Kamis, 22 Juli 2010

Loew signs new contract, Germany breathes easy

It was feared that negotiation on a new contract would take weeks, but in the end it only needed a long weekend and on Tuesday Joachim Loew signed a new two year contract to remain national coach of Germany. And the whole of Germany was relieved as currently there seems to be a trend in German politics to leave the job after a very stressful period. Infact six chief ministers have either resigned or had to go in less then a year. An unprecedented event in German politics and many here feared that this could spill over onto the football pitch.

Not only will Joachim Loew now stay on until the 2012 European Championships in Poland and Ukraine, but also his assistant Hansi Flick, goalkeeping coach Andreas Koepke and team manager Oliver Bierhoff. Loew will receive a new increased salary of 2,7 Million Euros per year, an increase of 200,000 Euros from the last contract. But the main thing is that he can continue the work he has started with the young German team and hopefully can finally bring back a title from a major tournament. Germany has been third in the 2006 and 2010 World Cup's plus runners-up in the 2008 European Championships.

In the end the quick signature did come as a surprise to all. Original talks had been held in February 2010 which had broken down on demands of more power for Loew and Bierhoff. Especially under whose command the Under-21 national team would be had been an issue with the German FA's technical director Matthias Sammer plus more power for manager Bierhoff. But in the end these things didn't matter that much as the Under-21s like the rest of the junior squads remain under the control of Sammer and Bierhoff wasn't given more powers.

Loew was said to be thinking if he should remain Germany's coach and he had said at the end of the World Cup that he expected talks to last long, but what made things quick was the fact that both sides wanted to continue their work. Loew's team of Flick, Koepke and Bierhoff wanted to continue and the German FA after the World Cup performances wanted to retain their coach. And the coach had ensured that he didn't look as someone to the media and fans who only cared about the money, but not his team as was the news after the failed February talks. And this was a point explicitly made by German FA president Theo Zwanziger at the press conference in Frankfurt on Tuesday.

The negotiations were swift and direct. Unlike in February there weren't any demands placed to the German FA. Loew told DFB General Secretary Wolfgang Niersbach on last Friday on the sidelines of the 20 years of Germany winning the 1990 World Cup celebrations in Rust that they should talk. They had a telephonic conversation on Saturday, met on Sunday, the contract was checked on Monday and on Tuesday it was signed and a press conference held.

The fans now only look forward that Loews continues the work he has started. Sometimes things can be so easy...

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