kicker-Interview with Mats Hummels - 30. September 2013
kicker: Mr. Hummels, is it possible that your girlfriend Cathy, as lifestyle-reporter for sky, currently enjoys football more a than you?
Hummels: How do you get the idea that I did not have fun?
kicker: Could we not take your tormented face, when substituted in Naples, as kind of a symbol of your season so far?
Hummels: There has been written a lot in the past few weeks. Also, that I have a form crisis, which I can not confirm. On the pitch I have fun. Not being able to play and sit in front of the TV, that’s what I can’t.
kicker : Last year, in an Interview with WAZ, you said your performance was “far below at what I imagined”. How would you rate your performance currently?
Hummels: I would describe it with “solid”. Last year, I made many big mistakes before goals. Like bad passes or simply lost duels. I cut out the mistakes. I only had a negative outlier in Frankfurt. What’s still missing are positive outliers. Matches, where everything works.
kicker: In the club you have a significantly higher standing than in the national team. Why is that so?
Hummels: If you work together for years, train and play together, you have a very different relationship from when you see each other only every four or six weeks for seven days. It so happens, that the confidence which I feel in the club is not always given in the national team .
kicker: Do you have to work harder and more than others in order to gain and keep a certain status in the DFB-team?
Hummels: I do believe that I had to work harder for my standing than others. I had to wait a long time before I got nominated and got to play, despite good performances at club level. My feeling tells me that others got promoted faster than me.
kicker: When you played, you offered quite a few objectionable performances. Do you lack consistency in the national team?
Hummels: I know, that I did not only have good games in the DFB-team. But most of the poor performances were friendlies, where the defense traditionally looks bad. No matter who plays. Then, the entire team just does not defend as consistently as they should.
kicker: Why is the chemistry between the coach and you so wrong?
Hummels: The chemistry is definitely right. The coach let me play at the EURO. He would not have done this, if he thought that I would screw the tournament. Our relationship is completely fine.
kicker: Why is it then that Löw attacks you so often?
Hummels: I’m just a different type than the central defender who played five or six years ago in the national team. This might also be a change for the coach. But in the end, I’m the one who has to adapt to the national team.
kicker: Players like Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker get covered by Löw during difficult phases. Your mistakes get publicly reproached by the coach. Has he double standards?
Hummels: It may be, that the criticism on me is clearer and more direct than on other players. I have no problem, when I am criticized for the mistakes I made. I myself am my harshest critic.
kicker: Do you not put into practice what Löw asks for?
Hummels: At least in the game against Paraguay, that was the problem. I stood too high - and completely wrong during the third goal. During the game I saw the situation completely differently from how it really was. About the first goal, which was also claimed to be my fault, I have my own opinion …
kicker: Does Löw give you concrete evidence, where you have to improve yourself ?
Hummels: The Communication is very good and pleasant. After the video session before the Austria match, the coach has shown me a few scenes alone, and very clearly told me what he expected from me.
kicker: You are a representative of a mature generation of players, and you reserve yourself the right of your own opinion. Do you offend people in the national team with that?
Hummels: That may be possible. The DFB doesn’t approve of criticism. That’s okay too. I don’t think it’s bad if you criticize me. In return, I come forward when I think something is not perfect. But I can not remember any great controversy.
kicker: When Löw publicly criticized you after the EURO-loss against Italy, you striked back.
Hummels: For good reason. The impression was created that I was responsible for our loss. The 0:1 my fault, but definitely not the 0:2. But it was not spoken about that.
kicker: Against Austria and the Faroe Islands Löw granted you not even a single minute of playing time. Do you see that as encouragement - or as punishment for your poor performance against Paraguay?
Hummels: First of all, I think that Jerome Boateng deserved a chance because of the performance he has shown. So there was one man too many on board against Austria. I expected that I would be the one. From this I draw the big motivation to play so good in the next few months, that the coach can not get past me: During the World Cup there will be no other option for him than me.
kicker: Do you expect Mertesacker and Boateng will start in the last two World Cup qualifiers against Ireland and Sweden?
Hummels: I assume so. The two have done well against Austria. It would be no great surprise to me when the coach sets up the defense like in the last matches.
kicker: How hard is it to put up with that?
Hummels: I just do not like to sit on the bench. To just watch the match injured, like against Nuremberg, is hell for me. There is nothing I’d rather do than playing football.
kicker: Why is the relationship between Löw and the Dortmund professionals so complicated?
Hummels: I don’t think it’s his fault. The hard core of the nationalteam exists since 2006. New players joined the team only occasionally, one from this club, one from another club. And then the whole BVB-block came out of nothing. This has brought a major change in the national team for the first time. And everyone has to adjust to this.
[…] A relaxing evening, playing cards with his Schalker “arch-enemies ” Benedikt Höwedes and Julian Draxler: Mats Hummels feels comfortable in the circle of the DFB-team even without his injured Dortmund teammates. […]
THIS IS GENIUS!!!