Newest Review: ... (As Sergio Ramos so directly stated on Twitter following Bayern's Champions League final loss). Defence The weakest area for this wonderf... more
A ruthless attacking machine with real flair
Germany National Football Team
Member Name: paulie1975
Germany National Football Team
Advantages: Fast attacking, great creativity, wonderful experience
Disadvantages: Slightly one dimensional defence
Germany have always had a reputation as a dour and unexciting team who teutonically battle through games either winning with a workmanlike performance or on penalties, well all that changed after the World Cup of 2006 held on German soil, when Jurgen Klinnsmann's side turned stereotypes on their head and the whole nation seemed to really let themselves go and enjoy the experience.
Under Joachim Loew Germany have developed a style of play that isn't as fluid as the Spanish team, but they have more direction and pace in attacking positions offering options which Spain can't match. They have easily the hardest group in the tournament playing Holland, Portugal and Denmark, but they should progress. Having won every single game in qualifying and so far in the tournament, they look strong, and despite having a team with an average age of 24 boast incredible experience.
Germany are in many ways a wonderful template for England, having gazed at their naval during a period of relative failure they improved youth development to a point where they are almost overflowing with talent, some have questioned whether Podolski and Klose should play for Poland or Ozul for Turkey, but all are German through and through and their presence simply highlights the growing multiculturalism of this amazing country.
Enclosed is a team summary:
In Manuel Neuer, Germany have the best young goalkeeper in the world, Neuer is a leader and a formidable last line of defence, strong on crosses, great a stopping shots and physically imposing in one on one situations. Neuer is vocal and demanding and rubs many opposition players (And German fans) up the wrong way), but he is a winner and gives confidence to the ten men in front of him. I will be interested to see how Neuer reacts to a game against Spain during the tournament, he clearly upset Real Madrid players with his cockiness during the Champions League and many will be keen for revenge (As Sergio Ramos so directly stated on Twitter following Bayern's Champions League final loss).
The weakest area for this wonderfully attacking team, Jerome Boateng is a strong yet limited defender, Per Metersecker has steadied the ship at Arsenal but his clear weakness is his lack of pace, Matts Hummel is an exciting defender who likes to bring the ball out of defence in a manner similar to Beckenbauer or Matthias Sammer, he is elegant and composed, but occasionally lacks concentration defensively, he also spends a lot of time covering for either Metersecker or Boateng, Phillip Lahm is still probably the best right back in the world and his attacking forays could be a huge threat during the tournament, he is intelligent, covers the whole flank brilliantly and similar to Dani Alves at Barcelona is one of the constant threats for his team from a relatively obscure position.
Germany have plenty of options in midfield, fthe Real Madrid pair Mesut Ozil and Sami Kherdera have proven experience at the highest level, Ozil had a great season and is a wily, skilful creator with an explosive burst of pace. Khedera is likely to sit back in front of the back four and allow his colleagues to bomb forward, he is a smart, simple player with the ability to do the dirty jobs others can't. Bastian Schweinsteiger will perhaps make the mark he has promised for so long, effortless in defence and attack he can do anything on a football pitch, smart, arrogant and wily, he is a commanding midfielder who the rest of the team will look upon to lead them during the hard times. Some have suggested every great German team has a player like Schweinsteiger, with memories of Beckenbauer, Matthaus, Bernd Schuster and many others. He is one of the keys to the team, industrious, fearless, composed, confident, he has 93 caps at 27 years of age and his experience will be useful as we now hit the business end of 2012.
The Bayern Munich midfielders Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller will hope to figure somewhere in the team, Kroos for his dynamic play, Mueller for his ability to find a goal from nowhere.
Many are excited by the opportunity to watch the precoucious Mario Goetze of Dortmund who offers endless attacking options with pace, verve and ability, his counter attacking skills suit the team perfectly and he is an equal to Ozul and an impact sub who in years to come will become a main player, Marco Reus also had a great year in the Bundesliga and showed against Greece what an exciting player he is, full of pace and slippery running skills, his interplay with the creative midfield hub was a joy to watch and if he can improve the end product he will become one of the most productive and exciting wide players in the world.
In attack Germany have Lukas Podolski of Arsenal who has a fantastic goalscoring record at International level and offers the pace to suit their counter attacking style, they also have predators in Mario Gomez and Miroslav Klose, neither are the quickest or most agile, but both have an amazing ability to find the net and with the German midfield, will have more than enough chances to score goals.
All three are goalscorers but one needs to consistently score goals to give confidence to their team mates, so far the job has been entrusted t Gomez who can blow hot or cold, but Germany have created so many chances that he should score a few more goals in this tournament.
Germany will win the tournament by playing fast attacking football, they can't hold the ball and play pretty passing football like Spain, they can however move the ball from one end of the pitch to the other quickly with players who can match pace and skill and an ability to spot an opening.
The average age of the team is 24, but they are a mature team with reams of experience, they have a large contingent of current and ex Bayern Munich players, which is also positive as they will know their colleagues and the style of play, the only question is how the Bayern players will react to losing the league and Champions League so late on, this could be damaging or provide motivation for success.
For me Loew has created a beautifully balanced side whose only weakness is in defence, they have the power and pace to overwhelm teams on the counter attack but need to play on the offensive to relieve pressure from their leaky back line.
They had a tough group, but on paper and in qualifying were the strongest European team, they have youth, pace, skill and mental strength, they are exciting to watch and play to win, having been in Germany for the 2006 World Cup I believe that changed their mentality and the fans fell in love with their team again, unlike some of the more dour teams of the past, if this team win the tournament they will light it up with fast paced breaks, spectacular goals and outstanding teamwork.
The biggest challenge is of course their nemesis, Spain, a team who control the ball and don't allow teams much time to damage them, but I believe we have seen cracks in their back line recently and while the domination can hurt teams, this Spain team lack pace and athleticism which the Germans have in abundance, the German defence won't be outpaced as Spain seem to be playing with 6 midfielders and the German midfield with Podolski and Klose tucking in should match them for numbers, while asking enough questions to unsettle the Spanish, equally Spain like to attack and push on and Germany are outstanding on the counter attack. If Gomez can be ruthless and put away his chances I think Germany could just break the Spanish ascendancy finally.
Having said this, Greece won the European Championships the same year they held the Olympics playing organised football and being given little hope, so while my head says Germany, a little piece of my heart is still holding out hope that England might finally achieve something, sneaking in when none of us expect it.
Summary: A ruthless attacking machine with real flair