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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 October 2018

Joachim Low set to stay as Germany manager despite World Cup failure - reports

Defending champions departed bottom of their group - the first time the nation had exited in the first round of the tournament in 80 years

Joachim Low has been Germany manager for 12 years but the failure at the 2018 World Cup has put his position in doubt. Alexander Hassenstein / Getty Images
Joachim Low has been Germany manager for 12 years but the failure at the 2018 World Cup has put his position in doubt. Alexander Hassenstein / Getty Images

Germany manager Joachim Low will remain in his job despite the World Cup debacle which saw the holders crash out after the group stages, according to reports on Tuesday.

Both Germany's best-selling daily Bild and Sport Bild magazine claim the 58-year-old will stay on to rebuild the national team, which finished bottom of their group in Russia. The Germans bowed out after shock defeats to Mexico and South Korea.

It was the first time since 1938 that a Germany side failed to get past the first round at a World Cup finals - a huge dent to Low's reputation after 12 successful years in charge.

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The German Football Association (DFB) has yet to confirm the reports, but Low has a contract until the 2022 World Cup. He returned from Russia considering his future, but the DFB said they would not sack him.

He has promised a clearout of the squad and several of the World Cup winners who under-performed in Russia may have played their last game for their country.

"It needs far-reaching measures, it needs clear change," Low said last week when Germany arrived home in disgrace.

Senior players Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller have given Low their backing, yet could all face the axe after poor displays.

There are, however, reports of player disgruntlement in other quarters with Loew.

Frankfurt-based newspaper FAZ quoted unnamed Germany players who said the squad was deeply divided between senior and younger players in Russia.

There was also resentment to the special status given to captain Manuel Neuer. The goalkeeper played all three group games, ahead of Barcelona's Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, even though Neuer had just returned from eight months sidelined by a foot fracture.

That was "a problem for some players" as Low had said he would only use those who were playing well regularly.

Other complaints included Low giving priority to established players, the choice of Germany's isolated World Cup base in south-west Moscow and the poor handling of the pre-World Cup scandal involving Mesut Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan.

Their loyalty to Germany was brought into question on the eve of the World Cup after meeting Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who Gundogan presented with a jersey signed "to my president".

Both players were booed by German fans during pre-World Cup friendlies, which overshadowed preparations for the finals.

Ozil refused to comment on the controversy during the World Cup while Gundogan gave a single interview in which he said the furore was "a difficult experience".