Cool Loew masterminds Germany's thumping win
Continuity is critical for Loew as he masterminds the most one-sided semi-final victory in World Cup history
(Thomas Mueller 11, Miroslav Klose 23, Toni Kroos 24, 26, Sami Khedira 29, Andre Schuerrle 69, 79)
Joachim Loew stepped out of the tunnel sipping a soft drink. His pressed shirt and slacks were immaculate. He stopped at the top of the steps to adjust his stylish moptop, pushing a couple of unruly stray hairs behind his ears.
He took another sip from his plastic cup, strolled casually towards the dugout and coolly masterminded the most one-sided victory in World Cup history.
Loew looked like a boy band's manager wandering around backstage while his cash cows wowed a full house with their greatest hits. Germany haven't seen this much swinging since The Beatles played in Hamburg.
Loew became an overnight national hero by changing nothing. While Luiz Felipe Scolari tinkered with all the grace and subtlety of an apprentice plumber with a twitch, Loew refuelled the Rolls Royce and watched it silently, efficiently and gloriously flatten the Brazilians.
In the final moments of their pre-match warm-up, the Germans were spotted sending in crosses into the penalty box, a bizarre tactical ploy to practise so publicly minutes before kick-off.
Thomas Mueller's opening goal came from the same flank finished in the same area with aplomb.
Loew is happy to get lost in the minutiae. He has kept a daily diary in Brazil, noting the fine details to work on and improve.
On his insistence, every player has a personalised app that is updated in real time, with a technical team providing up-to-the-minute news on opponents and potential tactical changes.
Bernard's strengths and weaknesses were reportedly added as soon as his bizarre inclusion was announced. Loew leaves nothing to chance.
His decision to weld together Germany's penchant for prettier football in recent years with a little of the Die Mannschaft discipline of old came to full fruition this morning.
Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira have achieved full fitness at the perfect time for Germany.
As weary limbs succumb to a month of varying climates, constant travel across a huge country and insufferable heat, Loew's midfield duo are reaching a peak. The view must be glorious. They're in no mood to begin their descent any time soon.
And just as he plays, Toni Kroos is carefully, quietly and stealthily moving towards player of the tournament honours, delivering another imperious performance after his Man-of-the-Match heroics against France.
The midfield trio easily covered any potential pace issues at fullback; an area Brazil targeted in the first 15 minutes before they were callously put down; euthanised at their own homecoming party.
Loew even permitted 36-year-old Miroslav Klose a chance to pull Brazil's dozing defenders apart and surpass the goal-scoring record of the traumatised man with the microphone sitting in the press box.
If Klose won't forget this morning in a hurry, Ronaldo certainly won't.
In the press conference, Loew reflected on the 7-1 scoreline.
He had just orchestrated Brazil's biggest defeat in their illustrious history. His demeanor didn't change.
Before the quarter-final, the German media smelled blood. This morning, they were tripping over themselves to praise their history maker.
Loew remained unruffled; the only man in the room who hadn't changed. He answered questions politely, sipped his water, occasionally flicked his hair and took another step towards the greatest game of his life.
The more things change for Germany, the more their coach stays the same. Continuity is critical now. The World Cup is within touching distance.
Loew: Pressure killed Brazil
Germany coach Joachim Loew said that he understood the shock and pain that Brazil were feeling this morning (Singapore time) after their 7-1 semi-final defeat on home soil, recalling how the Germans felt in 2006 when they lost to Italy at the same stage.
"We were shocked, too, and experienced the same thing in 2006," Loew (above) told German TV.
"They were shocked and didn't expect to fall behind. And, after that, it was an easy match for us."
Loew, who was Juergen Klinsmann's assistant coach in 2006 when they were beaten by Italy 2-0 in extra time, said he thought the enormous pressure on the hosts could end up being a burden.
"We had great hopes in 2006 too and you can feel the pressure that the hosts have in a match like this," Loew said.
"All 200 million people here want you to get to the final. That can cause your players to tighten up. I feel sorry for him (Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari). I think I know how he feels."
Loew was pleased that his team saved their best performance in the 2014 World Cup for the Brazil match, a rout that wiped away memories of the tense 2-1 last-16 win over Algeria which triggered widespread criticism back home.
"Five goals in 18 minutes - it's clear that they were shocked and didn't know what to do," he said.
"Everyone did their job today with a lot of concentration. But this has to continue. We need to stay humble. We don't want to over-rate this. We have to stay concentrated until Sunday."
Loew said that he had no preference on playing Argentina or Holland in the final.
"We're obviously going to celebrate a bit tonight, but we have to start focusing right away tomorrow on the next match," he said.
"But I'm not worried about that. The players all have their feet firmly on the ground and they won't let this (win) go to their heads."
Meanwhile, German star Thomas Mueller was still in shock after the incredible 7-1 thrashing of Brazil.
"This was not to be expected," he said. "I don't know what to say to be honest.
"I can't believe it. It's something totally crazy. It just went well today."
Mueller quickly urged his team to put the result behind them as they focus on Monday morning's final at the Maracana.
"Now we have to pull through one more time, we have to fight to get this thing."
- Wire Services.