Germany facing similar fate as three past European world champions

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  1. chandtara
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    chandtara Mr Cricistan

    Jun 18, 2011
    37,599
    AT the end of it all, there was a question: was it a personnel problem or a tactical one? In the aftermath of a humbling 1-0 defeat by Mexico here at the Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday, Germany coach Joachim Loew admitted his players were ‘haphazard’.

    Germany manager Oliver Bierhoff saw things differently. “We dominated,” he said. “The Mexicans chose a different tactic than we expected. This must not happen again.”

    The question remained. The defeat to Mexico, Germany’s first loss in a World Cup opening match since 1982, must’ve come as a shock to them. Even if they weren’t showing it, this defeat had them thinking. A seed of doubt in their own ability, in their own philosophy had probably been sowed. It was pretty evident from what their players were saying after the match. Mats Hummels blamed the tactics, Timo Werner and Toni Kroos lamented the mistakes.

    The mixed zone, the place where the players pass through the media before embarking on the team bus after the game, presented mixed views. For a consistent Germany side, this was pretty inconsistent. None of the players spoke with non-German media. Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Germany’s second-choice goalkeeper behind Manuel Neuer, walked by, saying no to questions. The look on Mesut Ozil’s face suggested he wouldn’t stop for questions. Sami Khedira, just as anonymous as Ozil in the German midfield against Mexico, raised his hand to say no.

    Werner did a lot of talking, though. Less than a year ago in Russia, he was one of the scorers in Germany’s 4-1 rout of Mexico in the semi-final of the Confederations Cup; the World Cup dress rehearsal tournament that Germany won. Mexico had learnt their lessons from that loss. This time Werner didn’t even have a sniff. At the press conference, one journalist suggested to Loew that he should’ve brought that team to the World Cup.

    “Mexico played very well today,” was Werner’s assessment. “We knew Mexico would try to hold on to the lead in the second half but we lost because we made two or three more mistakes than them.”

    It was a stirring game at the Luzhniki Stadium — the venue for the final, where the Germans are hoping to emulate the Brazil side of 1962 that successfully defended its World Cup crown.

    Mexico defended stoutly, gave Germany the possession of the ball and crucially never panicked. They had the belief that with a speedy three-man attack of Carlos Vela, Javier Hernandez and Hirving Lozano, they would have their chances on the counter. Lozano it was who scored the winner on one of those swift counterattacks.

    Germany had their chances but with the Mexicans putting their bodies on the line at will to stop them from scoring, their efforts yielded little result. And Mexico could’ve scored more had some of their passing in the final third been more accurate. Several times on the counter, Mexican attackers outnumbered the German defenders. Hummels rightly lambasted his team-mates for leaving him exposed in their search for a leveller.

    “If seven or eight players attack, then it’s clear the offensive force is greater than the defensive stability,” he said. “That’s what I often talk about internally, to no affect. Our cover wasn’t good. Too often it was just me and Jerome [Boateng] at the back.”

    With games to come against Sweden and South Korea, its not all doom and gloom for Germany but its clear they can’t afford to slip-up again. Kroos was critical of his side’s performance. The pressure on the Germans is palpable.

    “The situation isn’t very good and we had a few anomalies,” Kroos said. “We did not do well. We created a lot of opportunities but we couldn’t score. We lost the ball too easily and Mexico always countered with speed.”

    The defeat left Germany facing the same fate that has befallen the last three European winners of the World Cup. In their title defence, France, Italy and Spain all failed to progress beyond the group stage.

    Loew, however, was confident history wouldn’t repeat itself. “We will not suffer that fate,” he said.

    Mario Gomez, who came as a substitute late on, was seeing the brighter side.

    “We have to persevere,” he said. “Spain also lost the first game in South Africa but they won the won the World Cup. You don’t have to see everything black.”

    When Spain went to Brazil to defend their title, though, they were thumped 5-1 in their opening game by the Netherlands before losing to Chile and going out of the tournament. It was the end of the tiki-taka era.

    Mexico might not have done the same to Germany just yet but they’ve showed how to give Germany possession but close down space to make use of it. They might not be saying it, but over the next few days there will probably be a lot of soul-searching in the Germany camp.

    Werner, though, was bullish that Germany will respond.

    “We can still win the World Cup,” he said. “We are Germany and we want to win every game, things can happen like this, we can lose a game, now we need to recover quickly as possible and get better results. It’s better to lose the first match than the fourth or fifth.”

    He’s probably right. However, the last time Germany lost the opening match at the World Cup, they endured more pain than losing the fourth or the fifth game. In 1982, Germany lost the final to Italy. History might not repeat itself but it just might. Question is which history they want to be repeated.

    https://www.dawn.com/news/1414731/germany-facing-similar-fate-as-three-past-european-world-champions
     
  2. chandtara
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    chandtara Mr Cricistan

    Jun 18, 2011
    37,599
    The curse of the European world champion continues
     
  3. Fireworks11
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    Fireworks11 Kaptaan

    Sep 22, 2012
    29,216
    This years chanpions will crash out in Qatar 2022
     

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