The Germany boss insists that he has made up his mind over the Bayern Munich player’s role and defended his tactical approach ahead of the quarter-final against les Bleus
Joachim Low has confirmed that he will continue to utilise Philipp Lahm in the Germany midfield ahead of their upcoming World Cup clash with France.
The Germany captain has played most of his career a full-back but has increasingly been deployed in the centre of the pitch for both club and country.
Low, acknowledging the debate that this has fostered in Germany, dismissed suggestions that he could be swayed from his existing plans, and emphasised that he has decided upom Lahm’s role for the rest of the World Cup.
“I took my decisions and that includes Philipp Lahm’s role – I stand by it until the end,” the 54-year-old told Die Zeit.
“Lahm will only play as right back in case we have a case of emergency on the right wing during the match. Then I’d say: ‘Okay, now this is Philipp Lahm’s task, he can contribute to the pressure going forward.’ But we have to avoid a case of emergency.
“There are several players in our team who can play in different positions offering huge quality. I realise there will always be discussions about who plays and who does not play.”
Low also sought to defend Lahm and Mesut Ozil from some of the criticism they have recently received.
“This kind of public criticism is not understandable for me,” he said of Ozil, who scored the second in Germany’s 2-1 win over Algeria on Monday.
“The same with the criticism of Lahm. Mesut Ozil was the standout player in the tournaments in 2010 and 2012. I can’t just forget that. Plus, I always have big faith in my players, even though they’re not having a good run.”
Ahead of facing France in the Maracana on Friday, Low also was keen to play down concerns over Germany’s display against Algeria, stressing that the result should be the focus.
“Should I be disappointed we progressed?” he said.
“We made easy mistakes and lost the ball too often. At a World Cup you can’t play fantastically every match. But you have to win and that is what we managed to do.”