Hamburg - It may have been one of the less eventful games of his reign as Germany head coach, but Tuesday night’s with Poland at the Imtech Arena will nonetheless have given Joachim Löw food for thought ahead of the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Löw picked the youngest team to ever represent die Nationalmannschaft and more than a few players who showed they were deserving of the opportunity to play international football. “I enjoyed it very much,” said Löw at full time. “We had lots of youngsters in the side and they did their jobs very well. We were organised and delivered a controlled performance, and even without the goal it was an entertaining game.”
As many as eight players were making their debuts for Germany, with the starting-XI having as few as 15 caps combined. Ten of those had been won by FC Schalke 04’s 20-year-old midfielder , who was given the captain’s armband in Hamburg, making him Germany's youngest ever skipper since its first international match in 1908.
Inevitably there were moments when the players’ lack of familiarity with one another could be seen, with some mistimed passes and runs contributing to Poland’s ability to keep the hosts at bay and limit their attempts on goal. Löw, however, will have been satisfied with the way his youthful side coped with the expectation on them, and the assuredness that many of them displayed.
Borussia Mönchengladbach’s and Sebastian Rudy of 1899 Hoffenheim controlled the midfield, with Kramer in particular seeming to possess the quality and mentality for international football, recycling possession energetically and snapping into the tackles with his customary enthusiasm. Elsewhere, Schalke attacker looked busy throughout and substitute of FC Augsburg attacked at every opportunity.
The final 23-man squad for the World Cup will not be named until, at the latest, the 2 June deadline set by FIFA, but Meyer for one is certainly hopeful of extending his involvement. “We didn’t really know each other that well and we’d only trained together a few times, but it was still fun and I’m just happy to have made my international debut. The coach has to decide if I can stay with the team, but I haven’t booked my holidays for June and July just yet.”