"Basically, I sense from this meeting that the hunger for success is absolutely there, that the disappointment has been put away," explained the national coach ahead of the german national soccer team's start to the new world cup qualifier on friday against the faroe islands, in which captain philipp lahm is again expected to defend on the right and marcel schmelzer on the left.
After a prolonged period of anger over the european championship mission that failed in the semifinals, low and his team are entering the new competition "with a lot of motivation and anticipation. "You can already tell that there's more traction behind it again. We need a good start so that we can leave the negative behind us," emphasized bayern player thomas muller, who, however, rejected questions about more far-reaching goals: "I think it's exaggerating to talk about the world cup title now."
One of the first personnel changes to come out of the intensive preparations for the european championships is a shake-up of several positions in the starting eleven against the outsiders faroe islands. Lahm moves back from the left to the right side of defense with immediate effect, for which the national coach had not found an optimal solution in recent months. "With the start of the qualifying round, he will play on the right," low confirmed the transfer of lahm to his bayern position. "Especially since I have the feeling with marcel schmelzer that he has now arrived with us," the DFB coach added on wednesday.
Schmelzer from dortmund is expected to take up the position of left-back in the coming compulsory matches. Low has also reserved a starting spot for new dortmund player marco reus against the faroe islands. "He has already shown good form against argentina and at borussia dortmund," said the national coach. The use of toni kroos (FC bayern), who was also unable to train fully on wednesday due to a hip contusion, is questionable, however.
Muller, who has recently regained his strength at bayern, summed up the goal at the start of the world championship: "the aim is to get off to a good start and generate a light wave of positive mood again. Expectations are high, and we'll be measured against them."Low has also clearly switched to a new start, with only the path to the 2014 world cup in mind: "i'm not thinking about brazil, that's a step too far."
Only the retro look of his dark blue tracksuit, which he wore to the DFB headquarters in barsinghausen, was still a sign of things past. Low was even forced to joke again: "they won't play," he told a journalist in response to a personnel question. "We passed the last qualification with flying colors with ten victories. This time it will be more difficult. It's certainly not going to be an automatic runner," said low again seriously with a view to the other opponents austria, ireland, sweden and kazakhstan.
Against the world number 154. Faroe islands, however, after two failed attempts in the european championship semifinals against italy (1:2) and in the season opener against argentina (1:3), is now in hanover the 500th game of the season. International match victory of a DFB selection firmly planned. "Even if faroer isn't the toughest test, it's a good start here at home," said team manager oliver bierhoff. Ten years ago, germany under rudi voller had struggled to win 2-1 against the "sheep islands," also in hanover. The subsequent 2-0 victory in torshavn was only secured at the last minute.
In hannover, it should also be possible to see what improvements low expects from his players in the coming months: "attacking, early pressing, working actively against the ball."The freiburger wants to stick to his offensive and attractive style. Although low takes on board the comments of his critics such as oliver kahn and gunter netzer, who called for a stronger return to the "german virtues" such as readiness to run, fighting strength and will. But his own analysis of the mistakes he made during the european championship in poland and ukraine is more important to him: "with knowledge comes new motivation."
"We have to beat the faroe islands, there's no way around it," said england legionnaire lukas podolski. The new londoner wants to attack again in the eagle jersey after his tidy debut with arsenal FC with his first goal in the third league game at liverpool FC (2-0). "I'm in good shape," the 27-year-old stressed after low left him out of the season opener against argentina. Podolski knows that he will have to face new competition after the european championship, which was also unsatisfactory for him.