• Germany's news in English

Löw aims for Euro 2016 with new-look Germany

AFP · 20 Dec 2014, 09:00

Published: 20 Dec 2014 09:00 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

After claiming their fourth World Cup in July, retirements and injuries took their toll as Germany struggled for form at the start of their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign in the second half of the year.

A shock first-ever defeat to neighbours Poland in Warsaw followed by a 1-1 draw with Ireland in October leaves Germany third in their qualifying group for the 2016 finals in France.

But the world champions will still start 2015 on top of FIFA's world rankings.

Germany will tackle six qualifiers next year, including hosting Poland next September followed by away matches to Ireland and Scotland.

With the top two qualifying automatically and third place enough for a play-off, there is margin for error, but Löw is looking for strong performances to qualify for Euro 2016 as group winners.

"It would be wrong to be satisfied with what we have achieved so far," said Germany's head coach, who took charge in 2006 and has a contract until after Euro 2016.

"It is important for us now to put some distance between ourselves and our previous success and bring in new ideas.

"We have to introduce new players and set new goals to keep the players motivated."

The 54-year-old Löw is clear on what he wants Germany to achieve in 2015, which starts with a friendly against Australia at the end of March.

"I hope that we are able to confirm our (World Cup) success," Löw said. "That we can characterise an era in which we not only won the (World Cup) title, but we can recapture the feeling (of success).

"And that in 2016 we can win the (European Championship) final in Paris and then focus on defending our title at the 2018 World Cup."

There are several areas which need Löw's urgent attention, though, especially the defence, with right-back and captain Philipp Lahm and centre-back Per Mertesacker having retired after the World Cup.

Löw played a three-man defence in November's 1-0 friendly victory in Spain, with Benedikt Höwedes, Shkodran Mustafi and Antonio Rüdiger keeping European champions Spain at bay.

World Cup-winners Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng are to come back in, but at the other end, that win failed to mask deficiencies in Germany's ability to turn chances into goals, just as their finishing let them down badly against Poland and Ireland.

Responsibility for improving in that regard will fall upon Thomas Mueller and Maracana hero Mario Goetze, who are poised to spearhead Germany's attack through to the next World Cup.

Meanwhile, the retirement of Lahm left a leadership void on the pitch, and Bastian Schweinsteiger has yet to appear for Loew's side since being named as the new captain.

Story continues below…

However, the 30-year-old proved his fitness after a knee injury with a stunning free-kick for run-away Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich at Mainz on Friday.

Löw needs his midfield general back in the famous white shirt alongside Real Madrid's Sami Khedira and Toni Kroos, who scored the winner in the friendly against Spain.

Elsewhere, Löw has unearthed some exciting young talent in Bayer Leverkusen winger Karim Bellarabi and Hoffenheim's powerful forward Kevin Volland, while Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder Christoph Kramer and Schalke's Julian Draxler need to make good on the potential they showed as part of the World Cup squad.

Germany will be looking to avenge their shock 2011 defeat to the Socceroos when they host Australia in Kaiserslautern in a friendly on March 23rd before a Euro 2016 qualifier away to Georgia.

Then follows a friendly against the USA in June and a reunion with Löw's predecessor Jurgen Klinsmann, who coached Germany to third at the 2006 World Cup with Löw as his assistant.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Creepy clown scare spreads to Germany
Two of the clowns were apparently equipped with chainsaws. Photo: Pedro Pardo / AFP file picture

Police said Friday five incidents involving so-called scary clowns had occurred in two north German town, including one assailant who hit a man with a baseball bat, amid fears that Halloween could spark a rash of similar attacks.

Student fined for spying on women via their webcams
Photo: DPA

Student from Munich fined €1,000 for spying on 32 different computers, using their webcams to take photographs, or record their keyboard history.

This is how much startup geeks earn in Germany
Photo: DPA

A comprehensive new survey of 143 startup founders shows how much you are likely to be earning at a German startup, from entry level all the way up to sitting on the board.

Man dies after beating for peeing near Freiburg church
The Johannes Church in Freiburg. Photo Jörgens Mi/Wikipedia

A middle-aged man from southern Germany has died after being attacked by a group of men who took umbrage with the fact he was urinating in the vicinity of a church.

The Local List
Seven German celebrities with uncanny doppelgängers
Former Berlin mayor Klaus Wowereit and actor Alec Baldwin. Photo: DPA; Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons

Check out these seven look-a-likes of well known German figures - we admit that some are more tenuous than others...

Israel seeks to buy three new German submarines: report
A Dolphin class submarine. Photo: DPA

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of €1.2 billion, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

Here’s where people live the longest in Germany
Photo: DPA

Germans down south seem to know the secret to a long life.

More Germans identify as LGBT than in rest of Europe
Photo: DPA

The percentage of the German population which identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is higher than anywhere else in Europe, according to a new study.

'Reichsbürger' pair attack police in Saxony-Anhalt
File photo: DPA.

A "Reichsbürger" and his wife attacked police officers on Thursday, just a day after another Reichsbürger fatally shot an officer in Bavaria.

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA

From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd