Joachim Low, center, is running out of time to turn the tide of opinions straight in his favour.
Holland host Germany at the standout tie of the week’s Euro 20 20 qualifiers on Sunday (3:45 p.m. ET, ESPN+) as well as for its visitors’ director Joachim Low, there is much more than the three points at stake in Amsterdam. Even the 59-year-old has to pull no less than the most difficult — some say impossible — balancing action in international football at this time: Low needs to convince an increasingly suspicious public home that purposeful change and successful reinvention is possible and he, the man accountable since 2006, can do it.
One shouldn’t bet against the embattled Bundestrainer‘s therapeutic powers too hastily. Low confounded many doubters once he took over from Jurgen Klinsmann to make the Nationalmannschaft tactically more elastic and once more when he overcame the massive downturn of Euro 2012’s semifinal exit Italy to succeed in Brazil 2 years later. However, the sporting catastrophe in Russia, followed by relegation at the Nations League and also his contentious decision to axe the three World Cup-winning mainstays Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels (from Bayern) in a fast trip to Munich have abandoned him shakier ground than ever before.
The effects of the choice naturally still resonates. Suddeutsche Zeitung accused of showing”the sensitivity of a porcupine.” Muller announced himself”angry” in a heart felt video message, also Bayern bosses Karl Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness also voiced their displeasure regarding how and apparent finality of this trio’s exit. Grindel later denied he’d guessed the federal manager but Low made a point of emphasising that he’d no need to talk about the topic together with his boss beforehand –“I create the athletic decisions” — also also implied that the FA couldn’t happen to be trusted to keep the story under wraps if he’d told them beforehand.