Germany boss Löw gives youth a chance after hacking old guard
Germany coach Joachim Löw unveiled three uncapped players in his squad on Friday for the friendly against Serbia and the Euro 2020 qualifier against the Netherlands on 24 March.
Löw, who steered Germany to the 2014 World Cup trophy in Brazil and the ignominy of first round elimination in 2018 in Russia, ditched three players from the 2014 team in the prelude to the squad announcement.
He told the Bayern Munich troika of Jérome Boateng, Mats Hummels and Thomas Müller on 6 March that they would no longer feature for the national team.
The two 30-year-old defenders and 29-year-old Muller have been replaced by the 22-year old Werder Bremen midfielder Maximilian Eggestein as well as Niklas Stark, 23 and Lukas Klostermann, 22.
Löw's treatment of the Bayern Munich players was called into question by the Bayern hierarchy.
Chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said their exclusion - a week before Liverpool's visit to Munich for the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie - might destabilise the group.
"We consider the timing and circumstances of the announcement, both to the players and public, as questionable", said Rummenigge in a joint statement with sport director Hasan Salihamidzic.
"The last international match of the German national team took place on 19 November 2018."
Liverpool blitzed Bayern 3-1 on 13 March to advance to the last eight.
Löw, who escaped the sack after Germany's worst performance at a World Cup since 1936, is under pressure to prove the Russia debacle was a blip.
Former Bayern and Germany midfielders Lothar Matthaeus and Stefan Effenberg have also questioned Löw's methods.
"The decision is okay, because we are talking about making changes," said Matthaeus, a Sky pundit. "You could have thrown these three players out of the national team two months ago, after so many years of merit."
Effenberg questioned the logic of disgarding a trio with 246 caps between them. "In my view, it wasn't necessary to close the door to the national team for three well-deserving players," said the 50-year-old.
"One thing is for sure, Löw will be measured by it in the future. If the change fails, he will have to bear the consequences."
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