Low rues Muller miss as glorious era closes with defeat to England

By Sports Desk June 29, 2021

Joachim Low highlighted Thomas Muller's missed chance during the closing stages as a pivotal moment in the 2-0 Euro 2020 defeat to England that brought down the curtain on his 15 years in charge of Germany.

Second-half goals from Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane booked a place in the quarter-finals for Gareth Southgate's side at a raucous Wembley.

But, after Sterling's third goal of the tournament, the Manchester City forward played a wretched pass towards his own half that released Muller.

The experienced Bayern Munich star bore down on Jordan Pickford's area and looked certain to score, only to fire wide.

"We didn't take advantage of the two great opportunities that we had with Muller and [Timo] Werner," Low said.

"It was obvious no team wanted to take too many risks, especially in their defensive work. It was expected that not many opportunities would be created.

"But you need to take advantage and be clinical if you want to succeed. The English side scored on their first opportunity and we didn't, so it was difficult.

"We would have turned the match around with the chance of Muller, but then they got their second and it was not possible to turn the match around.

"The team threw in everything but we were not clinical enough, not effective enough. The team needs to mature as a team to be more successful."

 

Low's announcement before the tournament means that such next steps will occur without him and Tuesday's reverse at Wembley saw a glorious reign limped to a forgettable conclusion.

After taking over from Jurgen Klinsmann in 2006, Low led Germany to the final of Euro 2008, the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 before World Cup glory in 2014.

A youthful Germany team lifted the 2017 Confederations Cup after another semi-final exit at Euro 2016 but they failed to get out of the group stage during their World Cup defence in Russia and Low was unable to regain momentum.

"At the moment I haven't taken any decision yet," he replied when asked about his next move.

"When I took my decision to stop after this tournament, I had different thoughts back then.

"We will see in the next days and weeks. After 15 years in this job, with all the responsibility that is involved, taking a break is necessary.

"There will be a time when you find new energy for something else. At the moment, I do not have any concrete plans." 

Related items

  • Infantino says Africa comments 'were taken out of context' Infantino says Africa comments 'were taken out of context'

    FIFA president Gianni Infantino said  his comments suggesting biennial World Cups could convince African people not to risk "death" by crossing the Mediterranean Sea were "taken out of context".

    Infantino was addressing the European Council on Wednesday, speaking about a range of topics including football agents, Qatar 2022 and FIFA's proposals for World Cup finals every two years.

    He concluded his speech by talking about the latter, outlining how FIFA's reasoning behind the controversial idea – which is being pushed by Arsene Wenger – comes down to a desire to let more people around the world enjoy the best players for "the future of football".

    Infantino said: "We see that football is going to a direction where the few have everything and the vast majority have nothing. I understand.

    "In Europe, the World Cup happens twice per week because the best players are playing in Europe. In Europe there's no need for additional events, but if we think about the rest of the world, and even in Europe, the vast majority of Europe that doesn't see the best players, that doesn't participate in the top competitions."

    But, as he went on to explain ethical dilemmas currently troubling the sport, Infantino's address took a curious turn, suggesting the proposed World Cup changes – and greater inclusion in global football – could make refugees think twice about fleeing Africa for Europe.

    He added: "We have to think about what football brings, which goes beyond the sport, because football is about what I was saying at the beginning – it's about opportunities, about hope, about national teams, the country, heart, the joy and emotion. You cannot say to the rest of the world, 'give us your money and if you happen to have a good player, give us the player as well, but you just watch on TV'. We need to include them. We need to find ways to include the entire world, to give hope to Africans so they don't have to cross the Mediterranean in order to, maybe, find a better life but more probably death in the sea.

    "We need to give opportunities and we need to give dignity, not by giving charity but by allowing the rest of the world to participate. Maybe a World Cup every two years isn't the answer, [but] we discuss it, debate it."

    Several hours later, the Swiss – via a statement released on FIFA's Twitter account – took the opportunity to clarify his comments.

    The statement read: "Given that certain remarks made by me before the Council of Europe earlier today appear to have been misinterpreted and taken out of context, I wish to clarify that, in my speech, my more general message was that everyone in a decision-making position has a responsibility to help improve the situation of people around the world.

    "If there are more opportunities available, including in Africa, but certainly not limited to that continent, this should allow people to take these opportunities in their own countries.

    "This was a general comment, which was not directly related to the possibility of playing a FIFA World Cup every two years."

  • Wolves confirm Hwang Hee-chan to join the club permanently Wolves confirm Hwang Hee-chan to join the club permanently

    South Korea international Hwang Hee-chan will join Wolves permanently at the end of the season, the Premier League club has confirmed.

    Hwang initially joined on a season-long loan from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig and agreed personal terms on a deal before arriving in England.

    Wolves have now activated a clause to make the move permanent from July for a fee reportedly in the region of £12million.

    The deal will run to 2026 and was confirmed by the club's website on the player's 26th birthday.

    The former Salzburg forward made an impactful start at Wolves, scoring four goals in his first six Premier League games, including his first strike just 20 minutes into his debut after coming off the bench in the 2-0 win at Watford in September.

    He has failed to find the net since scoring the opener in the 1-1 draw at Leeds United in October, however, and has not played since sustaining a hamstring injury in the 1-0 win at Brighton last month.

     

    Hwang first came to prominence at Salzburg during the 2019-20 season, playing in an attack that included Erling Haaland, Takumi Minamino and Patson Daka, before signing for RB Leipzig for around €9m in 2020.

    However, he only managed three goals and four assists in 29 appearances across all competitions for Die Roten Bullen – albeit only five of those were starts.

    Wolves technical director, Scott Sellars, was delighted to confirm the news and told the club's website: "He's had a really positive affect on not only the team, but also the whole football club, and he's been a fantastic addition to Wolves.

    "We could see straight from our first meeting with him that Hee-chan is such a focused and determined young man who wants to be successful in his football career.

    "He's not had the experiences he would have liked at Leipzig and he wanted a change, and he's grabbed his opportunity here in the Premier League with both hands. He's shown a lot of determination, a lot of focus and certainly a lot of professionalism every day, and he's got his rewards in terms of his performances and his goals."

  • Infantino bizarrely suggests biennial World Cup may convince African people not to risk 'death' in Mediterranean crossings Infantino bizarrely suggests biennial World Cup may convince African people not to risk 'death' in Mediterranean crossings

    FIFA president Gianni Infantino has curiously suggested biennial World Cups could convince African people to not cross the Mediterranean Sea "in order to maybe find a better life but, more probably, death".

    World football's governing body, led by chief of global football development Arsene Wenger, has been promoting proposals for the World Cup to change its current quadrennial format.

    FIFA reported to its member associations at their global summit in December that the changes would make the sport $4.4billion richer over the first four-year cycle.

    According to Infantino, that figure would then climb to $6.6billion if each confederation also switched its flagship regional competition to become biennial, while FIFA claimed its members were largely in support of the plans.

    UEFA has continuously opposed the proposals, while some domestic competitions – such as the Premier League – have also urged FIFA to keep things as they are.

    But FIFA has been pressing ahead with feasibility studies and opinion polls, with its plan seeming to revolve around greater global participation.

    However, in an address to the European Council on Wednesday, Infantino's attempts to further sell the idea took a puzzling turn, as he appeared to claim biennial World Cups could prevent refugees from fleeing to Europe from Africa.

    He said: "The final topic I'd like to mention briefly is the future of football… Let me say on this topic, we'd have preferred to be engaged in a debate with the European Council, and I take this first step in discussing the future as well of course with the Council, because this topic is not [just] about whether we want a World Cup every two years.

    "It's about what do we want to do for the future of football. The [European] Super League was mentioned earlier... We see that football is going to a direction where the few have everything and the vast majority have nothing.

    "I understand. In Europe, the World Cup happens twice per week because the best players are playing in Europe. In Europe there's no need for additional events, but if we think about the rest of the world, and even in Europe, the vast majority of Europe that doesn't see the best players, that doesn't participate in the top competitions.

    "Then we have to think about what football brings, which goes beyond the sport, because football is about what I was saying at the beginning – it's about opportunities, about hope, about national teams, the country, heart, the joy and emotion.

    "You cannot say to the rest of the world, 'give us your money and if you happen to have a good player, give us the player as well, but you just watch on TV'.

    "We need to include them. We need to find ways to include the entire world, to give hope to Africans so they don't have to cross the Mediterranean in order to, maybe, find a better life but more probably death in the sea.

    "We need to give opportunities and we need to give dignity, not by giving charity but by allowing the rest of the world to participate. Maybe a World Cup every two years isn't the answer, [but] we discuss it, debate it.

    "We started the process with a vote of 88 per cent of the FIFA congress, including 30 European members out of 55, to debate and see what the best way is to be more inclusive, not just to speak about saying no to discrimination, but to actually act in that direction by bringing everyone on board, trying to give opportunities and dignity to the entire world."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.