Hard to look past Germany

The pre tournament favourites, Germany, are really looking worth that label, as they go into Thursday nights semi final against either England or Italy with a 100% record, safe in the knowledge that they are yet to really hit top gear.

A 4-2 victory against Greece last night was confirmed despite Joachim Low, the manager, resting first choice attacking trio, Thomas Muller, Lukas Podolski and Mario Gomez. Their replacements, Marco Reus, Andre Schurrle and Miroslav Klose turned in impressive displays, Reus and Klose netting the last two goals in a game that Germany dominated.

People are used to Germany teams being efficient and getting the right result, people are not so used to seeing a Germany side that oozes attacking quality and flair, the latter point illustrated by the fact that players like Reus, Mario Gotze and Toni Kroos, Bayern Munich’s most improved player of last season, have to settle for places on the bench.

The unyielding efficiency can be seen in qualifying for the competition, Germany won all ten of their games, something they had never done before, with Low urging the side to aim for a perfect record, rather than just to get to Poland and Ukraine this summer.

The one thing that could prove to be the Germans undoing is the defence, although we should note that Neur in goal and Philipp Lahm at left back are outstanding. The remainder of the positions across the back four are open to question, the absence of Per Mertesacker, an experienced centre half, could be down to his long injury lay off last season.

Although concerns about the defence are valid, it remains to be seen whether anyone will have enough to beat the Germans. It would appear that the fluid football of the Spanish attackers could prove to be the toughest tests that Low’s men will have to face, and such an encounter is a potential final tie.

Sehen Sie in Kiew? We probably will.

Below is a video of captain, Philipp Lahm’s opener against Greece yesterday.