We’re back in the beer garden! Well most of us are. Gregor isn’t here. He hasn’t called, he hasn’t text, he hasn’t written…..but its fine, I don’t care, because everyone else has joined me again, the sun is shining and Germany are winning. Heidi Klum isn’t working tonight, but they’ve got Claudia Schiffer on instead, so five Steins over here Claudia! Let’s talk Football!
Germany– One Nation
Something I didn’t get chance to explore last time but that I think is quite interesting is the cosmopolitan nature of thisGerman squad. My memory of Germany growing up was very German looking
men being very German and beating England. But, as many of you will know, in this squad there are Podolski and Klose who were born in Poland, Mesut Ozil, who was born in Germany but repeats versus of the Koran instead of singing the national anthem, Sami Khedira whose parents were Tunisian immigrants and who is said to put his Tunisian roots over his German nationality and Ilkay Gundogan who is German born of Turkish descent. On top of this there is the Brazilian born Cacau who acquired a German passport in 2009, went to the World Cup in 2010 but was left out of this squad.
I was interested to learn about the nation’s reaction to this, particularly those who don’t sing the national anthem. Si had said he had noticed “rather a lot of reader comments” on newspaper sites like ‘Die Welt’ about the ‘Eingedeutschte’ (literally the ‘Germanised’), players who’ve got German passports questioning their true allegiance with “comments that would be deleted even from the Daily Mail website in the UK”. However the others did not feel that this was widespread, feeling that the majority appreciate the talent these players bring and the commitment they show on the pitch. The national anthem thing was not seen as a big deal, with Timo pointing out that “Nobody cares about that if you are winning”. Martha interestingly mentioned that many Germans in the past have felt ‘uncomfortable’ singing the anthem or showing too much national pride anyway, although this was becoming less and less the case, especially with a football team well worth shouting about. So now that’s all sorted, football!!
Germany so far!
Germany are the only team to have won all of their groups games, and have now won 13 competitive games in a row. So they must be doing something right. Right? In terms of squad usage so far, all were happy the Mertesacker nightmare hadn’t been realised, although were surprised that their predictions of Klose over Gomez hadn’t come true. Very few changes to the starting eleven were now expected.
I mentioned Reus and Gotze as two young players who were hyped before the tournament but haven’t featured. Alex pointed out that Germany have been ahead in all of their games so far and have been looking to sure things up, so using Bender ahead of Reus and Gotze makes sense. However these players or indeed Kroos may come into play more if Germany needs a goal. Alex added that “It seems the German are always planning their next tournament while playing the current one”. Which is a sentence that should depress any Englishman. Timo agreed stating “they are both very young and very talented, their time will come”.
Timo was concerned about organisation from corners, with Denmark scoring from a corner and Portugal hitting the bar. He was also concerned about Ozil who he felt looked tired and was holding on to the ball far too long. I personally think this is harsh, as it looks to me that a lot of responsibility is placed on Ozil, with Podolski and Muller good for goals but driftingin and out of games. I feel the other two could help him out more in general play and share more of the burden. But Kroos was seen as a good option in Ozil’s position of needed.
Gomez was also someone who was still a concern, with Timo describing him as “two players in one person”. The differences in his performances from the first two games and the third one were wild, but not surprising for those who had watched him for years, including the Champions League Final against Chelsea. Question is, which Gomez will we get for the rest of the tournament? Obviously Klose is on the bench if needed, but it may be too late if chances have been wasted against a top team. Poetically as always, Timo says he “won’t understand Gomez and I have given it up to try it.”
Joachim Loew – fashion watch
After hearing so much about Joachim’s fantastic knitwear I was most upset not to see it on display. The lucky one from the World Cup had apparently been sold to raise money (a reported 1 million Euro’s!) for charity. This time he has preferred the white shirt look, perhaps due to the heat. Alex thinks he still looks great, and I reluctantly agree with him. Timo laughs at me for bringing it up, saying his clothes are not seen as important in German media. Style is important Timo!!
Are we going to win??
The mood was cautiously upbeat. Alex mentioned how he had been ‘kept awake for hours’ after the last game by cars honking up and down the road after the match had been shown on a big screen nearby, which was seen as a good sign of confidence. Timo says he “can almost sense the confidence of the Nationalmannschaft in front of the telly”, which is a fantastic sentence I think you’ll agree. But he also warned Greece were a “very unpleasant opponent” who were strong at the back, and always able to find a lucky goal. But Martha is having none, pointing out that we still haven’t
seen this team’s best and that they are trained to provide their best performance in the latter rounds. So we chant “Ein Land. Ein Team. Ein Ziel. Finale” and dream of Schweini lifting the cup. For its just like Gary Linekar says. In the end, Germany always wins.
Big Thanks again to my friends
Timo Zimmer (@mobtheater), Martha Anne (@Lady_in_redd), Alex Hubbard (@Alexhubbard1991) and Simon Littler