Sports

Loew criticised for handling of dropped German trio

London – The president of the German Football Association (DFB) Reinhard Grindel has criticised national team coach Joachim Loew for how he dropped 2014 World Cup winners Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and Thomas Mueller.

Loew flew to Munich on March 5 to personally tell the trio they were not in his plans, then put out a statement, but the timing of his decision bemused German fans and pundits alike.

Grindel initially “welcomed” Loew’s decision but at the FIFA Congress in Miami criticised the way in which it was handled.

“I believe that it would have been wise … on the day of the decision, to personally express appreciation for the players at a press conference,” Grindel told broadcaster ZDF.

“It would have conveyed the reasons to the public why one wants to take a different path.

“If he had done that, many questions would have been answered and many misunderstandings would have been avoided.”

Loew said he wanted a “fresh start to 2019” in the wake of last year’s disastrous World Cup campaign, in which the three Bayern Munich stars all performed poorly as the Germans were dumped out at the group stage.

However, his decision to ditch so much experience drew sharp criticism in Germany and leaves him under pressure ahead of Wednesday’s friendly at home to Serbia and the Euro 2020 qualifier away to the Netherlands four days later.

On Friday, Loew spoke for the first time since ending the international careers of Hummels, Boateng, both 30, and Mueller, still only 29, who have all reacted with a mixture of anger and bewilderment.

Loew said Germany need “more dynamism, purposefulness and speed” and revealed the trio were “incredibly disappointed and made me understand they are still available” when he informed them of his decision.

“But the fact is, as I told them, I don’t plan on using them for the qualifications or Euro 2020,” added Loew.

Surprisingly, he has still yet to offer praise of the trio for glittering international careers, the highlight of which was helping him and Germany win the 2014 World Cup.

After Loew granted testimonial appearances to both Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski, it will seem strange if the three are not given a similar send off.

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