Germany vs Sweden (2-1): 7 Conclusions
Germany down to ten men. It's 1-1 with Swedes in prime position to qualify and create, perhaps, one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history. Never was a time when Germany had not won their opening two fixtures in a cup. Never was a time when the defending world champions looked so out of place.
So out of sync.
Yet with 90+5' minutes on the clock, Bayern's playmaker Tony Kroos curled a beauty on the right hand top corner. Absolute stunner of a goal. If I wasn't mentally invested in the cup this time, this made sure I did. Here's some of the conclusions from the game:
1) Joachim Low has not lost his habit
With the stress level at apex point, Low seem to go back to some of his terrifically horrible habit to stimulate his brain into thinking tactics midway. His previous tantrum of visibly digging his nose and then aptly placing it in his mouth has been watched a billion and a half times on the internet and this time again, he was so, so close to doing that. What's up with that habit anyways?
2) Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira unused super subs could be a story that could repeat again
World class talents warming up the bench. To be fair, these former Real Madrid teammates didn't do anything particularly interesting with Mexico that justified a spot in the starting lineups. Still, what was interesting to see was the way Germany were missing chances, Ozil was left having to watch from the sidelines. Low's gamble to sacrifice another of his defense to Julian Brandt, did make sense though. He wanted a more direct player who could hit straight than someone who could be the provider. It wasn't the lack of the creativity, it was the lack of finishing that needed attention. Brandt, as you will remember, hit the post before Kroos' stunner.
3) Jerome Boeteng had a horror show
3) Jerome Boeteng had a horror show
Losing the ball constantly. Positioning failures. Lack of "let me go back in position". Then getting a second yellow card when your team needed a second goal. Can you screw up more than that? For a player of his stature, that was a shit show. We will let him play with his shoe collection for the grand group finale against South Korea.
4) Reus has to start. Every. Single. Game.
Pundits had said that. Everyone said that. Low didn't initially think so until he made that change for Sweden. And boy oh boy what difference he made. An early equalizer in the second half was crucial dose of confidence the team needed when it all looked doom and gloom. He needs to be involved from the beginning from now to the end of this World Cup.
5) Defense is a mess
It's no surprise that one of THE top goalkeepers in the world is having trouble keeping a clean sheet when your defense as inconsistently bad as Germany's. Low, for all the attacking talents he has, has a very small pool of very good defense to play around it and unless something drastically changes in the next game, it will be hard pressed to see if Team Low can build that das German engineered defensive wall. Expect to see a few more iterations on the back line but the sweet spot must come soon.
6) Miroslav Klose is missed along with what he brought to the team
A obvious thing to see in Germany's game is a lack of that poacher striker who lurks around and puts the ball in the net. Like how Klose did it again and again and...again which led to him scoring consistently on the big stage. I never liked Gomez in all honesty. All he does is heads everything he sees. My bet's on Mueller to channel his Mueller spirits again.
7) Germany can still win this
10 men on the field. All stakes on the board. Played like shit the whole time. Defense in shambles. Still managed to win the game. Need I say more?