For the German press, Bierhoff’s statement was an unexpected, even unwelcome attack of realism. The second most powerful man in the national team setup had effectively written the Germans off more than a year before the tournament’s opening.
Germany must hope love isn’t blind as Joachim Löw shapes the national team for a more successful year
For Löw and his side, 2013 will be a year for reform. The trials exposed various psychological shortcomings which must be sorted, but Löw’s talents as a coach, and the quality and breadth of the resources available to him are still in no doubt.
It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Joachim Löw is currently enduring his most difficult period of his six years as coach of the German national team.
What a difference a few weeks make. It wasn’t long ago that Joachim Löw, with his expensive jumpers and endearing, Swabian lilt, was the envy of world football.
For some time now, the headlines about footballers’ wages have seemed oddly familiar; and, with the publication of a new report, the analogy has finally become clear.
Could Germany be the first country to jump off the single currency cliff?
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.
This is Germany. Solid, steady Germany. The team who was set to end the reign of Spain as they built methodically on the foundations laid over the the last three major tournaments.
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.
Angela Merkel has often made a point of accentuating her love for the beautiful game.
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