World Cup Diary: Germany left soul-searching after campaign of ‘disaster’

Germany defender Jerome Boateng has labelled the team’s World Cup as a “disaster” after their worst performance in 80 years.

World Cup Diary: Germany left soul-searching after campaign of ‘disaster’

Germany defender Jerome Boateng has labelled the team’s World Cup as a “disaster” after their worst performance in 80 years.

An embarrassing 2-0 defeat to South Korea condemned the four-time champions to an ignominious bottom-place finish in Group F.

National newspaper Bild declared the campaign as “the biggest disgrace in German World Cup history”.

“Such a disaster. World Cup 2018 was not what we expected,” Bayern Munich Boateng, whose individual performances came in for criticism, wrote on Instagram. “I’m still angry and disappointed and at the same time I feel sorry for all our fans who supported us in the stadiums.

“Four years ago we were on top of the world — now we’re on the bottom. These are the days in the life of a football player nobody envies you for. But that’s life.

“All I can say is thank you to our fans who always support us. We will analyse what went wrong and carry on working as we always did. I promise we’ll be back strong!”

I’ll bounce back, says determined Neuer

Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who was at fault for South Korea’s second goal after coming out of his goal and playing in midfield — where he lost possession — insists he has no plans to retire from international football.

The Bayern Munich star accepted responsibility in his role as captain and player but added the whole squad had “screwed up”.

“You have to say we do not deserve (to go through),” he told the German Football Federation’s website dfb.de.

“In the second round everybody would have liked to play against us. How are we going to be dangerous to an opponent if we do not get our performance (right)?

“We gave a bad picture in the three games. I cannot answer why that happened. We have to take responsibility. We screwed up, (and) we screwed up together.”

Coach Joachim Low will consider his future despite only signing a new contract in May to take him to 2022.

Asked whether he will continue in the role he has held for the last 12 years, Low, 58, told a press conference: “That’s hard to say.

“Of course, it takes a couple of hours to look into that. I’m shocked, I’m shocked because we didn’t manage to pull it off.

“Where we go from here, we’ll have to talk about it calmly. It will take me some hours now to come to terms with it. I’m incredibly disappointed by this elimination.”

Expert talks up innovative long throws

The sight of players regularly hurling the ball into the box from the sideline in Russia is no coincidence as more and more teams are realising the potential of the long throw-in to create havoc, and ultimately goals, at this World Cup.

Sweden’s third goal in their Group F win over Mexico was a perfect example, as winger Viktor Claesson launched the ball into the Mexican penalty area, striker Isaac Kiese-Thelin flicked it on, and Mexican defender Edson Alvarez turned it into his own net to make it 3-0.

Danish specialist coach Thomas Groennemark is in no way surprised the throw-in is being embraced as an offensive weapon in this way — he has spent more than a decade teaching players from all over the world how to use it more effectively.

“It’s important for every team to have players who can throw long, especially for the left and right backs,” Groennemark told Reuters, adding that every team had a player who could learn to do so. “It is only technical training — you don’t have to gain ten kilos in the weight room. There’s a lot of different players who can throw long, from the short, explosive type like Roberto Carlos to tall players, to normal players with flexible arms.”

Russia cracks down on online sexual abuse

Russia’s leading social network is cracking down on chat groups created to shame women during the World Cup amid growing complaints of sexist abuse during the tournament.

Social network VKontakte said it issued warnings to administrators of such groups, telling them that “offensive behaviour is unacceptable” as it ordered better moderation on the sites, including blocking content.

However, sexist comments continued to appear on at least one of the targeted sites, which was named after an offensive Portuguese phrase for the female anatomy.

Several female fans, journalists, and others have complained of groping, sexist comments, or other misconduct at the World Cup.

Taoiseach Varadkar gets behind Belgium

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he was cheering on Belgium against England in the World Cup last night.

Varadkar was lending his support while he is in Brussels for a meeting of leaders at the European Council.

Varadkar said: “I am here in Brussels in Belgium so of course I am going to be cheering for the home team.

“But of course if Belgium wins, England will probably get an easier ride in the next round so perhaps it is one of those win-win scenarios.”

Varadkar was in Belgium for discussions about Brexit, among other issues.

PaperTalk Munster final podcast with Anthony Daly and Ger Cunningham

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