FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany coach Joachim Loew faced more criticism over the choice of goalkeepers in his squad for this month’s World Cup qualifiers which included Bastian Schweinsteiger after the midfielder’s recovery from injury.
Loew stuck by youngsters Ron-Robert Zieler and Marc-Andre ter Stegen as the backup for first-choice keeper Manuel Neuer despite Hamburg SV shotstopper Rene Adler’s return to form following injury problems.
"We decided a while ago that we would include these two young keepers for these games (in October) so they could get experience," Loew told a news conference on Friday as he was quizzed by reporters.
"We have taken note of Rene Adler’s performances and I’m happy that he has been playing so well recently after his injury problems.
"He has certainly not been written off, we will have another look before the 2014 World Cup to see what’s best for the squad."
Adler had been set to be Germany’s first choice at the 2010 World Cup before being ruled out with a rib injury. Since then, Bayern Munich’s Neuer has established himself as Germany’s number one.
In August, Hoffenheim’s Tim Wiese was surprisingly left out of the squad at the age of 30 as Germany said they wanted younger goalkeepers and considered him too old to be part of their plans for 2014.
Ter Stegen, 20, has conceded eight goals in two appearances for Germany against Switzerland and Argentina.
Zieler, 23, who once had a brief spell in the English third division with Northampton Town, has also played twice. He conceded three goals in a 3-3 draw with Ukraine and was sent off in the Argentina game when the score was 0-0.
Schweinsteiger took the place of the injured Julian Draxler in the only change from the squad which faced Faroe Islands and Austria last month.
"It was always clear that Bastian would be back in the team against Ireland and Sweden," said Loew.
"Last time, we did not include him so that he would have the chance to get back into a full training and match rhythm in piece.
"His performances with Bayern Munich have showed that was the right decision…and that he has used this time to his advantage."
Germany, who have maximum points from their opening two games, are to Ireland on October 12 and at home to Sweden four days later.
"We know what awaits us in Dublin. The Irish will give everything to try and beat us in front of their own public," said Loew, adding their Scandinavian opponents on October 16 would be another test.
"Sweden are not just about Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is a world class player, they also have team unity."
Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hanover 96), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Borussia Moenchengladbach)
Defenders: Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich), Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke 04), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund)
Midfielders: Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Mario Goetze (Borussia Dortmund), Ilkay Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schuerrle (Bayer Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)
Forwards: Miroslav Klose (Lazio)
(Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Tom Pilcher)
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