It’s Germany – but not as we know them
Another tournament, another semi-final for Germany, some things never change.
But although their progress to the latter stages of yet another World Cup won’t have surprised many, the manner in which it has been achieved will surely have raised some eyebrows. Their World Cup 2010 odds made gave them a reasonable chance of doing well in the tournament, but their style of play as been entirely unexpected.
This isn’t the dour, efficient Germany of old, scraping through, often on penalties. No, this new Germany has united a myriad footballing styles from cultures as far away as Nigeria and Turkey to form a young, exciting side that can counter-attack with devastating effect.
Their destruction of Australia, England and Argentina has put them among esteemed company – not since the legendary Brazil side of 1970 has a team scored four or more goals on three separate occasions at a World Cup.
However, it shouldn’t be forgotten that blended into the fabric of this new look side is that one, famous, traditional German characteristic – efficiency.
Against both Argentina and England they happily conceded possession to their opponents, drawing them out of their defensive shells. Then, as quick as a mouse trap they pounced on the counter, exposing the gaps behind the defence and blowing the opposition away to put the game beyond their reach. They look like the most in-form team of the last three standing in South Africa.
It is interesting to note though that Germany have only fallen behind once in this tournament and they ended up losing that game against Serbia. If Spain nudge in front on Wednesday it will be a true test of this young German side’s resilience and adaptability. All of a sudden it will be they who are expected to make the running and force this issue. It will be interesting to see who the in play betting reacts to such an eventuality.
It has the makings of a tight and tense semi-final which is too close to call. Though if it goes to penalties you know there will be only one winner.
Some things never change!