I watched the Germany v Australia game live on German TV. Shortly before the game started, the usual German commentators rolled out an amazingly detailed analysis of the Australian style of play. They commented on how the German team should best beat their opposition. They noted the lack of Ozzie midfield play, kick-and-rush style, and stated that any German goals would come by forcing the strong Australian back four out of position on the counter-attack. Awesome graphics and everything!
Löw and behold; 4 goals came and went and all by the system described by the commentators. As a Brit, I couldn’t believe it. That’s why Germany wins time and time again! A tried and tested system, determination and almost absolute self belief.
And I thought football was all down to the tried-and-tested English system of a bit of slick passing, individual brilliance, prayers to the “no penalty shootout” gods, and bucket-loads of luck!
The truth is that Germany still plays with the same ruthless systematic approach that they always have. To everyone else it appears to be a more open and flowing style, but in reality the style might have changed, but the system is still just as efficient and utterly devastating to teams that give them the space to play.
I’m really looking forward to see how German can play against a real side. The kick-and-rush approach of the Ozzies was strikingly similar to the approach England played against the USA.
I’ve had a season ticket at Werder Bremen for the last year and watched Mesut Özil and Marko Marin tear defences apart. However, I’ve also seen them play atrociously, especially Özil, who spent the majority of the winter months trotting half-heartily after the ball. It wasn’t until the sun came out in the spring that he started playing well again (notably, Özil’s other weakness is that he can’t cross the ball consistently and Marko Marin crosses the ball consistently at his own “Tom Cruise” head height. i.e. 5’7″).
Also consider that Germany haven’t let Stefan Kießling and Toni Kroos off the bench yet, and they have both been in devastating form this season in the Bundesliga, Kießling being number two goal scorer in the league (after Dzeko) this season.
This really could be one hell of a World Cup for Germany who are already in 4th gear. England are still stuck in first gear and need to get cracking, but what do I care, I’m a Welsh.