Two years on from Germany coach Joachim Löw’s baffling decision to axe Bayern Munich trio Jerome Boateng, Thomas Müller, and Mats Hummels from the national team, the move still looks potentially even stupider than it did then. All three players have been performing at a top level for their respective clubs, while the positions they vacated for Germany have yet to be filled by worthy successors.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that the DFB will admit its mistake and bring the trio back into the fold. Just look at what Oliver Bierhoff said in a recent interview with kicker (via TZ). Asked whether team management would consider bringing some of the players back for the European Championships next year, Bierhoff said, “Jogi made his decision very clear. He remains loyal to the players who were there last time and have convinced us. I think you have to acknowledge that: he has opted for a clean break, which he stands by, and has expressed his confidence on the young players.”
The former German international added that he was pleased with the season Thomas Müller was having, but held firm on his stance. For reference, Müller is on course to break Kevin De Bruyne’s assist record in the Bundesliga this year and has been nothing short of stellar since Hansi Flick took over. Meanwhile, despite the alleged emphasis on youth, 31-year-old Marco Reus (a year older than Muller), has had yet another season cut short by injuries but remains on the team.
It just goes to show that quality and “youth” had nothing to do with the decision, Jogi axed players who likely questioned him behind the scenes, and got away with it because of the DFB’s incompetence. If not for Serge Gnabry’s heroics in front of goal these last few years, it’s doubtful whether Löw would even have a job anymore.
It’s a shame that players that gave so much to their country were ousted in such a manner. Hopefully, the damage isn’t permanent, and things get better someday when Jogi is removed from his position.