Cologne: Joachim Loew’s 14-year reign as Germany head coach is under pressure after his side’s run of poor results continued Tuesday as they had to come from two goals down to limp to a 3-3 draw against Switzerland in the Nations League.
Germany have drawn four of their last five games - surrendering the lead on three occasions - to leave them second in their Nations League group behind Spain.
They squeezed past Ukraine 2-1 with a full strength side in Kiev on Saturday and after a 3-3 friendly home draw against Turkey last Wednesday, Loew’s side were once again guilty of poor defending.
“Sure, when you concede three goals, the defence isn’t good,” admitted Toni Kroos, who was at fault for the second Swiss goal, after his 100th appearance for Germany. The 60-year-old Loew has a German FA contract until the 2022 World Cup.
However, his popularity among German fans has plummeted, from the heights of winning the 2014 World Cup title, since Germany’s debacle at Russia 2018 finals when they failed to get out of their group.
The draw with the Swiss will only enhance the domestic criticism of Loew from key names within German football such as Lothar Matthaeus and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Dinamo Zagreb striker Mario Gavranovic scored goals either side of a deft chip by Remo Freuler as all three Swiss goals came from German mistakes.
Germany fought back behind closed doors with goals by Timo Werner, his Chelsea team-mate Kai Havertz and Serge Gnabry.
“We always came back, despite a lot of set backs, so we showed some good morale,” said goal-scorer Havertz, putting a positive spin on a disappointing evening for the Germans.
Loew also focused on the few plus points. “Of course, we also see the mistakes, which we have to fix,” said Loew.
“It was good that we came back. It shows that the team is eager. These mistakes are part of the process.”
On the eve of the game, Loew said he expected “concentration, precision, courage”, but it was the Swiss who showed those character traits to take a 2-0 lead.
The German defence was caught napping with just five minutes gone. Right back Robin Gosens lost the ball and Freuler headed across the box to Gavranovic who also used his head to guide the ball over German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
Ukraine 1 Spain 0
Germany 3 Switzerland 3
Azerbaijan 0 Cyprus 0
Montenegro 1 Luxembourg 2
Latvia 0 Malta 1
Faroe Islands 2 Andorra 0