Alongside The Independent, Kit Holden observes German Football for various online portals, including The Bundesliga Fanatic, Deutsche Welle and Total Football Magazine. In 2012, he spent a short time at the Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, and he is also a regular guest on World Football Daily.
Being a Germany fan at London 2012 has, thus far, been a largely thankless task. The first few days of the Games have seen several national heroes limp out of their respective events without so much as seeing a medal, let alone wearing one.
Hooliganism is a liberally used word, but the behaviour of a number of fans at a number of clubs continually threatens to undermine the privileges which German fans and German fans alone currently enjoy.
Where once there was a host of German superstars gracing the stadiums of Serie A, Klose, who scored 16 goals for Lazio last season, including a 93rd minute winner in the Rome derby, is now the sole representative of the Nationalelf in Italian club football.
Euro ‘88 saw one Marco van Basten sink Germany in a fateful semi-final in Hamburg, a result which Ruud Gullit later equated to “justice having been done”, while Ronald Koeman, it was alleged, celebrated by using Olaf Thon’s Germany shirt as toilet paper after the game.
Joachim Löw’s new look Germany may be lauded for its youthful vigour and feared for its seemingly unstoppable production line, but few know the value of one or two stabilising, experienced individuals as well as he does.