Sunday, 13 June 2010

Does club form really matter?

Finally the 2010 World Cup has come to life and who would have guessed it would take the Germans to inject some spark into an otherwise dreary opening 2 days. The new look youthful German side tore the experienced Australian side apart and it should have been many more than 4.

The 2 main threats in terms of goal scoring came from Klose and Podolski. Of the last 15 goals scored in World Cups by Germans, they have scored 10 of them. Both players have not had outstanding club careers, let alone good seasons; only managing 15 goals in 69 games between them. But, when wearing the German shirt they have scored 90 in 173 international appearances which is a remarkable return. If they can continue this remarkable run anything is possible, it is worth remembering that the Germans have appeared in 2 finals and a semi final in the last 4 international tournaments they have featured in and have got to the quarter finals or better in the last 7 world cups.

The really impressive feature about the German performance tonight was the 21 year old playmaker Mesut Ozil. I cannot recall seeing the German’s play with such a creative player before and it was great to watch someone with a little subtlety mixed in with the usual effective performances. He played a couple of exquisite passes into Lahm and Klose in the first half that completely bypassed the Australian back line. Add to that the performances of Khedira and Schweinsteiger and Michael Ballack seems a forgotten name of the past. It is only the first game they have played and tougher tests lie later in the tournament but it was nice to finally see a side play good, effective tournament football. And even at times creative, free flowing football, this is not what we have come to expect from the Germans but long may it continue.

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