In a way, this summer’s Euros were sort of a free hit, so to speak, for Joachim Low. You’d be hard pressed to find any German football fan that didn’t think he was on borrowed time and should’ve been replaced years ago, most likely after Germany’s disastrous 2018 World Cup in Russia, or their subsequent UEFA Nations League campaign. In that sense, there was a certain level of relief mixed with clarity when it was announced months ago that Hansi Flick would be replacing Low after this summer. Low knew this was his last dance with Die Mannschaft, so there was that certain amount of pressure that was taken off of him, without belittling the importance of the competition itself.
Germany was always going to be up against it getting out of Group F along with France and Portugal, but Low certainly did not want to end his reign as manager by losing to England 2-0. His side were made to rue their missed chances in what was a display that was far from their best at Wembley, and after 15 years, Low’s tenure as Germany manager comes to an end.
Low has been manager just about as long as Angela Merkel has been chancellor, so it’s easy to forget that the former has managed at the club level before in Germany, Turkey, and Austria. It’s been speculated that he’ll resume managing at the club level at some point after this summer, but for now, Low has remained tight lipped regarding his future. After the Englad defeat, he said that, for now, he’s just going to try to enjoy the distance away from football (Bild). “You don’t just shake off a tournament like that, it will take a few days. After 15 years at the top and in responsibility, it will do me good to break away from this responsibility a little. Then there will be new energy and then I will decide what to do. At the moment I have no concrete plans. It is important to get a little distance now, to allow the emptiness that comes,” he explained.
Of course, there have been highs and lows (no pun intended) during his time as Die Mannschaft manager, and despite all of the recent low points, Low is going to focus on remembering the highs. “There were a lot of very positive things. The home World Cup, the steady development, the 2014 title, the 2017 Confederation Cup, many unforgettable moments. Since 2018 we have had a lot of problems and difficult phases. What will get stuck are many moments with people that were really important to me. I don’t want to miss the experience,” he said.