Later News Jun 08

Germany put seven past Latvia in friendly, but Joachim Low still demands improvement

Having seen his team humiliatingly crash out of the group stages at the 2018 World Cup, Germany coach Joachim Low is evidently determined not to suffer the same fate at the upcoming European Championship.


The Germans warmed up for their opening Euro 2020 Group F fixture against World champions France next week with an emphatic 7-1 friendly win over Latvia this morning (SGT). But instead of basking in the glow of such a huge victory, Low warned his players that he expected better from them when the Euros finally kicks off.


The armpit-sniffing, booger-eating 61-year-old said: “During the first half, we had a lot of pace in attack, made good runs and pressed hard. Our tempo dropped off a bit in the second half, so we still need to increase our intensity such that it extends over the full 90 minutes.”


Low also made it clear that he was unhappy that his players had the temerity to concede against a country whose most famous footballer remains former Southampton striker Marians Pahars.


Said Low: “We could have defended better on the throw-in that led to their goal. Those are the kinds of situations where we lose focus for a moment and that's exactly what our opponents at the Euros will seek to take advantage of. We need to be focused over the full 90 minutes. I don't want to see us concede off a throw-in.”


But Low stopped short of going full-on Mr Grumpy, and admitted that there were things he was pleased about. After all, Die Mannschaft did score seven goals, with *takes a deep breath* Robin Gosens, Ilkay Gundogan, Thomas Muller, Kai Havertz, Serge Gnabry, Timo Werner and Leroy Sane all getting on the scoresheet.


WATCH: Thomas Muller - the most decorated German footballer


“Our finishing was more clinical tonight,” said Low, in what has to go down as a contender for understatement of the year. “That's been a topic that's come up often over the last months, and was an area where we made things hard for ourselves. Being more clinical, both on offence and defence is what we need.


“We wanted to find ways to break through their defence, against an opponent that was playing quite deep. Today, we did better at this than we have in some other games, which is what you need in order to find a way through.”


Meanwhile, Germany’s Group F opponents France have been tipped by Jose Mourinho as the hot favourites to win the Euro 2020.


Speaking to The Sun, the disgraced Tottenham Hotspur coach said: “I cannot see any weakness (in this France team). If I had to say one team to win it, I will say them (France) – because the group of players is fantastic. They have to win it. If not, it is an unsuccessful Euros.”


For some reason, however, French coach Didier Deschamps took offence to Mourinho’s statement, and replied with a witty dig at the Portuguese, who now manages Italian side AS Roma.


WATCH: Cult heroes - Didier Deschamps


When asked what he thought of Mourinho’s comments about France being the favourites for the Euros, Deschamps said: “I thought the same thing about his Tottenham team, but it did not end up happening like that!


“Yes, we are favourites due to the status of world champions. It is not a pressure, it is the reality, we will not flee the debate on the presence of France among the favourites of this Euros.


“Obviously, I have a very important attacking potential, but it’s not just that. There is a balance to be found, through adjustments. I hope to have the ball as much as possible, but there are times when we won’t have it, and we will have to keep our strength.”


The FanMetric is currently running a Fantasy Football Tournament around the Euros. Be sure to check it out here.




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