Joachim Loew has claimed squad depth will be the key to future success for Germany even if some players are unhappy on the bench.
In the lead-up to Germany’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier away to Ireland, Bastian Schweinsteiger has stood by his claims of a lack of team-spirit in Loew’s squad at Euro 2012, where he felt players on the bench did not provide 100 percent support to those on the field.
Loew has revealed he has spoken to Schweinsteiger about the midfielder’s comments but does not agree there is a problem.
“Of course it is difficult to sustain an excellent spirit over seven weeks and friction does arise which you don’t get in Bundesliga clubs, but the atmosphere on the whole was good,” Loew said
“Maybe not as good as it was in 2010 (at the World Cup in South Africa).
“Things were a little different then, with some players perhaps not pleased to be on the bench but they still gave the team their full support.”
Having reached the semi-finals of the past two major tournaments, plus the final of Euro 2008, Germany are considered a genuine contender to win the World Cup in Brazil in 2014.
And Loew believes his deep squad will be crucial if Germany are to qualify for Brazil and then challenge for the trophy.
“Since 2008 we have had more and more candidates and this increases the competition for places,” Loew said.
“Competition for places is necessary because, in the national team, nobody’s place is cast in stone.”
The 52-year-old head coach also hit back at criticism from Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness toward Miroslav Klose.
Hoeness claimed former Bayern man Klose only performs against smaller teams and goes missing on the big stage, despite the 34-year-old striker being the only player to have scored at least four goals at three separate World Cups.
Loew was left bemused by Hoeness’ comments and praised Klose’s career, which includes 64 goals in 124 matches for Germany.
The veteran forward has hit the back of the net 18 times in 33 games since joining Lazio from Bayern in June 2011.
“I did not understand the statements made by Uli Hoeness,” Loew said.
“Miroslav Klose has done a lot for German football, he scored many goals and showed great performances in the last 12 or 13 years.
“It’s phenomenal how he plays at his age, his presence and how he plays and scores in Italy.”