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Sep 16, 2013

Dortmund and Joachim Low showdown

The Borussia Dortmund and Joachim Low row is headed for a showdown. At the weekend, Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp renewed his criticism of Low - and the German media. The Germany coach has called for a sit down to end all discussion.

Germany kept back-to-back clean sheets in Mats Hummels' absence.
Mats

Last Thursday, Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp  mocked the Germany defence for their fantastic performance against the Faroe Islands. Klopp’s comments came at a time when Germany had just recorded two consecutive clean sheets for the first time in over a year - without Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels.

Hummels had, so was the feeling around the Westfalenstadion, been made the scapegoat for various mistakes in the Germany defence. On Saturday, prior to Dortmund’s 6-2 victory over Hamburger SV, Klopp renewed his criticism, when speaking to Sky in a pre-match interview.

"I don’t think that Jogi Low has a problem with Borussia Dortmund," Klopp said. "But it is a fact: When mistakes get names, it is not unlikely that it is a Borussia Dortmund player." Klopp added that Hummels, who returned to the starting formation against Hamburg, had not been the only Dortmund player criticized by Low in the last couple of months.

"I was surprised at his Marcel Schmelzer comments back then," Klopp said and remembered Low’s criticism of the Dortmund left back in October 2012, when Low said: "We don't have a lot of options - thus we have to continue to work with him. I hope he gets better at international level." The Germany coach had also added that he "could not carve out players" for the left back position. After coming under heavy fire, Low later apologized for his statements.

"It’s the same with Mats now. Those things have to be clarified. The mistakes during the Paraguay game, until today, stand there as if they were Mats’ mistakes only." Later on Saturday, Klopp also hit out at the media coverage in an interview with ZDF, in which he criticized the stations pundit Oliver Kahn for not looking at the complete picture.

Speaking on Sky late on Sunday, Dortmund CEO Aki Watzke took the same line. "Many say that Dortmund players are criticized more. We will sharpen our senses over the next few weeks. It is our natural reflex that we defend our players when they are criticized," he said.

"But I have not made up my mind yet. I don’t believe it [that Low has a problem with Dortmund players], to be honest," he added. "I think Low is a good and the right national team coach. But we will monitor it carefully if we have to leap to the defence our players."

Joachim Low replied in an interview with Bild. "There is no doubt about the outstanding work in Dortmund under Jurgen Klopp. That is not only mirrored in the Bundesliga standings, but also in the fact that Dormund has a lot of internationals," Low said.

"Recently, I have been emphatic about the fact that Mats Hummels is a very good centre-back, who plays an important role in our plans. Jurgen Klopp also knows that," he said. "In the upcoming weeks we will find the right moment to calmly exchange our views."

The German football weekly kicker commented that it was now time for Joachim Low to "have a straight talk."

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