Previous
Leicester City
Manchester United
5
3
FT
Game Details
Tottenham Hotspur
West Bromwich Albion
0
1
FT
Game Details
Everton
Crystal Palace
2
3
FT
Game Details
Manchester City
Chelsea
1
1
FT
Game Details
Levante
Barcelona
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
VfL Wolfsburg
Bayer Leverkusen
4
1
FT
Game Details
Toronto FC
Chivas USA
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Leicester City
Manchester United
5
3
FT
Game Details
Tottenham Hotspur
West Bromwich Albion
0
1
FT
Game Details
Everton
Crystal Palace
2
3
FT
Game Details
Manchester City
Chelsea
1
1
FT
Game Details
Real Sociedad
Almeria
1
2
FT
Game Details
Villarreal
Rayo Vallecano
4
2
FT
Game Details
Cordoba
Sevilla FC
0
1
LIVE 60'
Game Details
Levante
Barcelona
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
VfL Wolfsburg
Bayer Leverkusen
4
1
FT
Game Details
FC Cologne
Borussia Monchengladbach
0
0
FT
Game Details
Chievo Verona
Parma
2
3
FT
Game Details
AS Roma
Cagliari
2
0
FT
Game Details
Genoa
Lazio
1
0
FT
Game Details
Sassuolo
Sampdoria
0
0
FT
Game Details
Atalanta
Fiorentina
0
1
FT
Game Details
Udinese
Napoli
1
0
FT
Game Details
Palermo
Internazionale
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Torino
Hellas Verona
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Lille
Montpellier
0
0
FT
Game Details
AS Monaco
Guingamp
1
0
FT
Game Details
Lens
St Etienne
0
1
FT
Game Details
Paris Saint-Germain
Lyon
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Dundee
Dundee United
1
4
FT
Game Details
Celtic
Motherwell
1
1
FT
Game Details
Osasuna
Mallorca
6
4
FT
Game Details
Girona
Real Betis
1
3
FT
Game Details
Leganes
Racing Santander
2
2
FT
Game Details
Real Valladolid
Tenerife
1
0
LIVE 16'
Game Details
Albacete
Numancia
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Union Berlin
RB Leipzig
2
1
FT
Game Details
Fortuna Düsseldorf
Heidenheimer SB
3
2
FT
Game Details
Karlsruhe
Nurnberg
3
0
FT
Game Details
SC Heracles Almelo
Twente Enschede
1
4
FT
Game Details
AZ Alkmaar
PEC Zwolle
1
0
FT
Game Details
Feyenoord Rotterdam
Ajax Amsterdam
0
1
FT
Game Details
PSV Eindhoven
Cambuur Leeuwarden
4
0
FT
Game Details
FC Utrecht
FC Groningen
1
0
FT
Game Details
Belenenses
Maritimo
1
0
FT
Game Details
Rio Ave
Arouca
1
2
FT
Game Details
Benfica
Moreirense
3
1
FT
Game Details
Gil Vicente
Sporting Lisbon
0
2
LIVE 53'
Game Details
FC Porto
Boavista
7:15 PM GMT
Game Details
CSKA Moscow
Lokomotiv Moscow
1
0
FT
Game Details
Kasimpasa
Karabukspor
2
1
FT
Game Details
Sivasspor
Konyaspor
0
0
FT
Game Details
Eskisehirspor K
Genclerbirligi
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Fenerbahce
Gaziantepspor
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Asteras Tripoli
Kalloni AEL
1
0
FT
Game Details
Kerkyra
Giannina
2
0
FT
Game Details
Panthrakikos
Panionios
1
0
FT
Game Details
AIK
Halmstad
0
1
FT
Game Details
Kalmar FF
Djurgarden
0
4
FT
Game Details
Mjallby
Elfsborg
1
0
FT
Game Details
Malmo FF
Helsingborg
1
1
FT
Game Details
IFK
Gefle IF
Postp
Game Details
Viking FK
IK Start
0
1
FT
Game Details
SK Brann
Sandnes Ulf
3:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Aalesund
Stabaek
3
0
FT
Game Details
Lillestrom
Odd Grenland
2
0
FT
Game Details
Sarpsborg FK
Sogndal
3
1
FT
Game Details
Haugesund
Rosenborg
0
0
LIVE 0'
Game Details
Toronto FC
Chivas USA
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Toluca
Monterrey
1
0
LIVE 59'
Game Details
Guadalajara
Queretaro
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Edmonton
Tampa Bay Rowdies
ESPN3 8:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rosario Central
Arsenal de Sarandí
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Banfield
Boca Juniors
9:15 PM GMT
Game Details
River Plate
Independiente
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Boca Unidos
Aldosivi
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
All Boys
Temperley
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Crucero del Norte
Sarmiento de Junín
8:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Instituto de Córdoba
Nueva Chicago
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Atlético Tucumán
Sp. Belgrano
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Corinthians
São Paulo
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Cruzeiro
Atlético MG
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
EC Vitória
Bahia
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Flamengo
Fluminense FC
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Sport
Coritiba FBC
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Goiás EC
Palmeiras
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Gremio
Chapecoense AF
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Santos FC
Figueirense FC
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Racing (U)
Tacuarembó FC
1
0
FT
Game Details
Danubio F.C.
Rentistas
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Defensor Sporting
Juventud
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Wanderers
Rampla Juniors
6:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Atenas
Nacional
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Alianza Petrolera
Aguilas Doradas
8:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Envigado
Independiente Santa Fe
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Uniautonoma
Atlético Nacional
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Deportivo Cali
Fortaleza CE
12:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Cienciano del Cusco
Inti Gas Deportes
0
0
FT
Game Details
Los Caimanes
Melgar
6:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Alianza Lima
San Martin
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Rubio Ñú
Olimpia
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sol de América
Nacional
9:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Libertad
12 de Octubre
10:45 PM GMT
Game Details
El Nacional
Liga de Loja
1
1
FT
Game Details
Olmedo
LDU Quito
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Club Deportivo Cuenca
Barcelona
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Emelec
Mushuc Runa
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Atlético Venezuela
Deportivo Petare
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Llaneros
Carabobo
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Portuguesa
Deportivo Anzoategui
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Trujillanos
Estudiantes de Mérida
8:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Aragua
Zamora
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Deportivo Táchira
Tucanes
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Mineros
Deportivo La Guaira
9:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Sport Boys Warnes
Bolívar
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Universitario de Pando
San José
7:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Potosí
Wilstermann
7:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Oriente Petrolero
Nacional Potosí
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Next

Duarte: Dunga's return is complicated

Brazil Jul 21, 2014
Read
 Posted by Raphael Honigstein
Jul 4, 2014

Joachim Low's leadership dilemma

Michael Ballack points to the back four for reasons behind Germany's lack of offense over the last few matches.

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Do you know what leadership means, Lord Snow? It means that the person in charge gets second-guessed by every clever little [expletive] with a mouth. What if he starts second-guessing himself? That's the end; for him, for the clever little [expletive], for everyone.

Joachim Low, unlike Game of Throne's gruff, humourless Night Watch commander Alliser Thorne, doesn't have to contend with an army of murderous Wildlings in fortress Maracana on Friday -- only the French. The most vociferous criticism of the national manager's decisions hasn't come from his deputy or anyone else from inside the camp either, but from the German media. As parallels go, it's admittedly a ropey one. But Low will undoubtedly relate to the fundamental dilemma Thorne expressed so eloquently shortly before getting cut almost in two by a Wildling sword. Everyone wants their leader to second-guess himself, but nobody wants a leader who actually does second-guess himself.

FranceFrance
GermanyGermany
0
1
FT
Match 58
Game Details

Many little, clever critics -- as well as many big, not so-clever ones -- are urging the 54-year-old to move captain Philipp Lahm from the central midfield back to his more traditional role on the right side of the defence. The argument is shaped by Lahm's strong performance after filling in as right-back for the injured Shkodran Mustafi against Algeria ("We know how good he is in that role," said keeper Manuel Neuer), and it's persuasive in light of the problems Germany have had, attacking-wise, with four full-backs who are all centre-backs by trade.

Low, however, sees things differently. "I have made my decision in relation to Philipp Lahm's role," he told Die Zeit, "and I stand by it, until the end." The interview was given before the unnervingly laborious win over the Fennec Foxes on Monday night, but authorised by the German FA on the morning after it. So we must assume that it still accurately reflects Low's thinking.

In subsequent statements to the media, the Bundestrainer stressed that criticism didn't influence him ("I free myself of it," he said) and joked that Lahm's position against the French would "be easy to see." But is it really that clear-cut? Goal-keeping coach Andreas Kopke revealed that the "L" question was being "discussed" internally; "no decision is set in stone forever," Low added at the pre-match news conference in Rio on Thursday night.

Joachim Low has to figure out his full-back issue, a problem that will only become more glaring in the knockout rounds.
Joachim Low is being heavily criticised by the German media for his team's tactics in Brazil. Will he listen and second-guess himself, or just keep doing it his way?

That small concession to his detractors shouldn't be interpreted as wavering, however. Low merely wanted to show that he's no Alliser Thorne -- a man who dismisses any valid suggestions out of sheer principle -- but that his stubbornness comes as a result of being utterly convinced by his own, careful deliberation. He has looked at the situation again, and he's concluded that the answer is still the same: Lahm, as the only fully functional, fully fit defensive midfielder whom Low fully trusts, is more valuable to him in that critical zone on the pitch than wide out on the right, where lesser players can also do a job. (Bild incidentally believe that Kevin Grosskreutz, of Borussia Dortmund, will be entrusted with the right-back role against Les Bleus.)

It's a straightforward matter of football priorities. Lahm's club-mate David Alaba, to use another example, plays left-back for Bayern but as a central midfielder for Austria. They don't have another player of his quality and thus simply can't afford to waste him at the back.

Sticking with Lahm in the middle in the face of so much criticism is risky for Low politically. It has made failure at this stage even more unforgivable. Football supporters and people in general are suspicious of change, and the natural reaction has been to blame Germany's less-than-convincing outings on Lahm's new(ish) central position. (Conversely, managers who lose with a tried and trusted formula are routinely admonished for lacking a "plan B" or being too inflexible tactically. It's how the human mind works.)

What seems to have been completely forgotten by the midfield-Lahm-dissidents is that Germany's problems in defensive midfield predate this World Cup by almost four years. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira combined well to protect the back four in South Africa, albeit from a much deeper, more reactive starting point. As Low's Germany have progressively become more possession-oriented and attack-minded, the lack of a true specialist in front of the defence has been painfully revealed many times. Neither Schweinsteiger nor Khedira have ever been wholly comfortable holding the midfield for each other -- their struggles echo that of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in the English national team -- and Toni Kroos' attempts to play deeper reached a nadir in the 4-4 draw with Sweden in October 2012 (Germany had been 4-0 up).

France vs. Germany: July 4, noon ET (ESPN and WatchESPN)

- Honigstein: Ozil, Gotze must deliver
- Report: Low defends Lahm, Ozil
- Laurens: France team a picture of harmony
- 50-50 Challenge: France vs. Germany
- Photo Gallery: Top 10 2014 World Cup moments
- Elephant Oracle: Germany will beat France

Lahm's move into midfield at Bayern under Pep Guardiola presented a solution for Low's most pressing need: the lack of balance in the centre. The 30-year-old has not quite lived up to his high standards in Brazil -- "he's a football robot," the former Mainz manager Thomas Tuchel had said in admiration earlier this season -- but all alternatives appeal even less to the manager. It's not as if he hasn't tried out different things. He started his reign with a 4-4-2, switched to 4-2-3-1 midway through Euro 2008, played 4-4-1-1 for most of the 2010 World Cup, then went back to 4-2-3-1 before adopting the current 4-3-3 system that's designed to afford more protection to the defence. Low isn't set in his ways but he only changes of his own volition, on his terms. It's exactly how a leader should behave.

But he, like all leaders before him, will ultimately not be judged on the validity of his battle plan anyway, only on the result. This psychological phenomenon is called outcome bias and Alliser Thorne would recognise it immediately. He ended up the heroic winner of the battle with the Wildlings, thanks to sheer luck.

Raphael Honigstein

Raphael Honigstein is ESPN FC's German football expert and a regular guest on ESPN FC TV. He also writes for the Guardian, among other outlets, and is author of Englischer Fussball.