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Loew fumes at ‘insane’ fixture jam for Germany stars


Berlin (AFP) – Germany head coach Joachim Loew has spoken out against the “insane” fixture list his stars face this season on top of his German team playing eight internationals in a dense schedule until the end of November.

Germany will twice play three games in six days in October, then November. 

“I don’t agree with that, it upsets me,” said Loew after Thursday’s 1-1 draw against Spain in Stuttgart in the Nations League.

“The fixture list is insanely full,” Loew added.

Germany play a friendly and two Nations League matches, with two days break between each game this October and November.

“We have to be careful. I have always said that the health of the players is paramount.

“If you don’t pay attention, we’ll have big problems in March, April and May,” Loew warned with the postponed Euro 2020 finals in June, a knock-on effect after last season was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Loew acknowledged that the German Football Association needs the television revenue from home friendlies against Turkey on October 7 and the Czech Republic on November 11.

“I also represent the interests of the association. And the association is happy about the income.” 

Loew rested many of his Bayern Munich players for Thursday’s draw with Spain and Sunday’s Nations League away match against Switzerland.

However, Bayern stars like Serge Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka and Manuel Neuer face a punishing schedule this season for club and country.

They face the prospect of playing 57 competitive matches for Bayern alone in 2020/21. 

– Substitutes –

Loew is also annoyed that unlike in the Champions League, European football’s governing body UEFA has not raised the maximum number of substitutions allowed from three to five for internationals.

“If not now, then when?,” asked Loew.

“One would have thought that five changes would make sense.

“Just now it would have needed that.

“Some players are running on empty and that’s when injuries happen.” 

Spain head coach Luis Enrique agreed. 

“I regret that I couldn’t make five substitutions, then I could have given the players more rest,” he said.

Germany midfielder Julian Draxler does not expect UEFA to react by helping their cause in an unprecedented season.

“As players, we have little influence there,” said the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder, who only had two training sessions with Germany before 90 minutes against Spain.

“I also think it makes sense to have the five changes because we come from different (fitness) levels.

“It’s also risky to play 90 minutes when you’ve only trained twice.”

Loew said he will give his players some rest before facing the Swiss on Sunday and insisted his focus is on next year’s postponed Euro 2020 finals, not the Nations League.

“Some players are really flat – we can’t do much more training for the next two days,” added Loew.

“And I have to be honest, the results in the Nations League are not that important to me.

“We can only win something,” he added referring to the Euro finals, “if the team is mentally and physically fit.”

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