Miguel Delaney analysis: future may be German
15:30, 27 Jun 2012
Miguel Delaney in Poland
The future may be German, even if the current is a little curious...
As the German squad enjoyed their last day in their plush base outside Gdansk before setting off for Warsaw, the final press conference there took some odd turns. Not least, there was the question to Miroslav Klose over whether Italians are “lazy” and another to Jogi Loew as to whether he himself is “sexy”.
Unperturbed, though, the German manager stayed unwaveringly en route and on message. Indeed, ahead of what may be a defining game for his young team against a country they have never beaten in an international tournament, Loew gave a hugely impressive and in-depth reiteration of the qualities and philosophy that have propelled their progress.
For one, he dismissed Germany’s poor historic record against Italy as completely irrelevant to the future, underlining his squad’s belief that the key to football is to try and create new realities.
“The past doesn’t play even the slightest role in our preparations... the Germans have never beaten Italy in a major tournament. So what? This has no effect on our young players. It’s not even an issue. People don’t even talk about.”
Both Loew and Klose, though, separately repeated the mantra of this German team.
“If we play to our full potential,” Klose said again, “we’re hard to beat.”
Loew went further.
“We will have to try and take the game to the opposition, to play to our own rhythm and win the German way.
“We know where Italy stand. They have excellent strengths, lots of qualities. But we also know where their difficulties are and where they might have problems. What will be important is whether we take our game to the opposition and not vice versa. If we manage to do that, to maintain a higher level of concentration, to be solid at the back, if all of these factors converge then with a bit of confidence we will win.”
By mentioning the need for focus and solidity, Loew perhaps did admit the one flaw in this German team: their openness. But he immediately proceeded to outline how their forensic look at the game gives them so many other advantages. As Loew put it, Germany “benefit from the ‘scientification’ of football”.
In every sense, his team and backroom staff attempt to look at new possibilities by testing the old, potentially flawed truisms of the past. That goes right down to the make-up of his side.
“I do not believe in the old cliché of never changing a winning team. If I look at my players, they have so many different abilities I can put in.
“Post-2008, it was visible we had excellent players coming through. It’s good for a team to constantly have to integrate youngsters. That has always been our plan and, even post-2012, we will continue this.
“The philosophy has to stay the same... the bottom line is what we can do to improve it.
“This is something I believe in, not old football clichés.”
In so many senses, the future may be German.
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