A new year, a fresh start

2014 would end on a sound note following the hard-earned 1-0 friendly win over Spain in a damp and blustery Vigo, and 2015 starts for the Nationalmannschaft with another friendly, against Australia in Kaiserslautern. After a few days’ break the more serious stuff then begins, as the European Championship qualifying campaign resumes with a trip to Tbilisi to take on group dark horses Georgia.

After the trials and tribulations of the latter part of 2014 which saw a first-ever defeat against Poland and a disappointing draw against the Republic of Ireland, Nationaltrainer Joachim Löw will be looking for a clean run towards next year’s finals in France.

The coach has been helped by a number of key players returning from injury to join the twenty-three man squad, including newly-appointed skipper Bastian Schweinsteiger, FC Bayern defender Holger Badstuber, and the Borussia Dortmund trio of winger Marco Reus, solid centre-back Mats Hummels and stylish defensive midfield engine İlkay Gündoğan.

One area where consistency appears to have been found is in the goalkeeping department, where FC Bayern München’s undisputed number one Manuel Neuer is again backed up by Roman Weidenfeller – who remains second choice in spite of Dortmund’s difficult season – and Hannover 96’s Ron-Robert Zieler.

With VfB Stuttgart’s Antonio Rüdiger and Dortmund’s Erik Durm out with injury, the return of Badstuber and Hummels couldn’t have been better timed, and Matthias Ginter misses out to leave Löw with seven defenders at his disposal. The in-form and ever-improving Jérôme Boateng and Benedikt Höwedes provide solid experience, with Sebastian Rudy and Shkodran Mustafi also making the cut alongside 1. FC Köln’s Jonas Hector who will be looking to add to his one international cap.

The midfield selections remain solid with Bayer Leverkusen’s Lars Bender the only omission from the last squad of 2014, and with the return of Schweinsteiger, Gündoğan and Mesut Özil one can clearly see the riches that Germany have on this part of the pitch. The selection for both games will be interesting with two of Gündoğan, Schweinsteiger, Christoph Kramer and Real Madrid duo Sami Khedira and Toni Kroos vying for the two spots in the defensive midfield.

Further up the field, there are just way too many good names to pick from. Marco Reus is fit again and raring to go, Özil and Thomas Müller are sure to start, and Leverkusen’s in-form dribbler Karim Bellarabi will be looking to hold onto his place in the side. Wolfsburg’s new acquisition André Schürrle and 121-cap “veteran” Lukas Podolski – now with Internazionale in Italy after a winter move from Arsenal – should get some pitch time in Kaiserslautern, but are the men most likely to miss out in Tbilisi.

Bayern’s Mario Götze is named among the two forwards alongside Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Max Kruse, though we are more likely to see a fluid offensive midfield collective rather than a traditional number nine. With the powerful midfield even World Cup final goalscorer Götze isn’t a definite starter, and Kruse will probably be looking for a run out against the Socceroos.

Australia’s last visit to Germany saw the Nationalmannschaft suffer a surprise 2-1 defeat in Mönchengladbach almost exactly four years ago, while the last meeting against Georgia was a friendly in Rostock back in 2006 that saw Germany claim a 2-0 victory – in Joachim Löw’s fourth match in charge.


Manuel Neuer (FC Bayern München, 57/0)
Roman Weidenfeller (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 4/0)
Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96, 4/0)


Holger Badstuber (FC Bayern München, 30/1)
Jérôme Boateng (FC Bayern München, 50/0)
Jonas Hector (1. FC Köln, 1/0)
Benedikt Höwedes (FC Schalke 04, 31/2)
Mats Hummels (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 38/4)
Shkodran Mustafi (Valencia CF, 6/0)
Sebastian Rudy (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, 5/0)


Karim Bellarabi (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 4/0)
İlkay Gündoğan (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 8/2)
Sami Khedira (Real Madrid CF, 53/5)
Christoph Kramer (Borussia Mönchengladbach, 8/0)
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid CF, 57/9)
Thomas Müller (FC Bayern München, 62/26)
Mesut Özil (Arsenal FC, 62/18)
Lukas Podolski (Internazionale Milano, 121/47)
Marco Reus (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 23/7)
André Schürrle (VfL Wolfsburg, 42/17)
Bastian Schweinsteiger (FC Bayern München, 108/23)


Mario Götze (FC Bayern München, 41/13)
Max Kruse (Borussia Mönchengladbach, 10/1)

A new year, a fresh start

One thought on “A new year, a fresh start

  • March 22, 2015 at 11:53

    Hi there,

    what do you think of Alexander Meier? Do you think he should have been in the squad? I know his age does not help him a lot, but personally I think he should have been picked many years ago.

    How about Devie Selke, he is looking more and more mature out there with Bremen.

    I think our defense is looking thin, Badstuber really makes me nervous. On the defensive right and left, we have got an issue as well. Rudy, Howedes, and Mustafi are all playing out of position there.


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