Ballack Taken Care of, Now on to Frings for Coach Loew | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 03.11.2008
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Ballack Taken Care of, Now on to Frings for Coach Loew

After making peace with Michael Ballack, Germany coach Joachim Loew is to hold similar crisis talks with another unhappy camper in midfielder Torsten Frings.

Germany's Torsten Frings, center, watching from the bench during the World Cup group 4 qualifying soccer match between Germany and Wales in Moenchengladbach, Germany, on Wednesday

Frings, center, was said to be unimpressed after being left out of the squad against Russia

Loew told the DPA news agency on Sunday he would be holding a meeting with the Werder Bremen player, who publicly expressed his dissatisfaction at being dropped from Germany's last two World Cup qualifiers.

"The talks will be held in the same manner as with Michael Ballack," Loew said.

The coach also plans further talks with Ballack ahead of the forthcoming friendly international against England in Berlin.

"We have agreed that we will speak on the telephone again this week," he said, dismissing fears his authority could have suffered after it was decided to take no action against his captain following critical remarks made in a newspaper interview.

Loew is still hoping the Chelsea midfielder will recover in time following foot surgery to play against England on Nov. 19.

"He has had the stitches removed and now has to see from day to day how his recovery is going," Loew said.

"This was not about winners or losers. Michael Ballack has assured me that he didn't intend to criticize our work."

I was in the wrong: Ballack

Michael Ballack, right, talks to his coach Joachim Loew

Michael Ballack, right, and coach Joachim Loew have resolved their differences

Ballack will remain Germany captain after apologizing in a meeting with Loew, who had summoned the player for talks at the German soccer federation headquarters in Frankfurt.

Ballack, 32, said in a statement after the talks: "I realize it was not okay to go public. I regret that this led to the impression that I wanted to criticise Joachim Loew in his position as coach.

"I apologized to Joachim Loew. He is the coach, he makes the decisions and we have to respect them."

Ballack was critical of the fact that Loew had benched 31-year-old Frings for two World Cup qualifiers. He also accused Loew of not showing enough respect for veteran players.

Germany last month enjoyed 2-1 and 1-0 wins over Russia and Wales respectively in the qualifiers. Loew's side is sitting top of Group 4 with 10 points from four games.

However, the Germany coach has found himself having to deal with disgruntled players, with the Ballack and Frings incidences coming soon after Kevin Kuranyi's decision to walk from the stands during the clash against Russia after failing to make the 18-man squad for the game.

Although Kuranyi has since also apologized, Loew said he would no longer consider the Schalke striker for selection.

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