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18-Nov-2020, 04:58 am

Pure rubbish: Low under pressure after Germany's shocking loss in Spain

Toni Kroos Joachim Low Serge Gnabry Germany Spain 2020-21 Nations League GFX

There was some surprise when it emerged that more people in Germany watched an antiques show last Wednesday night than the nation's friendly against Czech Republic.

Joachim Low's side were outclassed from the first whistle and could have no complaints after an embarrassing 6-0 loss in Seville.

They were three down at the break – not since 2006, against Italy, had they suffered such a humiliating start.

The incredible thing was, the scoreline arguably flattered the visitors.

As well as offering absolutely nothing in attack – despite fielding an attack containing Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry and Timo Werner – they were woeful in defence.

With Matthias Ginter and Phillip Max repeatedly caught out of position by Ferran Torres and Dani Olmo, and Robin Koch and Niklas Sule failing dismally to contain Alvaro Morata, Spain looked like scoring every single time they attacked.

Spain had 14 shots during the opening 45 minutes – Germany managed one.

The gulf in class was both shocking and embarrassing. Germany, remember, had gone into this game top of their Nations League group, needing only a point to progress to next year’s finals.

However, there is no denying that this is a side in decline. They’ve been struggling since the 2018 World Cup, when they crashed out in almost farcical circumstances in the group stage.

Low recognised that, of course, infamously deciding to end the international careers of Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng.

Expect to hear the names of all three players mentioned repeatedly in the coming days, as Low's critics argue that maybe the problem in Russia two years ago wasn't the players – but the coach.

It was certainly hard not to look a team full of world-class players being toyed with on Tuesday night and wonder if Low has lost the plot.

This was Germany’s first defeat since September of last year but it had been coming. The quality of the performances have been steadily declining, in spite of the emergence of some exciting young talent.

Ominously, they had arrived in Seville having kept just once clean sheet since last November. That porous defence was ruthlessly exposed by Spain’s electric front three.

Low, of course, has achieved great things with the national team but even the greatest coaches can outstay their welcome.

Hungarian legend Bela Guttmann used to say that the third year is always fatal for a manager; that a certain fatigue and staleness is inevitable after such a sustained spell working with the same personnel.

International football is obviously different to the club game but Low has been in charge for 14 years now, and involved for 16.

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