Joachim Loew to remain Germany coach

Source:AFP Published: 2018/7/3 22:03:42

Germany coach Joachim Loew will remain in his job despite the World Cup holders' elimination in the group phase in Russia, the German FA (DFB) said Tuesday.

The Germans bowed out after shock defeats to Mexico and South Korea.

It was the first time since 1938 that a Germany side failed to get past the first round at the World Cup finals.

Loew returned from Russia considering his future, but the DFB said they would not sack him. He has promised a clear-out of the squad and several of the World Cup winners who underperformed so badly in Russia may have played their last game for their country.

Senior players Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller have given Loew their backing, yet could all face the axe after poor displays.

There are, however, reports of player disgruntlement in other quarters with Loew.

Frankfurt-based newspaper FAZ quoted unnamed Germany players who said the squad was deeply divided between senior and younger players in Russia.

There was also resentment to the special status given to captain Manuel Neuer. The goalkeeper played all three group games, ahead of Barcelona star Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, even though Neuer had just returned from eight months sidelined by a foot fracture.

That was "a problem for some ­players" as Loew had said he would only use those who were playing well regularly.

Other complaints included Loew giving priority to established players, the choice of Germany's isolated World Cup base in southwest Moscow and the poor handling of the pre-World Cup scandal involving Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan.

Their loyalty to Germany was brought into question on the eve of the World Cup after meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who Gundogan presented with a jersey signed "to my president."

Both players were booed by German fans during pre-World Cup friendlies, which overshadowed preparations for the finals.

Ozil refused to comment on the controversy during the World Cup while Gundogan gave a single interview in which he said the furore was "a difficult experience."

Posted in: SOCCER

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