Confident Löw renounces shoot-out practice

Fabio Capello may care to look away this morning when he learns that, had England made it to penalties against Joachim Löw's Germans 10 days ago, they would have encountered a side who had not bothered preparing for a penalty shoot-out. It is a sign of the breezy self-confidence with which Löw's side have advanced to another semi-final that they are not even contemplating the notion.

"We don't try and get ready for penalty shoot-outs because you can't plan for one," Löw said last night. "There's no sense in practising a penalty shoot-out or even trying to simulate this in training sessions. We've shown we have very good players who can take such enormous pressures." It was a contrast to the shoot-outs which wound up English training sessions before Löw's side eliminated them and so was the elegant, relaxed way Löw explained that his racially diverse side were bonded together.

"Take a look at my team," he said. "My players all grew up in Germany. They all relate to Germany. They are in excellent [physical] condition regardless of their background. They are easy-going, easy to talk to, very amicable with each other, full of respect. We have a good team spirit."

This was as impressive as it was convincing, even though there was the first slight fracturing of the harmony yesterday, when the captain, Philipp Lahm, said he had no intention of willingly giving up the armband when Michael Ballack returns to fitness, prompting a rebuke from the team manager, Oliver Bierhoff.

Lahm has been one of the players of the tournament though Bierhoff acknowledged that the German camp could do without his comments in an interview with the newspaper Bild. Bierhoff denied that the controversy, which broke an hour before the German team were due to fly here, had upset the team, but he was not happy. "It's not a great idea to choose the most important week of the World Cup to say that," he said.

It was a minor glitch, though. "[Lahm is a quite fair chap, quite honest and he likes to take on responsibility," Löw countered. "We have freedom of speech and Philipp is able to say what he thinks."

The issue preoccupying Löw is who shall replace the suspended Thomas Müller on the right-hand side of midfield. The options include the Brazilian born Cacau, who requires a fitness test this morning, Piotr Trochowski and the Bayer Leverkusen prodigy Toni Kroos. There was a feeling here last night that Löw may deploy Mesut Ozil wide right, where he operated effectively against England, and deploy Kroos behind Miroslav Klose.

Löw feels Germany have made huge strides since Spain beat them 1-0 in the 2008 European Championship final in Vienna. "The players we have now are incredibly skilled, technically and tactically," he said. "In 2008 we came on with a lot of energy but couldn't always dominate matches." He reserves perhaps most respect for Klose, a huge performer in international tournaments since 2002 who arrived here after minimal club football with Bayern Munich. "Whenever it counts, Miro is there. He is excellent at assessing his performance. He didn't need me to tell him he was short of games."

Lucas Podolski just wants revenge for that night in Vienna. "It would [be] a great final revenge for 2008 [to win here," he said. "The defeat is something that's there to stay. I keep looking back and it's painful. Now we want to lift the trophy and we will do anything in our power to get there."

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
News
Rainbow List
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVMost of the performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker