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Germany coach Loew gets it right every time

Poland, Jun 23: Germany coach Joachim Loew always seems to make the right choice, whether he goes with comprehensive analysis from his scouts, his gut feeling or a combination of both.Every one of Loew's choices

India TV News Desk [ Updated: June 23, 2012 20:34 IST ]
germany coach loew gets it right every time
germany coach loew gets it right every time

Poland, Jun 23: Germany coach Joachim Loew always seems to make the right choice, whether he goes with comprehensive analysis from his scouts, his gut feeling or a combination of both.

Every one of Loew's choices so far at the European Championship has been the correct one.

Loew is known as a meticulous planner and the Germans generally prepare for every match in great detail. But when asked earlier in the tournament about his decision-making process, Loew said he often trusted his instinct as well.

He started the tournament with Mario Gomez as his lone striker. Gomez scored three goals in the first two games.

When he changed his entire forward line for the quarterfinal against Greece, two of the newcomers scored in a 4-2 win.

Miroslav Klose has been Loew's first-choice striker for years, but the Lazio forward came into the tournament seeking his form and fitness after a hamstring injury and back problems that allowed him little playing time since March.

Loew still heaped praise on Klose before the opening match, leading reporters to believe Klose would start.

Instead, Loew went with Gomez and the Bayern Munich striker scored the winning goal against Portugal, moments before he was due to be substituted by Klose.

“By now, you should know that I like to spring a surprise every now and then,” Loew said at the time.

While noting that Klose was making great progress in training, Loew again trusted Gomez and he scored both goals in a 2-1 win over the Netherlands.

In the third group match against Denmark, Loew had to replace right back Jerome Boateng, who was suspended.

Loew picked Lars Bender, normally a midfielder who had never played in that position. Bender scored one goal, while Lukas Podolski, marking his 100th cap, notched another in a 2-1 win.

Then came the quarterfinal against Greece and Loew changed his entire forward line.

Gomez and Podolski went out, even though they had combined for four of Germany's previous five goals. Out went Thomas Mueller, the top scorer of the 2010 World Cup with five goals.

Klose, Marco Reus and Andre Schuerrle came in—and Klose and Reus scored in a 4-2 win.

“I felt it was the day for a change, I wanted some fresh wind,” Loew said.

Germany has the youngest team at the tournament, although Klose is 34. The 27-year-old Podolski is already a veteran with 100 caps.

Reus had 18 goals in the Bundesliga and led Borussia Moenchengladbach to a place in qualifying for the Champions League one season after it barely missed relegation. He is moving to champion Borussia Dortmund.

“The coach wanted changes and we know the strengths of our team. Whoever comes in will produce a strong performance,” Reus said. “No matter who plays, we have a strong team.”

Schuerrle had an outstanding season for Mainz before moving to Bayer Leverkusen, where he stayed somewhat below expectations in the first year there.

“We always have a precise plan how to play, we leave nothing to chance,” Schuerrle said Saturday.

With their pace on the flanks, dribbling skills and ability to cut inside and score, both give a new dimension to the German game. Loew also predicted that his playmaker Mesut Oezil would “explode” in the later stages of the tournament.

Oezil was voted man of the match against Greece and was involved in virtually every dangerous German move, combining well with Klose, Reus and Schuerrle.

Loew raised eyebrows when he decided to take only two natural strikers—Klose and Gomez—to the tournament.

But with the versatility of Reus and Schuerrle, Loew has many options. And then there is Mario Goetze, the 20-year-old highly talented midfielder who is coming off an injury-plagues season at Dortmund.

Germany's confidence is such that its players have no false modesty about their next opposition, Italy or England in the semifinals.

“To win the title, a team will have to beat us,” Reus said.

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