[dropcap]M[/dropcap]odern day football has a number of undesirable traits, both on and off the pitch, with the lack of patience given to managers one of my bugbears.
Although international football coaches do not receive the same level of continual scepticism as club bosses, there is still considerable turnover in the hiring and firing of national selectors.
However, before thinking about parting company with their manager any time soon, national football associations should look at the blueprint of current world champions Germany.
Joachim Löw led Die Mannschaft to the most illustrious of prizes at this summer’s World Cup and although he was blessed with incredible talent at his disposal, he had been backed after failing to deliver silverware in three previous tournaments.
The 54-year-old’s managerial record before becoming involved with the German national side is nothing to write home about; stints in charge of Stuttgart, Fenerbahçe, FC Tirol Innsbruck, Austria Wien and others were largely forgettable.
However, Löw was appointed as Jürgen Klinsmann’s assistant in 2004, meaning that he had been heavily involved with the national set-up for a decade before winning the World Cup last year.
The retired attacking midfielder was promoted to take the team reins following Klinsmann’s decision to step down after the 2006 World Cup and was given time to develop the ruthless and efficient team that claimed glory in Rio de Janeiro in 2014.
His tenure has not been without criticism, doubts from the German public and disappointment at major tournaments and it would have been easy for the DFB to have called time on Löw’s stint on a number of occasions before 2014.
At Euro 2008, Germany did make it to the competition final, but only after losing to Croatia in the group stage, while Löw was sent to the stands in the victory over Austria.
Despite defeat to Spain at the final hurdle, the national boss was retained and given another shot at achieving glory.
At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Löw introduced a host of young players that would go on to become the cornerstone of last year’s triumphant side.
Again Spain claimed a German scalp, eliminating Löw’s side by the same 1-0 scoreline as two years earlier, this time at the semi-finals stage.
Two years later at Euro 2012, Germany went into the tournament as one of the favourites once more, but were eliminated by a Mario Balotelli-inspired Italy at the semi-final stage in a major shock. Still the DFB maintained faith in their man.
This faith was rewarded in Brazil as Germany were heralded as worthy world champions, with Löw still in charge of the set-up today and tasked with bringing continued success to the national side.
The longstanding head coach has now formed his own team ethos, playing style and culture in the Germany squad, with young talented players arriving to adopt this and learn from the seasoned campaigners.
Few would write off Germany in replicating Spain’s recent success of three consecutive tournament victories, especially given the glut of talent available to the European nation.
However, having the right man in charge and giving him time to get the correct formula have been essential to Germany’s success and should be a key example to other national set-ups.
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