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My thoughts on the Germany roster


Gian-Luca

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I have begun re-watching Germany's matches from the World Cup in order to "scout" some of their players (those are the most recent matches I've seen Germany play). There are obviously a few changes to the World Cup roster, but we should see quite a few that played in the final.

Of the 7 matches Germany played, it is probably the final match against Brazil that may be the most instructive - because the Germans in that match were unable to play Ballack & he will be missing once again from the line-up when they play us. People may recall that most of the offensive chances that Germany created in the World Cup final in the absense of Michael Ballack came through Bernd Schneider, who I see was included in the squad. He linked up really well with Oliver Neuville, his club teammate & another player who is included in the squad. To refresh people's memories, Schneider crosses the ball really well, normally from the right side of the field (you may recall it was his cross from the right side late in the match that Neuville converted to give Germany the victory over Paraguay in the 2nd round). Without knowing too much about a couple of the other names listed in midfield ( Boehme & Friel are fairly unfamiliar to me), I would expect that Schneider constitutes the main creative offensive threat in the German midfield. The other players - Torsten Frings & Carsten Ramelow - are obviously good, but they tend to be more defensive-oriented - in fact both played in the back four in the World Cup, with Frings (another good crosser of the ball) playing behind Schneider on the right side of the field. Ramelow was the big blonde centre-back, so I guess he plays a holding-midfield role if he plays in midfield. Kehl is another player I'm not that familiar with.

So this match should allow us to see what Ante Jazic is made of, as it should be his job on the left side of midfield to shut down Schneider & prevent his crosses. Failing that Richard Hastings (assuming he plays on the left side of the back 3 or 4).

Up front, it will be interesting to see Kuranyi & Lauth, though I'm guessing both will not start up front, maybe one of the two. Lauth I've not seen play yet, Bobic I haven't seen play since Euro 96.

As for that defense, it looks pretty solid all the way through. Can't really see any holes there, unless Christian Woerns gets himself red-carded again like he did against Croatia in 98 (but that's stretching things). I notice that Tobias Rau is the only Wolfsburg player in the German squad, and for that reason I expect we might see him start at the back, in his home ground. Budalic & Jordan (if they start up front) are going to have a tough time - neither are very speedy (but by no means slow), but at the same time not very big & may be unlikely to out-muscle some of these defenders. I wonder if the speedier Maycoll Canizalez might be a better bet to start up front because of his speed & ball control abilities.

I think we have to play Stalteri in midfield, he along with De Guzman & Imhof should make a very effective & competitive central midfield.

One match I haven't re-watched yet is the Germany-US quarter-final match. Since the US is probably the closest to Canada in terms of playing style out of the 7 opponents Germany faced in the World Cup, it should make for an interesting "preview" of how we might want to play. The Canadian squad we've called probably isn't as good as the US squad from that day (particularly since most of our top strikers aren't available) but the German squad they faced was also a bit better (Ballack & Kahn alone make enough of a difference, but no Ziege or Hamann for us to contend with either).

"All them rock & roll writers are the worst kind of sleaze, selling punk like some new kind of English disease. Is that the wave of the future? Awww spare me please!" Frank Zappa, Joe's Garage (1979).

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After chatting with a few German soccer fans on bigsoccer (the Germans seem more interested in this match that most of us do! :) ) it would appear likely that Torsten Frings will likely play as the offensive/creative midfield in place of Ballack. He has apparently done this in the past few games, proving to be very versatile, though some of the German fans don't think he's been very good in this role. If Dasovic actually plays, I suspect it would be his job to shut him down.

They also suggest Bobic is likely to get the start up front with Kuranyi.

"All them rock & roll writers are the worst kind of sleaze, selling punk like some new kind of English disease. Is that the wave of the future? Awww spare me please!" Frank Zappa, Joe's Garage (1979).

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quote:Originally posted by Gian-Luca

I have begun re-watching Germany's matches from the World Cup in order to "scout" some of their players (those are the most recent matches I've seen Germany play). There are obviously a few changes to the World Cup roster, but we should see quite a few that played in the final.

Gian-luca, that's sad and pathetic. I did the exact same thing last night. :D I watched the US game and I'm going to watch the Irish one tonight. I figure those two would be interesting since I figure they compare well to how we play (more so anyway than the Koreans or Brazil). The straight comparisons are tough since so many of the Germans played in different spots (except Schneider, Neuville and maybe Baumann). Kehl played in that US match as the free man in a back three and actually got forward quite a bit. That being said, the bigsoccer Germans don't seem to see him starting. I'm most interested in seeing more of Ramelow.

I agree with a lot of what you said. Their midfield strengths play to our strengths - Jazic on Schneider. Stalteri/Imhof/Dasovic to deal with Frings (which I feel we can do, Frings is solid, steady, but not as explosive as a lot of other attacking mf we could have seen). Ramelow seems kind of lumbering. He very good at disrupting and reads the game well, but a guy like DeGuzman could maybe give him problems? I wouldn't mind seeing Pizzolitto knock Neuville around a bit too. Of course he tends to drop into the midfield and find space, so we're going to be careful to keep an eye on him and not let him run rampant all over the pitch against us.

Hopefully Menezes can step up and read the game like he has in the past.

Their defence is deep, strong, fast, good in the air and our attack is none of those things (well maybe fast, depending who we use).

But yeah I'm really, really looking forward to this one. What else have we had to look forward to in the last six months? The A-League and that's about it.

Klaus> any thoughts on the German side? Guesses at an 11?

cheers,

matthew

The secret of life is to find moments of levity and grace in what is, ultimately, a tragedy. Watching Canadian soccer is good practice for this.

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Well I haven't reviewed any tapes of Germany's games at the World cup but do have a pretty good recollection of the squad based on the games that I saw. I recall their matches versus Saudi arabia, US, Korea and Brazil. I think that they did overachieve given the fact that they went into the competition missing several of their best players. I recall going into the tournament that they would be without Nowotny, Deisler, and Woerns due to lenghty injuries and it appears that none of these players would be available for the game versus canada. Nowotny was regarded in some circles as indispensable being their best defender. Woerns would have also added some valuable experiance on the back line and Deisler would have added some more creative offensive play in midfield which, beyond Ballack, was missing. I do recall the sending off against Woerns in WC 98. The reason, I thought is was one of the worst cases of play actine that I have seen. As far as Bern Schneider role in MF, i would concure with your analysis that he did play the offensive role in MF to some some success but, in no way was he able to fill the shoes of Ballack.

So they will definitely be missing several key players but given the infrastuctures of the game and the relative importance of the game to the Germans any team they field will be a formidable opponent for canada. Its for these reason that beleive the game is much very important for the show and entertainment value but no where near as important in terms of guaging our readiness for WCQ 2006. It would serve as important for the confidence of many of our young players and possibly open some professional opportunities.

Its also hard when playing a squad like germany to make teams by team comparaisons of relative strenght and weakness. For example, aside from the young player Kurayi (sp), whom I have never seen, the Germanys, at the WC, looked applallingly weak at at forward position. Aside from pilling up goals against Saudi Arabia, the strikers were awfully quiet and most of the offensive thrust came from Ballack. Miroslav Klose got more silent as the tournament wore on Jancker can look can at time look as technically gifted as Gareth Kusch. So Comparing them to world cup opponents they may have weak strikers, but we may be playing strikers who play in the A-League. So much for that. Similar comparaisons will also be pointless when looking at keepers, Defenders and MF's.

Still it is the match that I have looked to with the most anticipation since GC and WCQ.

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A couple of things that I should have added. I am surprised by their decision to play Torsten Fring in a offensive midfield role. From what i saw in the WC he appeared terrible on the ball. Also, the squad still has a significant contingent of Bayer leverkusen players yet Leverkusen seemingly had a terrible year. Alot will depend on who plays and doesn't play. We also don't know how many subs will be used. It will also be fun to see how the A-league players fare against this kind of opposition and if the game is well publicized in Canada ( don't hold your breath) it could do miracles for the domestic game from a publicity standpoint in show casing teh a-league and its players. But again, the problem is that there has been little to no media fanfare for this game yet

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quote:Originally posted by bettermirror

off-topic...but how much will the CSA get from this match? roughly a million i assume.

we got about that much from the libya match, correct?

there ain't gonna be any middle any more.

A million? Maybe a million lire or pesos. I could be wrong, but I think the Libya match garnered us over half a million & that was supposedly the best we had ever been paid for a friendly.

Having said that, I don't know what the Germans normally pay out, so if anyone has any knowledge of this please feel free to correct me.

"All them rock & roll writers are the worst kind of sleaze, selling punk like some new kind of English disease. Is that the wave of the future? Awww spare me please!" Frank Zappa, Joe's Garage (1979).

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Watching the US vs. Germany match, the main offensive threats for the US seems to come off counter-attacks. We do have some players that can do good things on the counter (Stalteri & Canizalez come to mind), lets hope for a lot of ball winning in midfield by Imhof and/or Dasovic.

Outside of that the US tended to do their main offensive thrusts by getting their defensive backs to run up the field with the ball - players like Sanneh & Hejduk. In the future I think we will have speedy defensive backs who can take the ball & run up the field with it - especially if Jazic comes back to the team full-time, it should mean that either he or Brennan play left back (while the other stays on the left side of midfield), while we could use Nsaliwa or Bent to do this on the right side & Pozniak could probably do it from either side. But for this match I'm not sure we have the personnel. The likes of Fletcher & Hastings, while having pace, don't have the necessary ball control skills to run down the entire field, beating the odd German defender along the way. Same with Pizzolitto (who I don't see as an outside back but of the two defenders sitting in front of the sweeper in a 3-5-2 formation.

That dimension (having defenders move into the attack & create chances, crosses etc.) is one that we need to develop when playing a 4-4-2 -I think we will soon have the players to do that sort of thing (more necessary in a 4-4-2 than a 3-5-2, whereby the outside wingbacks can do those sorts of runs).

"All them rock & roll writers are the worst kind of sleaze, selling punk like some new kind of English disease. Is that the wave of the future? Awww spare me please!" Frank Zappa, Joe's Garage (1979).

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The US game was a little odd because their backline was so fluid. They seemed to use their backs to bring the ball forwards (as the US did as well) and relied on other to fill in for them. The US would hit them on the counter and Kehl and Frings would be nowhere to be found as they led the attack. Frings looks pretty good going forward for a defender, but as a creative mid I don't know. Rammelow actually looked strong going forward against Korea, again from the back. I still think a small skillful player could give him problems.

Against the US, the US used their pace and their fitness really well, but despite how much the Germans packed the midfield, Reyna was always able to create some time and space.

The German defence in the World Cup was amazing. It was decimated by injuries, playing midfielders in the back (not that it was real unfamiliar territory for them) and they only allowed one goal until the final. A lot of that came down to Kahn, but one goal in six games is awfully impressive.

As far as our strikers, I can't see us winning anything in the air. I like what I've seen of Budalic, but I think having a fwd/mf up there who can help bridge the gap will be more effective up front.

I'm preparing to really hate Oliver Neuville some more. I forgot how aggravating he is.

cheers,

matthew

The secret of life is to find moments of levity and grace in what is, ultimately, a tragedy. Watching Canadian soccer is good practice for this.

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At least we won't have to worry about Klose diving all over the field. He was doing that incessantly against the Irish.

The Irish goal came from Robbie Keane on a Niall Quinn flick on. I don't expect we are going to see a goal like that for Canada.

"All them rock & roll writers are the worst kind of sleaze, selling punk like some new kind of English disease. Is that the wave of the future? Awww spare me please!" Frank Zappa, Joe's Garage (1979).

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