So, politely, I opined of him, âDo you know why the Germans donât have any anti-English chants?â
âWe do not regard you the way you regard us. I know plenty of anti-Holland chants, however. The most youâll get out of us vs. England is âmoo-ingâ; which reminds everyone where mad cow disease came fromâŚ Oh! and the occasional âYou only sing when youâre winningâ retort, in English.â
â[Text that canât be printed here]!!!â
Eh. It is what it is. Perhaps, England should have, once again, played up to their expectations, and then we shouldnât have to have this conversation âtil July 11th?
That being saidâŚ
A contentious and fractious history, mixed with brotherhood and allegiance; the English and the Germans have formed a complicated bond on the European stage. The very word âAnglo-Saxonâ, the base for both the English and German languages, conjures a common ancestor. And the legendary footie matches betwixt the Brits and the Gerrys, during World War I, are beautiful moments of peace in a continent of storm.
Following the guide of our World War I ancestors; every once in a while, footie trumps all. There are so many indelible images of England / Germany clashes: From the âWembley-Torâ of â66, to Gerd Muellerâs extra-time shot in â70; Linkenerâs equalizer in â90, tempered by Gazzaâs red and a penalty shoot-out lossâŚ and another peno loss, in sudden death, at EURO â96. Oh, and the 5-1 loss, for Deutschland, on the return leg of âStand up if you won the war!â.
Sigh. I could continue with club football, as well. And I havenât even gotten to the match yetâŚ
I could start with, Englandâs trainer, Fabio Capello, releasing his penalty shoot out squad ahead of the Germany match. Huh? Like you would want to play to a draw?! Jusâ sayinâ, Fabio, it really hasnât worked out for England so well in the past.
And whatâs with your pre-match press only existing for English reporters, Fabio? It is the WORLD Cup, one. And, twoâŚ theyâre the first to crucify you.
Also, David James saying âthis is just another gameâ? Child, please! Youâre, like, 87 in football years. You should know better than to make a bald-faced lie. That being said, no one believes you anyway.
However, letâs hop on the Teutonic side of things: Iâm happy to report that Bastian Schweinsteiger is match fit. (Not sure if he actually is, but I can guarantee he wouldnât miss this match for the world.) Cacau suffered an abdominal strain in practice on Friday, and is not available. Nor is Jerome Boateng, who took a knock in the Ghana clash. Also, Mesut Oezilâs grandmother passed on Friday, so he may have a touch of the sads, but is expected to start.
So, Jogiâs probable line-up (and in parentheses, what I would do differently): Neuer; Lahm, Friedrich, Mertesacker, Badstuber (Jansen); Khedira, Schweinsteiger; Mueller (Trochowski), Oezil, Podolski; Klose.
And Capello? James; Johnson, Terry, Carragher, A. Cole; Milner, Barry, Lampard, Gerrard; Rooney, Defoe.
So, what does this all mean? HmmmmâŚ Intriguing match-ups abound.
Wayne Rooney v. our back four: If Rooney would slightly be inclined to live up to his pre-tournament hype, heâd be giving fits and starts to the Deutsche rear-guard. And, although heâs showed glimmers of promise in his last match, he has yet to fulfill the âgreatestâ tag heâs been given. If he gets on a hot streak, however, weâre in trouble.
Battle of the Captains: Stevie G and Herr Lahm go head-to-head today. Steven Gerrard, albeit, out of position. Look for Lahm to get the edge out of this pairing.
Klose v. the In-ger-lund back four: Klose will have a head full of steam after being forced to sit out the last match due to a shoddy red card v. Serbia. And, despite his advancing age, Jogi has faith that heâs still got it. What he does have, for sure, is a wealth of experience. Can he translate that in to goals? If Oezil is accurate on through passes, my answer is âyesâ.
And speaking of OezilâŚ.
Mesut Oezil v. Gareth Barry: ErrrrâŚ no contest. Oezil versus Terry? That may be a different matterâŚ
Honestly, I think England would have to play out of their shorts to beat us. Not that they donât have the ability, or the talent, on their squad to win. They do. But, they have yet to impress so far this World Cup campaign. Hereâs to hoping their present form continuesâŚ
And, hereâs to me, my mother and my fellow Germans watching the match amongst my frenemies (for a day), also known as the English, at the British pub I work in. Iâm wearing a dirndl, and you can be sure when I hear âTwo World Wars and one World Cup / England, EnglandâŚâ, Iâll reply, âNo World Wars and Three World Cups / Deutschland rules the day!â
Auf gehtâs Deutschland!