Germany manager Joachim Löw knew his team needed to re-focus after dropping a heartbreaker to France in the squad’s European Championships opener. Löw examined what went wrong and has been working on implementing changes.
“On Tuesday evening we were all disappointed because we lost bitterly to an unfortunate own goal. However, we reworked the game extensively, also with a view to what we have to and will do differently against Portugal. We had a good defensive performance against France, but didn’t create enough chances to score. We are optimistic that things will go better against Portugal. We are approaching the game with focus and are confident that we will get a positive result,” said Löw (as captured by the DFB website). “Tactically, we have to bring something new into the game, which means above all new offensive power. We have to react differently in some situations and occupy other spaces. The tactical changes have nothing to do with the system. Any player can implement any of these changes in any position. We were well organized defensively, so no major tactical changes are planned.”
Facing Portugal, Löw knows Germany is facing a tough task — one that is more than just trying to shutdown Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Portugal has remained structurally together since the Euro 2016. They are strong in aerial combat in defense and, above all, on the offensive. Portugal is not a one-man show by Ronaldo. You have four or five world-class attacking players. In terms of breadth, they are perhaps even better positioned than France. They are a team that also learns more about combinations at the highest level. Many of their players can hardly be separated from the ball,” said Löw. “In 2012, 2014, 2016, the entire game of Portugal was focused on Ronaldo. This is no longer the case. There are significantly more outstanding offensive players. Of course, Ronaldo is a special player who can do more than just move coke bottles. He’s quick, he’s got a good header. We have to see how we can get it under control.”