Two weeks ago, I wrote what I then felt was a story of hope. Or, perhaps, what I then felt was the story that should be told.
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Loew needs a title to prove he is a winner
RIO DE JANEIRO—Joachim Loew has shaped a talented German generation into an entertaining and successful team with a history of near misses. Germany needs to beat Argentina in today’s World Cup decider to finally make Loew a winner. Loew’s achievements and the innovations he has brought into German football will always be recognised. But unless he wins the title his tenure will be regarded as a partial success, even considering the astounding 7-1 win over Brazil in the semi-finals.
Loew’s job is secure — his contract had been extended through the 2016 European Championship before the World Cup. But if Germany fails to beat Argentina at the Maracana and falls short of the title in Loew’s fourth straight tournament in charge, he may not be able to shake off the reputation of a coach who can’t win titles. “It’s always disappointing to lose a final, but this team has a future and I am not worried,” Loew said yesterday.
Germany lost the 2008 European Championship final to Spain, which also beat Germany two years later in the World Cup semifinals. With the German public expecting nothing less than the title at Euro 2012, Loew’s team lost to Italy in the semi-finals, with the coach widely blamed for the defeat by picking wrong tactics and wrong players. Loew was Jurgen Klinsmann’s assistant for two years before taking over after the 2006 World Cup. He was widely credited for being the mastermind behind the tactics of Klinsmann’s team. (AP)