The official website for European football

Löw gamble shows German strength

Published: Saturday 23 June 2012, 9.00CET
Joachim Löw reshuffled his attack significantly to face Greece but, says Steffen Potter, instead of being a gamble it merely highlighted the formidable depth in Germany's squad.
by Steffen Potter
from Gdansk
 
Published: Saturday 23 June 2012, 9.00CET

Löw gamble shows German strength

Joachim Löw reshuffled his attack significantly to face Greece but, says Steffen Potter, instead of being a gamble it merely highlighted the formidable depth in Germany's squad.

For three matches, pundits and fans had been calling on Bundestrainer Joachim Löw to show more boldness in his team selection. With the squad bursting at the seams with up-and-coming talent, all wanted to see Löw include the likes of Marco Reus, André Schürrle or Mario Götze.

It was no surprise their wishes went unanswered. For years, this Bundestrainer has been rather conservative in his team selection, keeping faith with those who have brought success in the past – and why shouldn't he? His choices had earned Germany nine points in the group stage, the only team to do so, and they did so in arguably the most difficult section.

So it was a big surprise to everyone when news of the starting XI for the quarter-final against Greece began to seep out around Friday lunchtime. Reus, Schürrle and Miroslav Klose in; Thomas Müller, Lukas Podolski and Mario Gomez out? Some (me included) had a hard time believing it until we saw the lineups in black and white in the stadium. Löw had dropped the three players who had scored Germany's five goals at the tournament up till then.

©Getty Images

Joachim Löw's bold team selection paid dividends

The criticism – so much is for sure – would have been huge had it gone wrong. Among the loudest would have been many of those who had called for changes before the match. In the end Löw's actions paid off. Handsomely.

Schürrle, Reus and Klose added a dimension to Germany's game the other three attackers probably couldn't. Reus especially was an asset, which he nicely underlined with a cracking goal at the end. Schürrle tried hard with several attempts on goal and worked a lot, but his loss of the ball resulted in Greece's surprise equaliser. Klose's ideas were as good as always, but for a long time it seemed like he lacked the form to make them happen. In the final eight minutes, we even got to see Götze in his first tournament appearance, but he didn't get the chance to make an impact in a game that was already over by that stage.

The Greece game has proved a couple of important points for Germany. The depth in this squad, which everyone has talked about before, is really there and can be made to work in the team's favour. And the fact that Löw has so bravely changed his lineup will keep every player on his toes.

Last updated: 12/09/12 16.27CET

Related information

Player profiles
Coach profiles
Member associations
Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/news/newsid=1803980.html#low+gamble+shows+german+strength

UEFA.com features

Kardemir forge on: Europe's men of steel
  • Kardemir forge on: Europe's men of steel
  • Izmailov, Krasnodar 'want to go as far as possible'
  • The Women's U19 finals in photos
  • Serbia aim to take final step
  • Concentration key to Germany progress
  • See the pick of the pictures from matchday three
  • Nemanja Maksimović: Serbia's man of many parts
  • Drogba's greatest UEFA Champions League hits
  • Ireland's semi-final adventure: behind the scenes
  • Israel travails no problem for Peretz
1 of 10
  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.