Archive for the ‘World Cup Russia’ Category

Two days removed from Germany’s biggest group stage loss at any World Cup in 30+ years, I think the time is right to begin the ‘healing’ and address the obvious … “What the frick happened on Sunday?  Obviously, the Germany 0 – Mexico 1 result was a far cry from the 4:1 score versus Mexico at last year’s Confederation Cup and a final score no one, Germany fan or not, saw coming. Granted, Die Mannschaft under-performed during their last two pre-World Cup friendly matches, a loss to Austria and a weak 2:1 versus hapless Saudi Arabia, but I chalked it up to working on their WC game plan and trying out different players at different positions leading up to group play. Well, their game plan did not work before and the SAME plan, with few adjustments and less creativity and ingenuity, failed on Sunday as well. Hearing Mexican coach Juan Carlos Osorio proclaim that the Germany game plan was conceived six months ago, makes me even more incredulous.

Anyone who’s met/knows a German, knows we are stereotypically hard-headed and above else nihilists and doom and gloomers … especially when it comes to our Fussball. So, it goes without saying that the German team has been ripped to shreds by pundits, fans, politicians and the general public since Sunday’s loss. You have heard of slut shaming but what about selfie-shaming? So, in an attempt to appease Germany fans looking for a selfie with their footballing hero, Julian Brandt become the top post-match story. Not because of his big heart or a horrible match performance but because he had the audacity to smile and make friends after such a crushing defeat. Get a grip people, the kid is 22, it’s only one match and by the way snapping selfies is the least of our worries.

Julian Brandt selfie

What looked to be a harmless, gracious selfie with fans turned into “selfie gate” with German media blasting Germany’s Julian Brandt for smiling and taking frivolous pictures with fans after the horrific result versus Mexico.

After a few nights to sleep on it, I figured it was time to do some Monday morning quarterbacking and share my match take-aways.

Die Mannschaft … not ready to eat

ready to eat

Right from kick-off, it was evident that the Germans would be in for a struggle, and as it turns out a loooong day at the office. Mexico executed it’s game plan to perfection– be aggressive and punch Germany in the mouth early. It worked, and German’s lack of energy and resilience resulted in a shocking loss.

Match fitness

Going into Russia, the biggest question mark regarding player injuries was clearly the fitness level of Manuel Neuer. Prior to Germany’s pre-WC training camp, Neuer was recovering from a severe foot injury that sidelined him for nearly 10 months in 2017. Not only did Germany’s captain get the start in goal against Mexico he also served and will serve as team captain throughout the tournament. While Neuer played well, the same cannot be said for several of his pitch mates. To that end, it was quiet evident that especially Mesut Oezil in midfield and Jerome Boateng in defence where not a 100% match ready. Both, are also recoevering from previous injury and in contrast to Neuer they really struggled throughout the 90 minutes. I cannot imagine Germany coach Joachim Loew replacing Boateng (the central figure in the German defense) but Oezil I feel is definitely replaceable.

Different but the same

Confed cup GermansLast year at the Confederation Cup, considered the ‘dress rehearsal’ to the World Cup, Germany fielded and impressive squad on their way to the title. The 23-man roster was made up of mostly ‘B’ players versus the regulars that led Germany to World Cup glory in 2014. With a roster chock-full of of German prodigies including Timo Werner, Leon Goretzka, Leroy Sane, and Julian Brandt, the future is bright. On Sunday however, 9 of the starting German 11 where players from 2014 with only youngstar Timo Werner getting the start. Considering the ‘B’ team beat Mexico in the Confed CUp’s semi-final last summer 4-1 maybe ‘B’ should have been swapped with ‘A’.

Chucky’s Revenge

Chucky Lozano

Chucky Lozano, Mexico international and winger for PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands elevated to legend status on Sunday with his match winning goal versus Germany in the 35th minute