Monday, May 22, 2006

FIFA World Cup Preview- Germany (Group A)

1st squad list- as obtained from

1 GK LEHMANN Jens - (Arsenal, ENG)
2 DF JANSEN Marcell - (Borussia Moenchengladbach, GER)
3 DF FRIEDRICH Arne - (Hertha Berlin, GER)
4 DF HUTH Robert - (Chelsea, ENG)
5 MF KEHL Sebastian - (Borussia Dortmund, GER)
6 DF NOWOTNY Jens - (Bayer Leverkusen, GER)
7 MF SCHWEINSTEIGER Bastian - (Bayern Munich, GER)
8 MF FRINGS Torsten - (Werder Bremen, GER)
9 FW HANKE Mike - (Wolfsburg, GER)
10 FW NEUVILLE Oliver - (Borussia Moenchengladbach, GER)
11 FW KLOSE Miroslav - (Werder Bremen, GER)
12 GK KAHN Oliver - (Bayern Munich, GER)
13 MF BALLACK Michael - (Bayern Munich, GER)
14 FW ASAMOAH Gerald - (Schalke 04, GER)
15 MF HITZLSPERGER Thomas - (VfB Stuttgart, GER)
16 DF LAHM Philipp - (Bayern Munich, GER)
17 DF MERTESACKER Per - (Hanover 96, GER)
18 MF BOROWSKI Tim - (Werder Bremen, GER)
19 MF SCHNEIDER Bernd - (Bayer Leverkusen, GER)
20 FW PODOLSKI Lukas - (FC Cologne, GER)
21 DF METZELDER Christoph - (Borussia Dortmund, GER)
22 MF ODONKOR David - (Borussia Dortmund, GER)
23 GK HILDEBRAND Timo - (VfB Stuttgart, GER)

Coach- Juergen Klinsmann

German coach has selected his squad mostly along the expected lines. The squad appears to be a young one, with a few experienced faces thrown in, including players like Jens Nowotny, who has been recalled to the national team after a lengthy absence to add some steel to an inexperienced defence, and the evergreen Oliver Neuville, who made it to the squad ahead of an underperforming Kevin Kuranyi. Others, such as Chelsea's Robert Huth and Dortmund's Odonkor, were surprise inclusions, selected purely on ability and talent rather than on experience.
In the goalkeeping department, Jens Lehmann gets the nod ahead of the legendary Oliver Kahn following a stunning season with Arsenal. A surprising, if welcome, move from a country that often puts past glory ahead of current form in the goalkeeping department (Kahn himself has played in only 1 world cup, though this will be his fourth time in the squad). Timo Hildebrand, a talented shotstopper who has proven himself time after time to be at least as capable as his senior partners in the squad, is third choice after a somewhat below par season.
In defence, Per Mertesacker seems to be the only one who has been involved in first team action for Germany for the last one year. Metzelder and Lahm are somewhat injury prone, Huth has had no first team action at club level with Chelsea, Nowotny has the same problem at international level. Jansen is somewhat untested. All in all, a fairly weak defence.
The midfield is fairly strong. Frings has plenty of experience and proven ability, as do Kehl and Schneider. Hitzlsperger is a good utility man with fantastic technique and explosive power. Odonkor has had a good season with Dortmund, and may be just the unknown factor Germany needs. The pacy Schweinsteiger is among the best young players in the world, and often leaves his markers for dead with his bursting runs from midfield. Tim Borowski is a fabulous talent, arguably the best in the squad in terms of technique and creativity. A little international experience could turn him into a world class player. Then comes the skipper Michael Ballack. Among the best midfielders in the world, he boasts of superb technique, a great eye for goal, tremendous stamina, amazing vision, and great desire. He is experienced, faring superbly in the last world cup. He is also keen to do well this time for he missed the final last time around after picking up a necessary yellow card in the semifinal. This is a strong midfield and could pose a challenge to the best in the world.
Up front, Asamoah is experienced and in form, as is Klose, a veteran of the last World Cup, where he finished with 5 goals. Podolski is a fan favourite, and is almost guaranteed a starting place. Mike Hanke doesn't have the pedigree of the others, but he is another player capable of surprising opponents, particularly with his aerial prowess.

OVERALL ASSESSMENT- Germany is almost certain to go through to the second round, but need decent cover for a weak defence if they are to do anywhere near as well as last time. The keepers may be world class, but no keeper can survive 90 minutes cleaning up after such a defence, as was seen in last year's Confederations Cup.


At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Paul said...

"The keepers may be world class, but no keeper can survive 90 minutes cleaning up after such a defence, as was seen in last year's Confederations Cup."

Last world cup 'the keeper' almost survived the 90 mins every match but for the finals ;-).

they must be hoping for something similar.

At 2:23 PM, Blogger Shreyas said...

True, but there is a slight difference between that defence, which was further backed up by the defensive prowess of Ramelow in midfield, and this bunch of 20- somethings.


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