With the final weeks of his Germany tenure hanging in the balance, Joachim Löw has some difficult decisions to make.
After narrowly escaping the Euro 2020 Group Stage, Germany has found itself in the precarious position of having to play a talented — yet equally dysfunctional — England side at Wembley Stadium.
There will certainly be a multitude of all-stars on the pitch, but how this game plays out is really anyone’s guess. Both managers have been chided for their respective lineup selections, but Gareth Southgate at least has “a tomorrow” to look forward to with his position (at least for now) no matter whether his squad wins or loses.
For Löw, however, there is no tomorrow with Germany should his team lose. While his legacy is secure after winning the World Cup in 2014, the manager has spent the last three year making horrible decisions — some he was able to walk back and fix, while others have just snowballed.
Regardless, Löw’s formation choice and lineup selections will be firmly under microscope. With his loyalties spread among players like İlkay Gündoğan and Serge Gnabry, Löw is going to have to make some hard decisions on which XI will give his team the chance to move on against England.
Many players on Germany’s squad are scuffling with their form, confidence, or both; which makes Löw’s decisions all that more impactful.
Surely, Thomas Müller will return to the lineup and replace a struggling Leroy Sane, but will Löw be able to honestly assess the prospects of players like Gündoğan and Gnabry?
Leon Goretzka could not do any more than he has done to prove he should be in the XI. Gündoğan, though, has been subpar to say the least.
Gnabry’s situation is more complex, though. His track record under Löw has been fantastic, but the Bayern Munich star appears to mired in a bit of a slump. Is now the time to try a fresh approach with Timo Werner, Jamal Musiala, or Kevin Volland? Or…will Löw roll with Gnabry one more time in hopes he can breakout?
Whatever decision is made, Löw will have to live with it. Whether the manager likes it or not, his squad’s fate rests on his shoulders.