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Germany news

Low reveals tactical plans

July 5, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Germany boss Joachim Low insists the defensive tactics that saw Italy win the 2006 World Cup now have no place in the international game.

Joachim Low (bottom left) addresses his players in training
GettyImagesJoachim Low (bottom left) addresses his players in training

• WC Daily: Low the height of fashion

Germany have been one of the most attacking sides in South Africa, scoring four goals against Australia, England and Argentina, and they now take on Spain in the semi-finals.

"Our analysis was quite clear: we could only win the World Cup by playing attacking football and making life difficult for other teams," Low told Bild.

"The way that Italy won the title in 2006, by defending and winning by a single goal, is no longer possible - you don't get anywhere playing like that nowadays. We planned the World Cup all the way to the final."

Low's tactics have received widespread acclaim after the substantial wins over England and Argentina, and he has now revealed the two 'golden rules' that underpin his side's play.

Low divides the pitch into 18 rectangles of the same size to determine where the players should be positioned.

"It's about order on the pitch," he said. "That is the most important condition for good football. The players should know their place in the basic structure of the team, so that no-one thinks he can run all over the pitch. Certain rectangles must always be covered."

Low also demands that his players constantly search out space while the team is in possession. "I want to see players getting into space and asking for the ball. This makes the game more fluid and dynamic.

"I knew that some of our players are extremely good at that - Ozil, Poldi, Muller, Kroos - and I said to the team, 'If you don't move around the pitch, you're not even going to beat teams like Canada!' That was our golden rule from day one. We go over it in theory and in practise every day."

He added: "The team has mastered the art of playing simply. I have seen training sessions that have, at times, reached footballing perfection."

Germany defender Arne Friedrich and midfielder Sami Khedira sat out training on Monday. Friedrich is nursing a foot problem while Khedira has a hamstring injury but Joachim Low said earler on Monday that all his players are available for Wednesday's semi-final against Spain.