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What does the future hold for crisis-hit Germany as the pressure mounts on Joachim Löw?

By Rune Gjerulff   @runegjerulff

Germany's humiliating 6-0 defeat to Spain on Tuesday has raised questions over how long Joachim Löw can keep his job and who will replace him.
Joachim Löw.
Joachim Löw.Photo: Danilo Borges/copa2014.gov.br/Creative Commons
The pressure is mounting on Joachim Löw after Germany were thumped 6-0 by Spain on Tuesday, suffering their heaviest defeat in almost 90 years.

Löw has faced heavy criticism since Germany's dismal World Cup campaign in 2018, which saw them crash out at the group stages, and Tuesday's defeat certainly didn't help his situation.

"It was a dark day," Löw admitted in a post-match interview.

"We said that we trust the players we have called up and were on a good path. We saw today that we are not as far ahead in our development was we have thought and hoped after recent games."

When asked about Löw's future after the final whistle, Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff assured that the 60-year-old will stay on as coach for next year's Euros.

"Absolutely, yes," Bierhoff said when asked if Löw will stay on as coach for the European Championship.

"This game changes nothing. We still trust Joachim Löw, no doubt about that. With the national team, you have to think and analyze from tournament to tournament. We want to achieve the maximum at next year's Euros."

The candidate everyone wants to see
The question is if Löw will stay on after the tournament. His contract expires in 2022, but should Germany fail to deliver for the second big tournament in a row, it's possible that he will not see out his contract.

"Germany's performance in this tournament will be crucial for Löw's position. Getting knocked out at the group stages would mean he would no longer be the national team coach," former Germany international Lothar Matthäus wrote in a column for Sky in which he names Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp as the ideal candidate to succeed Löw.

"When talking about possible candidates, there is only one person that everyone would like to see in the future, and that is Jürgen Klopp."

Klopp said at the beginning of the 2018/19 season that he could imagine taking on the job as Germany coach in the future.

"Should I be asked at some point when I would be available, then I would think about it," he told Die Welt.

However, as Matthäus points out, Klopp still has four years left on his contract with Liverpool.

"I think he is far from finished in Liverpool and that it will be years before he has time for the national team," Matthäus stated.

Flick to take over after the Euros?
According to Wednesday's edition of Sport Bild, Bayern München coach Hansi Flick is the preferred option of the German Football Association (DFB).

Flick is no stranger to the German national team set-up, having worked as an assistant under Löw from 2006 until 2014, when 'Die Mannschaft' won the World Cup.

The 55-year-old is said to have a willingness to coach the national team in the future, but is under contract with Bayern until 2023 and would certainly not be able to take over the reins until after next year's European Championship.

Whether Löw will stay on until 2022 remains to be seen, but his 14-year stint as Germany coach is drawing to a close in any case.

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