In Brief

Germany in ‘disarray’: calls for Joachim Low to be sacked

Embattled team face World Cup winners France in Paris following thrashing by Holland

Who could have imagined a few months ago that Germany would, in the words of their manager Joachim Low, end the year “breaking apart”?

Yet that well describes what is happening to the 2014 World Cup winners, who were thrashed 3-0 by Holland on Saturday.

The statistics make tough reading for German fans, with the national side suffering a sixth defeat in ten games and failing to make it out of the World Cup group stage in Russia for the first time since 1938.

Germany’s new Low
  • It was Holland’s first win over Germany in 16 years and their biggest ever winning margin over their neighbours. 
  • Germany have now lost five games in a calendar year for the first time since 1985. 
  • For the first time in their history, Germany have failed to score in three consecutive competitive matches (0-2 vs. South Korea, 0-0 vs. France, 0-3 vs. Holland).

Saturday’s annihilation in Amsterdam was all the more remarkable given that Germany dominated possession against the Dutch, enjoying 60% of possession and having 21 shots at goals.

Yet it was the hosts who had their shooting boots on, with goals from Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and second-half efforts from Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum.

The defeat leaves the Germans bottom of their Uefa Nations League group, with one point from two matches, and the situation could deteriorate still further tomorrow when Low takes his shattered squad to Paris to face the world champions France (7.45pm UK time).

In complete disarray

Saturday’s match was Low’s 168th in charge of Germany and the 58-year-old is feeling the heat like never before.

“Debacle”, “spineless” and “abysmal” were just some of the headlines in German newspapers, amid growing calls for Low to be sacked.

“Germany are in complete disarray,” said broadcaster Deutsche Welle. “Football is a results business [and] unless Low can dramatically turn things around against the world champions on Tuesday and demonstrate that he is the man to lead Germany forward over the next four years of his contract, he must make way for a coach who can.”

Few expect Germany to beat Les Bleus in Paris with a team that, again in Low’s words, looks shorn of self-belief.

“Why are we not scoring? That’s difficult to answer, we have clear chances,” reflected Low on Saturday. “After conceding, you could see that recent results have led to a lack of confidence.”

Slow decline

According to Deutsche Welle, the squad needs a complete overhaul ahead of 2020 European Championships qualifying, which starts in March.

“He has a core of senior players whose best days are behind them,” said the paper. “Jerome Boateng appears disinterested and hopelessly off the pace, Thomas Muller’s long run of poor form is beginning to look like slow decline, and strong arguments can be made against the long-term international futures of Mats Hummels and Manuel Neuer.”

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