Germany coach Joachim Loew has short time to decide on team

DPA Santo Andre | Updated on June 10, 2014 Published on June 10, 2014

Germany coach Joachim Loew is already fully switched into competition mode in the Brazilian heat but has only a short time to decide his team for their opening World Cup match with Portugal on Monday.

“Of course there are plans for the game, of course I know more or less who will play where,” said the 54-year-old Loew in a DPA interview. The last training sessions will be crucial in resolving the details.

“The question is: Which players make further progress between now and the game with Portugal - technically, tactically and physically,” Loew explained.

It will be important for the Germans to tackle the threat from Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo, with captain Philipp Lahm and Bayern Munich team-mate Jerome Boateng capable of playing important roles.

In any event, Loew still has some uncomfortable decisions to make - whether Sami Khedira and Bastian Schweinsteiger, recently injured, will play, for example.

“Neither of them is at their best. We will work intensively with them some more in the coming days,” said Loew. But, for Loew, no German player should always expected to be on the pitch for the entire 90 minutes.

“If anyone thinks that, they are making a mistake. With these conditions, with these temperatures, there will have to be changes during the games.

“A World Cup is quite different from a normal international match. In every game in a tournament, you know, as the trainer, that in 90 or 120 minutes everything can be finished.” Whether Loew himself will continue in the job after the tournament is one of the puzzles still to be resolved. Loew gives the impression that he knows his fourth tournament in charge could be his last chance.

Only champions enter the hall of fame. “There is no patent prescription to help win a title,” he said. And Loew wants to block out anything which interrupts his concentration on football.

The wives and families of the players will only be allowed to visit the Campo Bahia facility after Germany’s first game, at the earliest. If things do not go well in Brazil, Loew knows that he will face criticism.

Former trainer Berti Vogts once said that a team coach returns from a tournament either a hero or a traitor.

“That is not something that is in my thoughts,” said Loew, adding that he has faith in every one of his 23 players.

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Published on June 10, 2014
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