Football

Curtains Fall Low on Joachim in Wembley, But he Remains a Hero Worth Celebrating

After 15 years at the helm of the German National Men’s football team, it finally came to an end for Joachim Low as the ‘Die Mannschaft’ head coach.

Low announced his decision to step down after this tournament earlier this year, but the 61-year-old would have been hoping it would have been at Wembley for the final rather than the same Wembley but in the round of 16 tie.

Low had prepared his team well from the group stage even coming out of the ‘Group of death’ and shaking any fears of being eliminated in the group stage despite playing in the same group with World cup champions France and Euros Champions Portugal.

After losing the first tie against France by a close margin of 1-0, Low’s team outplayed Portugal in the second tie scoring four past the Euro 2016 winners, this match ignited hopes for the Germans that the last tournament for Joachim Low’s tenure would actually be a winner but Low’s England counterpart Gareth Southgate had other plans for the Germans.

Late second-half goals from Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling meant Die Mannschaft suffered a first defeat to the Three Lions in a knockout competition since the now famous 1966 World Cup.

Sterling (10), with his England teammates, celebrates after scoring the first goal against Germany.
PHOTO: Courtesy

But all is not low for Joachim who enjoyed a splendid 15 year time with the four-times world cup winner, one of those four coming in 2014  when he led Germany to the much-coveted world cup trophy title in 2014 in Rio De Janeiro Brazil.

The 2014 world cup is one Germans will never forget, even if they do, not anytime soon. They went unbeaten the entire tournament failing to win only once when they were held to a 2-2 draw by African giants Ghana, the die Mannschaft showed some exemplary performances including a humiliating 7-1 win against the host nation Brazil in the semi-finals, but his woes and tough times as German head coach started in the 20018 world cup played in Russia.

Before the kickoff in Moscow, Germany was the talk of the town after what they did in the 2014 tournament and the 2017 confederations cup and no team wished to be matched with the world champions but all that quickly changed.

After losing their opener to Mexico and then facing the prospect of a 1-1 draw with Sweden that would have put them on the ropes. Instead, a stoppage-time staggering free-kick goal by Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos gave them all three points, but Germany couldn’t capitalize on a Mexico collapse after losing their third tie 2-0  to low rated South Korea and was eliminated in group play for the first time in club history.

After the defeat yesterday, Low held his head high knowing he has done his best and will surely be regarded as one of the best ever coaches to lead the German side.

After the match, Low said, “In these 15 years there were a lot of positive things, I participated at our home World Cup in 2006 (as an assistant coach), we developed further, and we won the title in 2014 as the highlight, then Confederations Cup in 2017 with a young team”.

He went on to say, “There are very strong bonds that have been made, since 2018 we have had some problems – there were difficult spells.

“What remains is a lot of moments with a lot of people and the victories, some defeats as well, I have learned lessons.

“Disappointment is present, it will stay for a while, this is clear, you don’t forget about it immediately, you will need certain time but I am sure that there are a lot of positive things that I can take out of these 15 years.

“I want to thank the players who gave their best, the players who are not with us anymore.”

When asked about his future, Low said he is unsure of what the future holds, “at the moment I have not taken any decision, when I decided to stop after this tournament I had different thoughts but we will see in the next days and weeks.”

“After 15 years at the helm it will do well to step back and there will be a new energy in me and I will decide. I don’t really have a concrete plan”.

It could have been a different night altogether had Chelsea forward Timo Werner finished a superb pass from Muller but England number one goalkeeper Jordan Pickford denied him the opportunity, Germany were the better side after the first goal by sterling in the 75th minute with Havertz capitalizing a mistake by Sterling and rolling a through ball to Muller who missed from a 1 V 1 opportunity with England shot-stopper by sending his shot wide, minutes later England was 2-0 up.

Thomas Muller (25), missed an open opportunity to level the scores at the 80th minute.
PHOTO: Courtesy

It clearly was not the way Low would have wished to end his tenure but all in all, whatever has a beginning has an end and the end has surely come for the German hero, well you have to choose to ignore last night and praise him for all his dues.

Next up for Germany is the now-departed Bayern Munich head coach Hans-Dieter Flick who was announced earlier in the year as Low’s replacement.

Incoming German Head Coach Hans-Dieter Flick.
PHOTO: Courtesy

 

Flick spent one year with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich winning every tournament he participated including, the Bundesliga title, the UEFA Champions League, the DFB-Pokal, DFL-Supercup, and the UEFA Supercup. At Munich the former German national team player managed 86 matches winning a record 70 matches, nine draws, and lost only seven matches, Flick also served as Joachim Low assistant manager in the German national team between August 2006 and July 2014.

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