Category: Uncategorized

USA v Germany

Both USA and Germany should have made it to the Round of 16 in the ongoing FIFA World Cup by now. Both had won their first games comfortably and had a comparatively weaker opponent to face in the second game, but, neither could bring out its best performance and win.

USA played a draw against Portugal, while, Germany did the same against Ghana. Now, the scenario is that both of them are in need of one point to advance to the knockouts.

They would be facing each other at Arena Pernambuco on Thursday and if it’s a draw, both would be through, while, the other two teams in Group G (Ghana and Portugal) would be out. But, if one wins and the other loses, it would bring Ghana and Portugal in picture.

Ghana and Portugal have one point each in two games, while, Germany and USA have four each in as many games.

In case of a draw in Thursday’s match, Germany and USA would have 5 points each and it would be impossible for Ghana and Portugal to reach there. But, in case of a clear result, one out of Germany and USA would get stuck on 4 points and then, Ghana and Portugal would have the chance to get levelled with that team.

In normal circumstances, people would think that if both the teams need a draw, they would try to play safe and thus, a goalless draw is a possibility. But, the game between USA and Germany is going to be a bit different. The Germans are actually furious after having got only one point from that Ghana match. They are eager to get back to winning ways. So, in all likelihood, they would try to be aggressive and hand USA a humiliating defeat.

The statements made by Per Mertesacker yesterday was enough to suggest how the Germans are feeling.

Mertesacker said, “We would go out there (against USA) and try to show what we are capable of. I think it’s sort of a do-or-die match for both of us.”

So, a goalless draw is not looking like happening on Thursday. Whatever happens, it would be thrilling to watch, that’s for sure.

GOMEZ COMEBACK

Mario Gomez recently came back from an injury that kept him out of action for 5 months and he has been featured in the latest matches of his team with Fiorentina which is great news for Joachim Low as he will need all the players he can get to be completely fit and ready to play with Germany. The former Bayern Munich player is expecting that during the remaining matches he has left with Fiorentina, it will be enough for him to showcase his abilities and form in order to be featured for the World Cup.

“A World Cup in Brazil is the greatest event in which a footballer can play; I do not want to have the feeling that I’m a sparring partner for preparation. I want to make a difference.” Gomez said during an interview.

If Joachim Low decides on implementing a formation with only 1 striker upfront, then it is very likely that he will be choosing Miroslav Klose who is close on breaking the record that Ronaldo Nazario established some years ago as he is the top World Cup goal-scorer with 15 goals scored and the German Miroslav Klose is only 1 goal away from matching the record.

Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil is not going through the best of times after he missed his penalty kick when playing against Bayern Munich during the Champions League 1st leg which was played a few weeks ago, the former Real Madrid player has been a subject of criticism claiming that he is not worth the £42.5 million which Arsenal had to pay in order to secure the services of the German midfielder but according to Joachim Low, he will be counting on Ozil for the World Cup.

“If you’re playing at Real Madrid or Arsenal, you have to live with criticism when it isn’t going well. Mesut can do that very well indeed. I’m counting on Mesut for Brazil, because I know that he wants success in tournaments. He’s shown that in the past,” Low said.

STRENGTH IN DEPTH

Germany are extremely strong in all areas of the pitch and it has made them as one of the strong favourites for the upcoming World Cup. However, they remain extremely light up front due to the profile of their strikers. Mario Gomez and Miroslav Klose continue to remain the major strikers for the nation, which has put them in a precarious situation ahead of the competition. This is likely to be the final tournament for Klose, who is in the final years of his career. Gomez, meanwhile, has suffered injury problems with his club Fiorentina.

He has not played for the last few months after suffering the injury back in September, but he recently confirmed that he is close to returning to action. Despite this, Germany would want to have a backup in case these players are not available for any of the matches. As a result, manager Joachim Loew has revealed that he is ready to go back to a player he has not selected for the last four years – Stefan Kiessling. The Bayer Leverkusen striker has not been part of the team since 2010, but Loew has not ruled out selecting him in case a need arises.

Chelsea’s Andre Schurrle can also play in this position, but he has found game time limited at Stamford Bridge this season.

“I am ready to reconsider if someone gets injured or has poor form,” said Loew. Klose is very close to beating the record held by Brazilian Ronaldo for the most number of goals at a World Cup. However, he only recently returned to first team action with Lazio after being out for the last few weeks. The 30-year-old Stefan Kiessling has been in fine form for his club this season. He has 13 goals in 27 appearances of all competitions.

GERMANY ARE TIPPED

Germany will be the favourites to get the victory over England in the friendly match between the two teams at Wembley. England manager Roy Hodgson has to deal with several injury problems in various areas of the pitch, while his compatriot will come with a midfield that is an embarrassment of riches. Despite this, Joachim Loew has said that he feels that he does not have enough strikers at his disposal, which may come to bite him back in this match. Germany is one of the favourites to win the World Cup itself, while England are not anywhere close to it.

The Germans have an impressive midfield that includes players like Mesut Ozil, Thomas Müller, and Bastian Schweinsteiger. Low has revealed prior to the match that the Arsenal star Mesut Ozil will be rested for this encounter along with the likes of Lahm. Even then, he will be able to name a very strong starting line-up.

This will be one of the few opportunities to test his squad ahead of the World Cup and there is a lot of pressure on Low due to the number of goals that Germany have conceded in recent matches. It is unlike the Germans and they would want to keep a clean sheet in order to boost their confidence.

“We have to improve our play in the final third. Against Italy we lacked efficiency. We have to be more efficient, more to the point and maybe we were missing the clinical precision that’s needed at this level. We have to consistently finish. We created opportunities, we also need to aim to finish them to score goals. Especially at World Cup level where you only get one or two chances in a match,” said the German manager ahead of the match, which could inflict England’s first back-to-back home defeats in 36 years.

TEVEZ LEAVES CITY

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero recently lost his compatriot Carlos Tevez, whose move to Juventus in a £10 million deal, was one of the high points of the summer. Tevez has been one of the standout performers for the club since his move from Manchester United. Even though he has created several problems during his short stay at the Etihad stadium, he undoubtedly was a major reason in the club winning the Premier league and FA Cup titles the last three years. Despite this, Aguero has said that the club will miss the services of Tevez, but they have enough quality across the squad.

As a replacement for Tevez, City brought in two more strikers in the form of Alvaro Negredo and Jovetic. Former Sevilla striker Negredo has been particularly impressive since the start of the season. He scored in the club’s recent 2-0 win over Hull City. He also scored on his debut against Cardiff, but that ended in a disappointing 3-2 defeat for his team. Even though Tevez was a player that was great to the club, Aguero feels that they should now move on and look forward to the new signings.

Aguero himself was a £ 38 million signing from Athletico Madrid a few seasons ago.

“Carlitos has moved on and he was a great team-mate. He’s going to be missed but we wish him the best in his next step. But I always keep a close eye on Spanish football and Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo were two of its brightest stars. Having them in our side makes us stronger – the same applies to Fernandinho and Stevan. They are amazing players,” said Aguero.

City have made an indifferent start to the new season. Even though they have won two out of the three matches, they have been defeated in the other encounter.

LOEW MUST REMAIN

German football federation president Wolfgang Niersbach has revealed that he wants manager Joachim Loew to remain in his position after the end of the 2014 World Cup. The former assistant manager only has a contract up until this tournament and it has been widely speculated that he will leave the national team at the end of it. Even though Loew was heavily praised for his work he carried on from Jurgen Klinsmann, there have been several criticism for the inability to win a major trophy despite possessing a strong squad.

Germany have been one of the best teams at international level in the last few tournaments, but they have been overshadowed by Spain who have been totally dominant. Loew has managed to bring in a group of players who will keep playing for the next decade. Players like Mario Gotze and Thomas Müller are expected to be part of the next era of German domination, but the football Federation wants the team to win a major trophy in order to show for the progress. Niersbach has revealed that he is keen to keep Loew as the national team manager.

Loew extended his contract after the 2010 World Cup. Several losses in the final stage of major tournaments have spoilt his reputation in recent years.

“I really do like the way we are going with Loew. And I know that the DFB board of directors have the same feeling. The most important thing for me is that the coach and the team get on well together and I can see a highly professional job being done. Maybe we qualify in September already and then we can consider whether we do it like in 2008 or like in 2010,” said the German football Federation president.

Germany will next be facing Paraguay in a friendly match.

WENGER LINKED TO DEUTSCHLAND

There have been reports that the German Federation is not happy with the work of manager Joachim Loew, which has led to the rumours linking him with a move to Arsenal in the summer. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger only has just over 12 months left on his contract and he has been refusing to sign a new deal. This summer has been extremely difficult for the Frenchman, as he has faced a barrage of criticism from the fans and the media for failing to win a trophy in the last eight years. The team are also in danger of losing out on a top four spot this season.

Even though Germany have made it into the finals of several tournaments in recent years, they have faltered in every one of them. As a result, there has been a lot of criticism of the manager Low, who continues to be linked with several other clubs like Real Madrid as well. He is widely expected to receive the sack if Germany did not win the Confederations cup in the summer. The officials from the German Federation have confirmed that contract talks with Low are set to begin in the next few months, thus ending any speculation of him moving to Arsenal.

“There is no question we want Joachim to remain in charge beyond the World Cup finals, and we would like to have a decision on his future before we head for Brazil,” said Joachim Loew. The manager himself has not been commenting about his future, thus prompting situation that the matter is not all done and dusted. Perhaps, he faced his biggest criticism after the 4-4 draw with Sweden a few months back. Germany managed to lose a four goal advantage in the match to draw the encounter. The team are top of their World Cup qualifying group.

LOEW BACKS NEUER

German national team manager Joachim Low failed to criticise his goalkeeper Manuel Neuer after the match against Kazakhstan. The Bayern Munich goalkeeper lost possession inside the penalty area while trying to outfox the opposition who was pressing hard. As a result of this, Kazakhstan managed to score in the match. Even though Germany were 3-0 up at that stage, the fans started whistling the goalkeeper every time he touched the ball from then on in. Joachim Loew has said that the fans need not have displayed this attitude against one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

The former Stuttgart man is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world and he almost helped his current club Bayern Munich to win the Champions League. This whistling could have been due to the experience suffered by the German fans of losing a four goal advantage in a recent match against Sweden. Germany removed any doubts about the victory with yet another goal late in the match through Borussia Dortmund striker Reus. Earlier, he had scored the first goal of the match in the 23rd minute. His club team mate Gotze extended the advantage a few minutes later before Gündogan scored the third goal after just 32 min.

“I didn’t like that Neuer was whistled at after his mistake. He is up there with the best keepers in the world and made one mistake. That he was accompanied by irony for the rest of the game, I think that is unsportsmanlike,” said the Germany manager after the match. The error from the goalkeeper allowed the opposition to score a goal early in the first half through Schmidtgal. As a result of this crucial victory, Germany have now opened an eight point advantage at the top of the World Cup qualifying table.

LOEW DELIGHTED

The German national team manager Joachim Loew has said that he is extremely delighted that the former Barcelona manager Guardiola has decided to join a German team in the form of Bayern Munich. Guardiola has been one of the most sought after managers in the world after his incredible four years with Barcelona. During this time, he managed to win 14 trophies including two Champions League titles. He has also managed to transform Barcelona into one of the most attractive football teams around the world. He had been courted by the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City.

However, Bayern Munich were able to persuade Guardiola to come to Germany with an incredible squad and facilities at their disposal. The arrival of such a top manager to German football is a positive aspect according to Joachim Loew, who has come under increasing pressure over the last few months. The German national team have been conceding a lot of goals, while their inability to cope with pressure in the final stages of a major tournament also coming under the spotlight. Germany will be taking on France in a friendly match hoping to get back to winning ways. After this match, they have World Cup qualifying encounters against Kazakhstan in home and away matches.

“I think he will try to implement his vision of football. He personifies a clear philosophy which has been instilled in him since a young age in Barcelona. We will see if he has as much success here. The impending arrival of the former Barcelona boss is of great value for German football. We can rejoice about having such a coach in the Bundesliga,” said the German national team manager. Joachim Loew has been linked with a move to Real Madrid in the summer, with the Spanish club set to lose José Mourinho.

MISTAKES MADE

Germany’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Italy in the semi-final of the Euro 2012 was his mistake according to the German manager Joachim Loew. The former assistant manager has come under intense criticism in recent months due to the inability of the team to perform well in the final stages of a major competition. Despite having made it into the finals and semifinals of major competitions since 2006, the team has been unable to record even a single trophy. Germany were with a great chance of winning the Euro 2012 because they came into the competition as the favourites.

However, they were defeated in the semi-final of the competition by the Italian team, who were not fancied to even get to this stage of the competition. Mario Balotelli scored both goals for Italy, while the Real Madrid midfielder Mesut Ozil rescued a goal for the Germans. Loew has now said that he is willing to take blame for the defeat because he approached the game in a manner. Due to the experiences in many matches since then, Loew feels that he would have done differently had he got the opportunity to do so. The 52-year-old has come under intense pressure in recent times especially after the 4-4 draw with Sweden in which Germany threw away a four goal lead.

“With the knowledge I have today, I would probably approach the Italy game differently. I had a clear plan for that game and of course I have to now admit that the plan did not work. Against Sweden, I got (Mario) Goetze and (Lukas) Podolski to drop deeper to try give us more security and that did not work. The year 2012 was constructive for all of us and I have certainly learned from it,” said Loew in a recent interview.