Germany won all its games in qualifying for the 2012 European Championship, where it fell, 2-1, to Italy in the semifinals. But Joachim Loew, who guided Germany to runner-up at the 2008 Euros and third-place at the 2010 World Cup, says he's changing the team's approach as it enters qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
"We will have to completely change our tactics – which used to be, 'if we have the ball we are active, if not we drop back'," said Loew. "Our aim in the next months will be to play a high pressing game, even against attacking sides. We have to be more active when defending without the ball. Everyone has to play their part and this gives us quite a lot of work to do in training but we have to tackle this now. Before the European Championship there was not enough time."
Germany opens its qualifying campaign against the Faroe Islands on Friday. Also in Group C are Austria, Kazakhstan, Ireland and Sweden. Germany's last game was a 3-1 friendy loss to Argentina in August in Frankfurt.
"Something is lacking," said defender Per Mertesacker. "The team has been in semifinals, won many third-place matches, but the decisive step is missing. I hope there will be a time when we can lift some silverware."