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Racing Post - Euro 2020 - 2021-06-03

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Transitional side may not give Low glorious ending

EURO 2020 GROUP F

LIAM FLIN

EURO 2020 will be Joachim Low’s final tournament as Germany manager but the World Cupwinning coach’s 15-year tenure is more likely to go out with a whimper than a bang. Since Low took charge in 2006, Germany have finished runners-up at Euro 2008 and won the World Cup in 2014 and, in hindsight, that is arguably when he should have parted ways with the national team. Germany were irrepressible in Brazil seven years ago but only five members of that side are in the squad for this year’s European Championship. Even after the Euros were delayed by a year, Germany still look like a side in transition and Hansi Flick, who is set to take charge later this year, could have a rebuilding job on his hands. Defence is perhaps the most pressing area of concern after Germany were obliterated 6-0 by Spain in the Nations League just six months ago and it is hard to forget their abysmal World Cup campaign in 2018. That said, their Euros pedigree is pretty much unparalleled. No nation has competed in more European Championships than Germany, who have won the title on three occasions and reached the semi-finals in six of the last eight editions. And they still possess some of the sharpest individuals on the continent. Low’s shock decision to recall experienced duo Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels after claiming in 2019 that he would not pick them again could also turn out to be a masterstroke. In another section they would look a safe bet to make the knockout stages but Portugal, France and Hungary will all prove tricky opponents and there are plenty of weaknesses to be exploited in Low’s side. But underestimating the Germans is dangerous and a lack of expectation could do this evolving squad wonders.

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