Germany coach Loew gets it right every time
GDANSK, Poland (AP) — Germany coach Joachim Loew always seems to make the right choice, whether he goes with comprehensive analysis from his scouts, his gut feeling or a combination of both.
Every one of Loew's choices so far at the European Championship has been the correct one.
Loew is known as a meticulous planner and the Germans generally prepare for every match in great detail. But when asked earlier in the tournament about his decision-making process, Loew said he often trusted his instinct as well.
He started the tournament with Mario Gomez as his lone striker. Gomez scored three goals in the first two games.
When he changed his entire forward line for the quarterfinal against Greece, two of the newcomers scored in a 4-2 win.
Miroslav Klose has been Loew's first-choice striker for years, but the Lazio forward came into the tournament seeking his form and fitness after a hamstring injury and back problems that allowed him little playing time since March.
Loew still heaped praise on Klose before the opening match, leading reporters to believe Klose would start. Instead, Loew went with Gomez and the Bayern Munich striker scored the winning goal against Portugal, moments before he was due to be substituted by Klose.
"By now, you should know that I like to spring a surprise every now and then," Loew said at the time.
While noting that Klose was making great progress in training, Loew again trusted Gomez and he scored both goals in a 2-1 win over the Netherlands.
In the third group match against Denmark, Loew had to replace right back Jerome Boateng, who was suspended.
Loew picked Lars Bender, normally a midfielder who had never played in that position. Bender scored one goal, while Lukas Podolski, marking his 100th cap, notched another in a 2-1 win.
Then came the quarterfinal against Greece and Loew changed his entire forward line.
Gomez and Podolski went out, even though they had combined for four of Germany's previous five goals. Out went Thomas Mueller, the top scorer of the 2010 World Cup with five goals.
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