Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels will remain valued leaders for Germany with Joachim Low resisting the temptation to make wholesale changes following Nations League relegation.
Die Mannschaft’s miserable year plunged into deeper disappointment when they were confirmed as finishing bottom of Group 1 in League A by Netherlands’ win over France on Friday.
Some pride had been restored the previous day with a comfortable 3-0 friendly victory against Russia, a youthful starting XI flourishing as regulars Muller and Hummels were consigned to the bench.
Though calls have been made for the pair to permanently assume less prominent roles, Low is not about to discard his trusted lieutenants.
“Muller and Hummels bring energy, which the younger players benefit from,” said the Germany boss, who oversaw a group-stage exit at the World Cup.
“It’s a big deal if we start changing things around.
“It’s a shame that there’s nothing more we can do in the Nations League. Now, we’ve got to learn the right lessons from a disappointing year and take appropriate measures.”
#Löw: “We saw in the World Cup that our impetus and killer instinct was missing. We didn’t get the ball forward enough and we must be more determined in front of goal. We did this well against France and Russia.” #DieMannschaft pic.twitter.com/itVbHJfKwp
— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) November 18, 2018
Bayern Munich midfielder Muller, scoreless in the Bundesliga since September, will win his 100th cap if he features in the final Nations League fixture against Netherlands on Monday.
The 29-year-old has been under pressure to hold his spot in the squad, but Low spoke glowingly of the 2010 World Cup Golden Boot winner’s dedication during an eight-year international career.
“Thomas Muller deserves enormous respect,” he said.
“He’s hardly ever injured and has always been with the national team, where other players might have said they are tired, need a break or were injured.
“He has busted his butt for the national team.”
Left-back Jonas Hector has been cleared to feature against Ronald Koeman’s men after hurting his ankle in the win over Russia, although Marco Reus is in doubt with a bruised foot.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!