Friday, 6 September 2019

How Germany boss Joachim Low ruthlessly swept away the deadwood

Joachim Low knew he wasn't about to make himself popular so decided there was no point beating about the bush.

The Germany coach turned up unannounced at Bayern Munich's training ground and simply informed Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng - capped 246 times between them - they would no longer play for the national team.

His declaration, which came completely out of the blue, caused shockwaves in Bavaria and far beyond.

Muller recorded a video on Instagram in which he said: 'The longer I think about it, the more I'm angry about the way this has happened. I have no understanding for the suggested definitiveness of this decision.'

Bayern, whose players have formed the backbone of the German national side for as long as anyone can remember, took the unprecedented step of releasing a statement criticising Low's insensitivity and timing.

Low's visit had come in early March this year, causing unexpected angst and distraction ahead of important fixtures against Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga and Liverpool in the Champions League.

'We believe the timing and circumstances of the announcement of this decision to the players and to the public is questionable,' the German champions said in their most diplomatic tone.

It was certainly ruthless by Low. Not only were Muller, Hummels and Boateng experienced internationals - and World Cup winners from 2014 - but they were hardly over the hill.

Hummels and Boateng were only 30, not old for defenders, while Muller was still only 29 and a reliable goalscorer.


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