Speaking to reporters at a much-anticipated press conference in Munich on Wednesday, Germany head coach Joachim Löw said that his biggest error in Russia had been not to adjust his team’s possession-based tactics.
“My biggest miscalculation and my biggest mistake was that I believe we could make it past the group stage by playing a brand of dominant, possession-based football,” Löw said. “We’ve often played well that way in the past, but it’s a high-risk tactic. So in order for it to work, the squad and the conditions have to be just right. It all has to come together so that we can deal with the risks involved.”
Löw admitted that it was “almost arrogant of me” to stick to that style of play.
“I should have prepared the team the way I did in 2014, when we had more of a balance between offense and defense,” he concluded.
Löw also conceded that he and his coaching staff had failed to find a way to ignite the team’s passion for winning as they had in Brazil four years earlier.
In the days that followed Germany’s elimination from the World Cup he said he felt a deep sense of “frustration, disappointment and anger.”
At the same time, though, Löw, whose contract runs through the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, said that after 14 years with the national team both he and general manager Oliver Bierhoff remained “strongly motivated and have the energy to put right what we got wrong in Russia, and that we will put every bit of our energy into bringing the ship back on course.”