The World Cup-winning right-back said changes are needed if the 2014 champions are to get back to the top of world football
Former Germany right-back Philipp Lahm said national team manager Joachim Low must change his leadership style to avoid further international disappointment.
The 2014 World Cup champions shockingly crashed out of the 2018 tournament at the group phase, falling 2-0 to South Korea in their deciding Group F match.
Questions surrounded Low’s future following the elimination, but the German Football Association later announced he would be retained as national team boss.
Low guided Germany to success in 2014 with Lahm as the team’s captain, but the 34-year-old believes a leadership style that worked in the past must now be adjusted.
“I am convinced that Jogi Low has to change his collegial leadership style of recent years if he wants to succeed again with the new generation of internationals,” Lahm wrote on LinkedIn.
“This is not a sign of weakness, but of further development. He must show individuals that they are responsible for the entire team.”
In Russia, Low relied on much the same style and same players that brought so much success in 2014. Lahm says these decisions proved to be mistakes.
“The coaching team relied on the fact that the successful leadership culture of the past is enough to be successful once again,” Lahm said.
“[Low] must establish a culture of tighter, clearer decisions than he was previously accustomed to.”
A pre-tournament photo session with Mesut Ozil, Ilkay Gundogan and controversial Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan caused a stir both inside and outside the Germany team.
Lahm said this situation was not properly handled.
“This clear address was needed, for example, at the time of the affair surrounding Mesut Ozil and İlkay Gundogan sharing a photo with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan,” Lahm continued.
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“Ozil (and initially also Gundogan) felt no need to speak out and explain themselves in public. This necessity should have been communicated quickly and clearly in order to improve the harmony portrayed to the outside – and to the inside.”
With Low’s future secure for now, Lahm feels the manager can achieve future success by making a few adjustments.
“If he succeeds, I am very optimistic about the future of our team,” Lahm said.