Football

Time is up for Germany coach Joachim Loew: Craig Burley

Former Chelsea and Scotland midfielder believes Germany need 'a fresh voice with fresh ideas'

Former Chelsea and Scotland midfielder Craig Burley believes that it is time Germany part ways with World Cup-winning coach Joachim Loew, after Die Mannschaft crashed to a 4-2 defeat by rivals Holland in a Euro 2020 qualifier in Hamburg on Saturday.

EURO 2020 QUALIFIER, GROUP C
NORTHERN IRELAND GERMANY

Germany have faltered in recent times, crashing out of last year's World Cup in the group stage, before getting relegated from the top tier of the Nations League later that year.

Burley said on ESPN: "You need a fresh voice with fresh ideas.

"What's the point in saying, 'We'll wait and see if he gets us to the Euros' - which he probably will - 'And then we'll see how we go from there and make a decision'.

"That squad's not going to give Belgium or France or even Spain a game. Actually, I really fancy England against that Germany side.

"So what's the point of waiting and, if they have a poor Euros, Jogi might go?

"Just get it done now, we're sweeping it clean now.

"Thanks very much, you've been great for us by the way, but it's been on a slippery slope for quite a while now."

Germany, who sit second in Group C, face leaders Northern Ireland away at Windsor Park tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

Loew, who was criticised for playing with a back three and allowing his team to sit deep against Holland, said that he would make tactical changes against Northern Ireland.

He said: "I am sure we will see a reaction on Monday... Northern Ireland are amazingly robust, they play a lot of long balls.

"They will sit deeper and we will not have much space, so we need to think of something tactically."

Loew defended his tactics, but the German media remained critical while Dutch coach Ronald Koeman said Die Mannschaft look tired and his side should have won by more, reported AFP.

ALARM BELLS

Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel warned that "lessons must be learned" from the defeat by Holland, while the country's biggest tabloid Bild said that "alarm bells" were now ringing around the qualification campaign.

Kicker magazine claimed there was "no need to panic yet", but Germany captain Manuel Neuer warned his side against complacency ahead of their visit to Belfast.

"We know that anything can happen in football, we experienced that ourselves in 2018, so it is important we take this game seriously," he told Bild.

"It is not ideal for us to be playing an away game in Belfast right now. They have won all their games so far and it is always difficult to score goals against such opponents."

Germany will be without left-back Nico Schulz, who has been a regular since scoring on debut against Peru last September.

He has torn a ligament in his left foot.

Despite a 100 per cent record after four matches, Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill believes things will start getting difficult now with successive matches against Germany and Holland on the horizon.

He said: "(The players) got to see this as an opportunity, not as a, 'Oh, we're playing Germany, we're playing Holland'.

"We're playing two teams that have ambitions to win the tournament, never mind qualify for it, let's be honest."

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