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Posted by Susie Schaaf on 06/15/2010

I took the day off yesterday – watching matches from my bed – as I valiantly tried to rid myself of my post-celebratory headache. A dear friend of mine had wagered a fair bit of coin on die Mannschaft to win (because I said they couldn’t lose), so he, in turn, felt obliged to buy shots every time Germany scored. Ouch. Normally I wouldn’t be thankful of Klose and Oezil missing the sitters they did, but can you imagine how I’d still be suffering if the score was 8 or 9 to nil? That being said…

Wow! There is much to be happy about the result over the mostly hapless Socceroos. Khedira and Schweinsteiger continue to impress in the midfield. Khedira’s bursts forward and Schweini’s ball possession allowed the Germans space to roam. This is a formidable tandem that can only get better.

Normally, I’m not that big a fan of 4-5-1 formations, as they tend, to me, to be all long balls dumped in to the forward and counter-attacks. But with our immense- and deep- talent in midfield, I’m inclined to change my mind.

Kisses all around for Podolski, Mueller and Oezil! Lukas showed creativity on the left, assisting Mueller’s goal and should have had another setting up Klose. His opener was brilliance-personified. While Mueller, wearing the number 13, did “der Bomber” proud, scoring his first international goal after shedding two Aussie defenders. He also traded assists with Poldi, as he helped the Koeln striker on his opening goal. And although Oezil missed a couple of sitters, his through balls are amazing. He well earned an assist on Cacau’s score. A bit more finish out of him, and he’ll win “Best Young Player” of the tournament.

Loew’s faith in Klose finally paid off, and I’m happy for it! He looked the best he’s looked in quite a while, and his 11th World Cup goal was well-deserved. Of course, he missed three other prime opportunites… and Cacau came out and scored on his first touch… but, give the “old” man a break.

Philipp Lahm did the captain’s armband proud, attacking up the right. His cross for Klose’s header was- in a word- perfect. Mertesacker and Friedrich hadn’t much to do, but a mistake by Per almost cost us a goal in the third minute. Badstuber was the weak link out of the four, but was not meant to pay for it, as Emerton could do nothing. (This is the part where I, again, say “Move him in to the middle, where he belongs.”)

All-in-all, this was a superlative start to the tournament. And having just finished watching the Brazil / North Korea match, we still look like the team to beat. So far. (Spain, anyone?) Although the score line was a surprise to anyone who isn’t a fan of German football, it wasn’t surprising to any of us. Let go of your preconceived notions, everyone. This is the new, multi-cultural, attacking, showy face of German football.

Now, if anyone can tell me where I left my “Deutschlandlied” shawl? I’d be most appreciative…


Posted by sam on 06/15/2010

Dear Susie,

Congratulations for a great, convincing victory of your beloved NT in the first game of this Group Stage. The final scoreboard reflects not only the technical superiority of the German squad, but the admirable attitude that every football fan wanted to see in any match during this WC festivity... ie, "the desire to win big over the desire to protect a result."

The mentioned "attitude" has been so difficult to appreciate as of late that we have seen top strikers of the world defending their own goal more than trying to invent plays seeking for a score. Maybe it's the millions of Dollars at stake, maybe its the pressure they feel from back home, maybe its the psychological importance of not losing the first one... Either way, the Deutchland presentation was a wonderful breeze of fresh air.

We have yet to see Spain and I have my hopes on the underdog Chile Squad (Group H) to come up with plays and attitude as exciting as Germany.

For now, cheers to you and enjoy!

Posted by Alex on 06/16/2010

Such brilliant display and a dominant win for Germany against the Socceroos! Not intending to dampen German fans' spirits and joy, and no offense to the Aussies, it's only one game and it's only Australia. Just keep up the good performance.

I agree Germany should move Badstuber to the central position. The majority of our attacks came from the right flank since Badstuber is reluctant to venture forward to support Podolski on the left. A team with better defense would try to shut down Germany's right side. Just like what Inter did to the Ribery-less Bayern in the Champions League final. It's crucial for Loew to find a more balanced attack.

One tiny trivial fact, since 1954 there were only 3 teams who won all three group games and went on to win it all: Brazil (1970 & 2002) and France (1998). Therefore, I would prefer Germany to draw one of the two remainging group games just to increase their chances of winning the cup.

Posted by Andre on 06/16/2010

Hey hey! What a start. I can´t wait for Friday to come. But I am still unsure about our defence. Maybe we have to wait till the end of the groupe stage to have an idea how capable die Mannschaft is.

Blüh im Glanze dieses Glückes,
Blühe, deutsches Vaterland!

GO Germany!

Posted by Banzi on 06/16/2010

Sure Australia was not a real benchmark. Sorry to say that. But the way our team played left the whole pub where i watched the game more or less stunned. Was that really Germany that we saw there?

As some have suggested before the start of the tournament, Ballacks injury might be a blessing in disguise. It was just pure fun to watch this team especially the midfield play. Even though Nivea-Jogi was harshly criticized for leaving Kuranyi at home and sticking with Luke and Miro he was right. His believe in the two paid off.

Serbia on friday will be a much tougher customer than the Socceroos but i am quite confident to see the next German victory.

But i really pray for a strong showing of Spain today. Not only have we seen enough boring matches by now but as you said: the only team that looked convincing so far was our team. And i do not want our team to be the only one who looks like the team to beat ;)

Auf gehts Maedels, weiter so!

Posted by Ashwin on 06/16/2010

Well, Spain just lost today! At least the match wasn't boring. Germany has looked the best team of the tournament so far.
The only change I would make is Badstuber at left-back. Either move him to the center or drop him. The left back spot should go to Aogo or Friedrich. Another solution would be move Lahm to the left and put Boateng or Friedrich at right-back.
The midfield looks great, I wonder what'll happen once Ozil actually starts finishing chances. Klose proved that he should be in the starting line-up, and Cacau is a good sub for him.
The team looks great ahead of Serbia!

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