Karma was on Germany’s side this afternoon as Die Mannschaft dismantled an unorganized England side 4-1. Goals from the returning Miroslav Klose, Lukas Podolski, and two from wonderkid Thomas Mueller were enough to batter the old enemy and send them packing.
In hindsight, Franz Beckenbauer’s criticism of England appears to be correct. ‘The Kaiser,’ as he is affectionately known, said that England had ‘digressed under Capello’ and that they had reverted to ‘kick and rush football.’ Certainly, that was all on display from the Three Lions today.
The one bit of controversy of the match was a disallowed goal by Frank Lampard while the score was still at 2-. A shot from outside the box from the midfield playmaker cannoned down off the crossbar and clearly seemed to cross the line. It is so ironic that 44 years ago, it was Geoff Hurst whose goal was allowed from the exact same situation, and saw England controversially win the World Cup final against West Germany that year.
Now, luck was on the Germans’ side. A counter-attacking brand of football from the Germans allowed them to quickly break into space behind England’s attacking full-backs, and expose John Terry and Matthew Upson with exciting pace from the German frontmen.
This Germany side has exceeded many of the expectations that were placed on them by the German media and the German public at the start of the tournament. The Nationalelf, which is filled with so many young players, a team that carries so much potential for the future, is already playing like a side full of veterans and world-beaters.
20-year old Thomas Mueller is my man of the match. The Bayern Munich man scored twice to cap off two excellent counter-attacks, and also laid on another. The prospect of Thomas Mueller, and other young stars in this side like Mesut Ozil, Marko Marin, Sami Khedira, Holger Badstuber, Jerome Boateng, and Toni Kroos seems to signal that a new golden age in German football is imminent. Just as the generation of Michael Ballack, Miroslav Klose and Jens Lehmann is coming to an end, in steps an entirely new, and entirely capable generation of young German superstars.
While Germany will still be up against it in the next round against Argentina, their achievements thus far have already been outstanding. This Germany side, even if they are knocked out next round, can exit this competition with their heads held high. Though, beating Argentina in the next round would surely book Joachim Loew another four years in the job.
England will return home under intense scrutiny by both the English media and the English public after first failing to win their group, and now for being beaten in the round of 16 by the old enemy, Germany.