Germany coach Joachim Loew has backed under-fire captain Philipp Lahm ahead of the semi-final clash with Spain.
The defender has come under scrutiny following his comments published in ‘Bild’, in which he said he wanted to keep the captaincy after the World Cup. Currently he is a stand-in for Michael Ballack
Loew said the backlash would not affect Lahm or the squad ahead of the Spain game.
“That does not bother us at all,” Loew said. “He spoke honestly about what he thinks. He has been enjoying the added responsibility and he has done his job here in an exemplary fashion. Philipp said he would like to continue but he also said he knows it is up to the coach to decide after the World Cup.”
Loew is promising a different attitude and approach to the semi-final from the side that flopped 1-0 against the same opposition in the Euro 2008 final.
“In 2008 we did not have the same consistency,” he said. “I had seen in our pre-tournament preparations that we have players of a higher playing quality. Our combination football and the flow of our game have improved. Two years ago we put in a lot of energy but were not in a position to dominate a game. Now we can cause problems for teams and are much better with the ball.”
Germany have scored four goals on three occasions at South Africa 2010, and Loew says there is no chance his side are going to rely on defence against Spain.
“(Andres) Iniesta, (David) Villa and others, these are world-class players,” Loew added.
“But it’s our attacking force that has brought us success here and if we don’t try to be offensive we won’t have a chance.
“We won’t be able to nail them down in their own half but we will have to force them to work back and use every chance we have ourselves to get forward.