Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 June 2019

Germany set for 'new start' as Joachim Low drops Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller

Bayern Munich trio were instrumental in the 2014 World Cup triumph, but the team's failure in Russia has triggered a major shakeup

Jerome Boateng, left, Thomas Muller, second left, and Mats Hummels, second right, will no longer be considered for selection by Germany manager Joachim Low. AFP
Jerome Boateng, left, Thomas Muller, second left, and Mats Hummels, second right, will no longer be considered for selection by Germany manager Joachim Low. AFP

Germany are set for a "new start" after manager Joachim Low revealed that 2014 World Cup winners Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller will no longer be considered for selection.

Low informed the Bayern Munich trio that they were no longer part of his plans before he names the squad for the friendly against Serbia in Wolfsburg in two weeks and the Euro 2020 qualifier against the Netherlands in Amsterdam on March 24.

Between them, Hummels, Boateng, both 30, and Mueller, 29, boast 246 appearances for Germany and were at the heart of the team which won the World Cup in Brazil.

However, last year's debacle at the World Cup in Russia saw Germany crash out in the group stages due to below-par performances from Low's trusted stars, including the trio.

"2019 is the year of a new start for the German national football team," said Low, who flew to Munich to speak to the trio. "It was important to me personally to explain my thoughts and plans to the players and managers of FC Bayern."

The 59-year-old Low, who masterminded Germany's World Cup triumph in Brazil, thanked Hummels, Boateng, and Muller for "many successful, extraordinary and unique years together".

Low's decision signals the end of an impressive international career for Muller, who broke through as a 20-year-old at the 2010 World Cup and went on to score 38 goals in 100 appearances.

Hummels and Boateng, Germany's successful centre-back partnership before the disaster in Russia, have played in 70 and 76 internationals respectively.

With a year to go before the European championships, Low said now is the time to remove more of his old guard having already last year dropped midfielder Sami Khedira, another 2014 World Cup winner.

Low was heavily criticised in the wake for Germany's failure last summer for failing to give chances to squad players, many of whom had won the 2017 Confederations Cup, when his World Cup plans fell apart.

His decision to omit winger Leroy Sane, who had just played a starring role in Manchester City's record-breaking Premier League title triumph, from his World Cup squad was one such decision that backfired.

The pressure was then further increased on Low after Germany were relegated from the top-tier of the inaugural Uefa Nations League in November.

"In the year of qualifying for the European Championship 2020, we are sending out a clear signal: the young national team players will have the space they need to fully develop," said Low. "They have to take responsibility now."

Low's boss, German Football Association president Reinhard Grindel who also took flak last year when Mesut Ozil retired from Germany duty amid claims of racism, welcomed Low's move.

"I welcome the fact that he is now making decisive progress in transforming our national team and starting the qualification for Euro 2020 is the right time for personnel changes," Grindel said.

Updated: March 5, 2019 07:27 PM

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