Loew un­der pres­sure

The Nation - - SPORT -

Joachim Loew faces the tough­est tests of his 12-year ten­ure as Ger­many head coach in the forth­com­ing Na­tions League matches away to the Nether­lands and world cham­pi­ons France.

Af­ter earn­ing him­self some breath­ing space fol­low­ing a 0-0 draw with Di­dier Deschamps’ France in Mu­nich last month, Loew must take points from the Dutch on Satur­day in Am­s­ter­dam, and French in Paris next Tues­day, to re­store his tar­nished rep­u­ta­tion.

His former cap­tain Michael Bal­lack turned on him this week, claim­ing he was “sur­prised” Loew kept his job in the wake of Ger­many’s World Cup de­ba­cle when they ex­ited at the group stage.

Jur­gen Klins­mann, Ger­many’s head coach with Loew as his as­sis­tant at the 2006 World Cup, also ramped up the pres­sure by say­ing a semi-fi­nal berth at the 2020 Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship is now a “min­i­mum re­quire­ment”.

Joachim Loew and Michael Bal­lack.

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