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Posts Tagged ‘Australia

Germany player ratings vs Australia

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Manuel Neuer (7): An accomplished showing by the Schalke man. Had little to do in the entire game but when called upon was solid in his handling and distributed well.

Holger Badstuber (7): The picture of calm. Good passer of the ball and retained possession well. Defended stolidly, although had little really to contend with.

Arne Friedrich (7.5): Mixed it with Garcia and Kewell on a number of occassions. One of the busier German center-backs. Looked solid mostly.

Per Mertesacker (7): Quiet, unassuming game considering Australia hardly posed a threat. Lost a few headers and had to make a few risky tackles, but overall never unduly worried.

Phillip Lahm (8.5): Captain’s performance. Combined brilliantly down the right. Set up Klose’s goal with a great cross and rarely beaten to the ball by an Australian man.

Lukas Podolski (8): Willing runner, came short to get the ball. Whipped in dangerous crosses and played some super pases. Overall, this was the Podolski of old. And what a shot for the goal.

Bastian Schweinsteiger (8): Stepped admirably into Ballack’s shoes. Retained possession with aplomb. The heartbeat of the entire team and not afraid to get stuck in there when needed.

Sami Khedira (7): Looked a little lost at the start of the game. Needed to step up to get a good grip on the game and did so in the second half, although the task was made easier by the sending off.

Thomas Mueller (8.5): Loew called him cheeky. Super game from Mueller. Ran the line, cut intelligently inside and combined superbly with Oezil and Lahm. And took his goal superbly. My man-of-the-match.

Mesut Oezil (8): Classy in everything that he did. The complete playmaker. Germany have not had a player like him in ages. Insightful, intelligent and with superb vision and balance. The complete playmaker. Now just has to improve his finishing; and cut ot the diving.

Miroslav Klose (7): Got his goal, but missed glaringly. Made some good runs that troubled the Australians and as always an unceasing worker. 11 goals in the World Cup now, 7 with headers. Super record.

Subs:

Cacau (7.5): A goal within one minute and 52 seconds of coming on. Took his first chance and generally combined well. Booked for diving and deservedly so.

Gomez (6): Did little of note, but in truth the service was lacking as Germany took it easy by that time. Had one chance from a Marin cross, did not make much of it.

Marin (–):

Written by quazi zulquarnain

June 14, 2010 at 8:54 am

New dawn for Germany

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Admittedly, the first question many would ask is what would have happened, had Phillip Lahm not cleared off the line from a Ricardo Garcia shot so early on in the game. For the moment though, the answer will be moot, after the German’s heralded in a new dawn, with a breathtaking display of attacking football that tore the Socceroos asunder in their opening match at the World Cup.

To put Germany’s win into perspective, consider this. They made more passes in one half than South Africa, Uruguay, USA and Nigeria completed in their entire matches. They tactically out-thought the Australians and displayed a maturity in attack and defence that belied their status as the third youngest team in the tournament.

At times, Germany were irresistible. Classy, one and two touch football, moving the ball from side to side and most importantly, intelligent running between the lines. The performance was revolutionary in a German context.

And the face of this revolution was Mesut Oezil. The Werder Bremen playmaker was orchestrator in chief, with clever movement, intelligent running and cerebral play altogether. In midfield Sami Khedira battened down the hatches with Bastian Schweinsteiger, as the duo, picked, received, passed; dictating play in a way as to make Michael Ballack’s injury negligible.

But what shone through was that this is a new Germany. Multi-cultural, brash, brave, daring, pretty and sometimes even spectacular. None are adjectives usually associated with the national stereotype but adjectives that held stead after a performance that will have made the world sit up and take notice.

As for Joachim Loew, he will feel vindicated in his decision to field both Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose in the side. Both of the much maligned strikers scored and in the former’s case, he also put in a stellar display full of pace power and initiative. This was the Podolski of the 2006 World Cup, one who was at that time (hard as it is to believe now) better than both Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.  Klose scored, but he will be cursing himself for not having got atleast one goal more. Even a hattrick was not beyond him just as three or four more goals were not beyond Germany.

At the risk of getting carried away, it should be remembered that Australia were quite poor and their tactics played totally into Germany’s hands. Pressing high up the pitch meant that they left enough room behind the defence for the Germans to exploit, and for once, true to stereotype, the Germans ruthlessly did; time and again.

Germany will face tougher opponents and they will not win this World Cup. It is too soon for this bunch of talented players. But they will win fans, hopefully overturn stereotypes and herald in a new dawn.

Highlight: First goal Made in Turkey, scored in Poland, to put Germany 1-0 up. The multi-cultural make-up of the World Cup is showcased here. Mesut Oezil, of Turkish origin, strives for space on the right, manufactures an inch of room and slides in a superb pass for the Bavarian Thomas Mueller, who cuts the ball behind for the Polish-born Podolski to hammer home via the hands of the German-born Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. Brilliant start.

Written by quazi zulquarnain

June 14, 2010 at 8:32 am