Matthias Sammer has called for major changes at the DFB after Germany's disappointing performance at the World Cup. The former Germany player said some of the problems were of a structural nature.
Matthias Sammer has never been one to mince his words, and he was typically outspoken when he addressed the federation of German football coaches' (BDFL) congress in Dresden on Wednesday. Sammer began by echoing a call made by Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz-Rummenigge on more than one occasion.
"We need football expertise in the top positions" of the German football association (DFB), he said. "We need a few people who have shaped the identity of football and know how to be successful."
The former Stuttgart and Dortmund midfielder didn't point the finger at any individuals on the DFB's presidential board, but he did put forward the names of people who, in an advisory role, could help put German football back on the right path – including former Bayern coaches Jupp Heynckes and Ottmar Hitzfeld, as well as the club's legendary former goalkeeper Oliver Kahn. Sammer's idea is to bring their expertise to bear in a panel of experts to plot the way forward.
Structural changes needed
Sammer, who made 76 appearances for the former East Germany and Germany combined, also indirectly criticized the DFB's decision to extend national team head coach Joachim Löw's contract prior to the World Cup. He said the right structure would have prevented the current situation, in which personnel decisions have already been made even though the analysis of what went wrong hasn't yet been completed. Löw is the one conducting that analysis.
The former DFB sporting director (2006-2012) also joined others in criticizing the national team coach for not attending the congress – but said under a better structure at the German FA there would have been somebody in a position to tell Löw that it was important that he attend.
The coach of Germany's under-18 national team, Meikel Schönweitz indicated that the DFB was listening.
"We too believe that some of the structures need to be adjusted," he said afterwards.
German football at a crossroads?
While the path forward remains unclear, there appears to be general agreement on the fact that changes are needed. In his opening address on Monday, the general manager of the national teams, Joti Chatzialexiou, who has only been in the job since January, said he believed that German football was at a crossroads.
Former Bundesliga coach Christoph Daum said he wouldn't go quite that far, but he did agree that "some things need to be modernized" and that it would have been better had this happened following Euro 2016, when Germany lost to France in the semifinals.