Joachim Low has confirmed three of his key World Cup legends will no longer play for Germany. Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng, who have amassed 246 caps, will no longer represent the national team.
Low has been under pressure ever since the group stage exit in Russia and made the announcement today. It seems poor performances have led to Low losing lost the trust in these players. The failure in the UEFA Nations League has led to taking drastic action now.
German Legends Axed by Joachim Low
Muller no Longer Favourite
Muller was seen as the nation’s darling having scored many goals at World Cups in South Africa and Brazil. The Bayern Munich star has represented his country on 100 occasions but struggled greatly in his recent performances for the national side. Many feel Mesut Ozil was made a scapegoat for Germany’s exit whilst Muller got away carefree.
The Bavarian native has been struggling for form and has not been as free-scoring as his younger days. Muller is a player who coaches have found difficult to get into systems. He famously had a tumultuous relationship with Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola found it difficult to get Muller to play his system and fell out during their time together. Low has stated that he wants to create a new Germany and that may mean he will use players like Leon Goretzka and Kai Havertz instead.
Hummels Recent Form Ignored
Mats Hummels who has recently been playing well for a resurgent Bayern Munich is perhaps the most surprising to be left out by Low. The ex-Dortmund centreback who also played a key part when Germany lifted the World Cup in Brazil, had been struggling for his Bayern place earlier this year.
His performance against Liverpool in the Champions League recently was excellent. The 30-year-old who has only played started 14 Bundesliga games this year future has been unclear with rumours of a Bayern departure. The stalwart now will have to concentrate on his club football following this ruthless decision by Low.
Boateng Injuries and Russia Form Cost Him
Jerome Boateng also has struggled to make the Bayern side recently with only 15 Bundesliga appearances. The 29-year-old has been plagued by injuries and unable to stay fit for a period of time. He was also criticised for being extremely defensively naïve during Germany’s summer games against Mexico and Sweden.
His poor performances in Russia culminated in a sending off against Sweden. The Bayern star was caught out of position numerous times. At times opposing teams seemed to target him as a real weak link in the team. He has also been criticised for off-field activities such as rapping distracting his football efforts. The ex-Manchester City defender will now need focus on rejuvenating his club career.
Positive Future but Job on the Line
With the axing of Hummels and Boateng, Germany will look to building their defence around the likes Antonio Rudiger and Thilo Kehrer for the future. Low’s brave decision to axe three players who have been so key for Germany needed to be made with them underachieving.
This decision may backfire as fans may lose patience with their World Cup-winning manager.
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