain thrashing but Germany 'situation' being assessed

By Sports Desk November 23, 2020

Joachim Low will be given "time and emotional distance" to deal with Germany's stunning defeat to Spain, but Oliver Bierhoff is leading an assessment of the national team’s future.

Pressure is building on World Cup-winning coach Low after the sensational 6-0 reverse in the Nations League last week.

It was Germany's heaviest defeat since they lost to Austria in a friendly in 1931 by the same scoreline, as Manuel Neuer, who set a new record for a German goalkeeper by winning his 96th cap, conceded six goals in a competitive game for the first time in his career.

The manner of the defeat, described by Low as "awful", was particularly concerning. Germany failed to muster a shot on target, had just 30 per cent of the possession, and Toni Kroos (43) was the only player from the visitors to have more successful passes than Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon (41).

It was their first loss of 2020, yet they won only three of their eight matches in Group A4, also drawing with Spain, Switzerland twice and Turkey.

German Football Association (DFB) president Fritz Keller offered Low his support in the aftermath of the shock result in Seville, as did team director Bierhoff.

However, the DFB announced on Monday a "timetable" to assess the "situation" of the national team following the defeat.

"The DFB presidential board has unanimously agreed on a timetable to gather information, evaluate it and advise on next steps," a statement read.

"This also gives the national team head coach enough time and emotional distance to fundamentally review the national side's current situation.

"In sporting terms, to analyse the causes of the heavy defeat in Sevilla, but also, personally, to come to terms with the great disappointment. That's part of the process.

"When the presidential board meets on December 4, Oliver Bierhoff, the team director, will provide an overview and assessment of the current situation regarding the national side.

"That will include lessons learned from the loss against Spain, as well as the side's overall development in the last two years.

"The DFB will provide more information at that time about the results of the discussions and next steps."

Low has been in charge since 2006, finishing third at the 2010 World Cup before claiming the title four years later.

At the European Championships, Germany reached the final in 2008 and the semi-finals in 2012 and 2016.

However, although victory at the Confederations Cup in 2017 – where Low named a scratch squad – and the European Under-21 Championship in the same year hinted at an era of dominance, subsequent results have been less impressive.

The defending champions crashed out of the 2018 World Cup at the group stage and would then have been relegated in the inaugural Nations League but for a change of format.

They missed out on the Finals again due to the defeat to Spain, when only a draw was required to advance.

At next year's delayed Euro 2020, Germany have been drawn into a daunting group alongside world champions France, European champions Portugal and Hungary.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was last week asked about the possibility of replacing Low. "In the future? Maybe," he replied. "Now? No."

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