The transition from attacking mid to holding midfielder came at the start of last Bundesliga season for Bastian Schweinsteiger. Wily as a fox, Bayern Munich trainer, Louis van Gaal paired Bastian up with team captain, Mark van Bommel--- and they never looked back. The ueber-dynamic midfield, co-starring Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, was a pleasure to behold once it all gelled together--- much like what is happening at this tournament.
Jogi Loew made some very unpopular decisions, according to most Germans, before he picked his final 23. The usual line-up having been battered by injuries, he chose to leave out a couple of Nationalelf stalwarts, Torsten Frings and Kevin Kuranyi. Instead, choosing a pack of up-and-comers from the youth squads, mixed with established talent he could trust implicitly. And here we sit today, after dismantling another major threat.
Frankly, I’m sick and tired of hearing, from the English and Argentines alike, “But, we looked so much better on paper than you.” Bah! Last time I checked, a proper football match was played on a pitch. You know, one made of grass--- with some seats around it. And a proper footballing team, is exactly that. A team. Eleven guys, in sync, with one common objective. To win. Up to this point, Germany has exemplified this best. By far.
It’s been spectacular, hasn’t it?
With his, now obligatory, wink for the camera during line-ups, a cheeky Thomas Mueller opened up the scoring on just 3 minutes, after Lukas Podolski won a free-kick from a hapless Nicholas Otamendi. The Bayern Munich youngster nudged in on a beautiful cross by Bastian.
After finally settling in, La Albiceleste created some chances, only to be closed down, seemingly last-minute, by a German back four that held their line. The best chance the Argentines had was a lovely through ball, by Lionel Messi, that Manuel Neuer managed to get to, just ahead of Carlos Tevez.
Shots were traded throughout the first half, and when a soft yellow was shown to Thomas Mueller, on 36 minutes, Gonzalo Higuain thought he had equalized before it was revealed that the entire Argentine squad was offsides. Ha.
A nervy start to the second half saw us back on our heels, while Per Mertesacker’s face saved a Tevez shot on goal. Ouch. But as the hour mark passed, the tide turned in our favor as Klose doubled our score on an open-net tap-in from a Podolski pass.
A couple of minutes later the score was 3 - 0 after a short corner let Schweinsteiger pass to Arne Friedrich, who promptly scored his first international goal.
After that, Argentina had no answers, and no gas left. And to add insult to injury, Klose once again tapped in on 89 minutes from a lovely cross by Oezil.
4-0. Against Argentina? And after destroying the English 4-1 (4-2)? Man, it really doesn’t get any better than that! And, against an arrogant coach, in Diego Maradona, who seemingly chose not to view any German tape, resorting to showmanship and disrespect of the highest order.
His choices to leave Cambiasso and Zanetti off of his national team are perplexing. As well as his leaving Milito on the bench for the entire match. After all, this talented trio was a huge part in Inter Milan’s victory over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final. And just so you remember correctly, a full quarter of Germany’s national team is comprised of Bayern Munich squad members.
Who’s nervoushh now? We won’t cry for you, Maradona.