Germany's summer of footballing
failure will not be preying on their minds as they kick off
their World Cup qualifying campaign on Friday, coach Joachim
Low has promised.
The Germans have been given a gentle start, with a home
match against the Faroe Islands in Hannover, but even so are
likely to be jittery after a traumatic four months.
After Friday it gets more difficult, with a trip to
neighbours Austria on Tuesday.
"The players have put their disappointments behind them and
there is real hunger for success," Low said. "That goes for the
coaching staff as well."
Germany's troubles began when Bayern Munich lost the
Champions League final to Chelsea in their own Allianz Arena,
going down on penalties after dominating the game.
The national side then lost to Italy in the Euro 2012
semi-finals, continuing a run of near misses that include second
place at the 2002 World Cup, third in 2006, third in 2010, and
runners-up at Euro 2008.
Low's team was also outclassed by a Lionel Messi-inspired
Argentina, losing 3-1 at home in a friendly in August.
Germany won all 10 games on their way to Euro 2012 but Low
has warned that a group also containing Sweden, Austria and
Ireland, and involving a long trip to Kazakhstan, could pose
"We completed the last qualifies in a rousing manner," Low
said. "This time it will be more difficult, the group is very
even. There won't be any pushovers.
"We have to improve when we don't have the ball. I place
value on the way we develop going forward, but we must be more
active off the ball and make sure we don't give our opponents
Low said that not even the Faroe Islands, who have 12 of
their 19-man squad based locally, would be easy.
"The Faroes have only lost recently by narrow margins,
one-or two-goal margins. Italy only beat them by a goal," he
said. "They are certainly not cannon-fodder."
Germany are missing striker Mario Gomez, who is recovering
from an ankle operation, and Bastian Schweinsteiger, who is not
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