Thomas Muller, Jerome Boateng, and Mats Hummels have all been playing well for their respective clubs (Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund) ever since Joachim Low made the decision to remove them from the German National Team. He recently doubled down on his stance to leave them out of the German squad and received a lot of backlash for recently revealing that he was in contact with PSV Eindhoven’s Mario Götze in regards to having him in the squad for Germany’s next three matches during the international break.
At the German team’s press conference on Monday in Leipzig, Oliver Bierhoff voiced his support for Low standing by his decision to keep Muller, Boateng, and Hummels out of the German setup. He said that bringing the trio of veteran players back would conflict too much with the current composition of the squad: “When you bring back such distinguished national players, you have to presume a certain way of handling them,” Biefhoff said (AZ). “These players would then obviously be starters.” Currently, however, Bierhoff sees “no need for action.”
While he was explaining his rationale for backing Low’s decisions, Bierhoff recalled an example from his own playing days with Die Mannshcaft when then manager Berti Vogts recalled Lothar Matthäus to the squad for the 1998 World Cup in France. For a player of Matthäus’s stature, he expected to be in the lineup and one of the go-to players because he’s what Bierhoff described as an “alpha animal.” Players with pedigrees like Muller, Boateng, and Hummels, he feels, would be a similar situation because they would all expect to be heavily involved if they were, in fact, brought back. That, he feels, could cause problems amongst the rest of the squad.
Looking forward, Bierhoff said that Low is absolutely right to currently have a focus on trying to integrate some of the younger players into the National Team and give them time to develop, something that’s been a focus ever since the 2018 World Cup in Russia. It is absolutely right that Jogi continues on this path. You have to give the young players room to develop,” Bierhoff said. He went on to say that in addition to those reasons, there has never been anything “interpersonal” that’s happened between Low, Muller, Boateng, and Hummels despite the poor reception amongst German fans and Bayern’s front office when Low first made the decision to remove them from the National Team.
Of course, only the DFB coaches know what goes on in the dressing room, training sessions, and team meetings, but from the outside looking in, it seems the Low and his associates keep digging a deeper and deeper hole with their reluctance to budge on Muller, Boateng, and Hummels. All three of them have been in great form for their clubs and over the past two years Germany’s performances on the main have been nowhere near impressive and some would even argue they’ve been a complete disaster. Now, there will be increasingly added pressure on Germany to perform well at this summer’s European Championships.