Sunday, June 29, 2008

Germany in Euro 08 - Final thought

Germany had summarized the tournament with a 1-0 defeat against Spain last night. It can be said all the efforts previously were wasted. As a hardcore Germany fan I was pretty upset, coz it was just a little step away from the trophy. Just a little step and we have to wait another 2 years to witness Germany to win another major trophy - World Cup. However, I feel really proud of the players as they told the world that Germany is a major power in the world football. OK, Here's my final thought of Germany in Euro 08:

Defence: Generally the defence was very inconsistent. Sometimes they had a very solid defence but sometimes they lost the goal cheaply. This was becoz the players were lack of form in club football. Apart from Per Mertesacker, Christoph Metzelder, Arne Friedrich, Philipp Lahm, and Jens Lehmann did not gain the solid form in their clubs. Metzelder and Lehmann were even the substutite players in Real Madrid and Arsenal respectively. So their performance even was solid, as they did not gain the consistent form, it was very often to see they lost the possession and created dangers in their own zone. Heiko Westermann is a good solution to the German defence in the future. Schalke 04 can provide him a stable and competitive environment for him to grow. As things go smoothly, I believe Westermann will be the most important member in the Germany squad.

Midfield: The midfield were very competent in the tournament. It was the key to lead the team into the final. The match against Portugal could prove that the German midfield were controlling how the whole team worked in the match. The Spanish could successfully made the German midfield suffocate so when Germans wanted to equalize the match, it was simply very hard for them. Torsten Frings and Michael Ballack did a very good job. They had limited lots of spaces against the opposition and controlled the midfield. However, they did not have any way out to fight back the high quality Spanish ball possession. Simon Rolfes did a very great job in the Portugal match. As expected from myself personally, he will be the most important in the German midfield in the future. All he needs is the big match experience. When he gain enough match experience, he can even replace Ballack in terms of the importance of the team.

Attack: The attack in this tournament was better than Euro 2004. Same as World Cup 2006, the attack had variety so that the Germans could score goals against the opponents. Lukas Podolski did a very good job in this tournament. It was quite a surprise that he did the remarkable job in the left flank. Having this new role, the German attack has more variety in terms of ball possession and counter attacks. Bastian Schweinsteiger also proved himself that Bayern Munich should have play him more. His role in right flank made a chemical reaction with Podolski and Miroslav Klose. Even though Germans played 1 striker in the final stage, their attack was still threatening. Mario Gomez needed more time to adept the big match environment. He was not really get used to play in a such big matches. Even I'm in a million miles away from him, I feel that he was really stressed.

Bench: The bench was definitely the weakest link in the tournament. There were only 16 players at most that could deliver in the match, which meant there were 7 players were totally wasted!!! I believe this is the main reason why Germans were defeated in the end. This was becoz the bench players couldn't support the starters when they were in trouble. As fans could all see the bench players were totally useless when they were substituted in the field. Marko Marin could be the very good bench player in the future. Same as Rolfes, Marin needs more experience. I believe this is the most urgent problem that the Germans need to solve, as we know bench power is the real factor to control the match.

Overall: I'm very happy to see how the Germans perform, and I'm proud of those players. One very good thing is they have the fighting spirit. Their fighting spirit carried them through to the final but unfortunately couldn't bring them to the trophy. I do hope that the Germans can keep this fighting spirit every match and I do believe they can win the World Cup 2010!!

Personal sharing: So much to say, simply speaking thank you all of the supports of the match gathering event during this month. I'm very happy to be with you guys there. We shared ups and downs in this month and this is very unforgettable for me. I'm also gad that we have created a network to support our favourite team. I won't be walking alone coz I know you fans are always walking with me. We also showed that all Germany fans are sticking together tight and support our team wholeheartedly. Maybe 20 years later I will forget how Germany lost to Spain, but I won't forget the moment we together had. This is the most memorable moment in my life and once again, thank you all!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Germany in Euro 08 - Semi Final Analysis

What a drama!! The last 12 minutes of the match is the drama of the match! The Germans finally prevail in the end with Philipp Lahm's 90th minute goal and win against Turkey 3-2! This is what the semi final match means!! However it's a bit shame for the fans around the world that the transmission has lost for about 10-15 minutes in 2nd half in total so except the fans in the stadium, no one in front of TV can watch the goal of 2-1 and 2-2 live. OK, here's my analysis for this match:

Defence: Comparing with last match, the German defence is very inconsistent this time. It is a bit unfair to score Per Mertesacker and Christoph Metzelder such a low score from the German newspaper Bild, I think the Turkish give even heavier pressure than Portugal and make the German defence have errors. Both 2 conceded goals are directly related to Jens Lehmann, he is very inconsistent in the entire tournament, and he is the weakest link of the defence to be frank. However, I still stress to start him becoz he has already communicated with the back 4 so they know how they play. If the Germans put another goalie in this moment, it will be very unwise coz both parties need to communicate again and may make a further trouble. Philipp Lahm has a fair game, but his winning goal is too important to leave out so he is the man of the match. I think so far he is the best defender in the German team. Marks: 70/100.

Midfield: Simon Rolfes is very nervous this game. Maybe he does not have experience to play in a such important game. His miss tackles brings him down during the match. So he is substituted in the halftime by Torsten Frings. Frings does a great job for controlling the midfield and makes the Germans start to control the match. His strength and stamina are very important for the Germans now, epsecially when the match comes in the final third period, his stamina will make the difference. Michael Ballack has a quiet game, maybe the Turkish midfield defense are very tight that Ballack can make any breakthroughs. Ballack's long shot and header is one of the best in the world, but his weakness is he does not run a lot, so when the space is limited for him, his performance is limited for him. Marks: 70/100.

Attack: The attack is not bad this match, at least scoring 3 goals from the limited shooting. Miroslav Klose is Mr. Big Match this time, he is very quiet this match but he can take the rare mistake from the Turkish so he can score the leading goal. This is very important from the Germans coz before the goal, both teams are in the deadlock. Klose breaks the deadlock and make the match wild open and make the Germans cruise to the final. Lahm's winning goal is the sensational individual effort, he deserves that goal. The German fullbacks this match are pushing forward in the final third of the match so it brings pressure to the Turkish. So I think besides their defense, their attacks are pretty good. Marks: 80/100.

Overall: It's all about fighting spirit. Being in this stage of the match it's all about it. Without fighting spirit, no matter how good the team is, they will lose game. Both teams have fought hard during the match and they do not give up and give in until the end of the match. The Germans only do a little bit harder and better in the last 4 minutes of the match. Here I give a round of applaud to the Turkish, they are troopers. It's a bit shame that there's only 1 winner so, I can only say winner takes all. Overall mark: 75/100.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Germany in Euro 08 - Quarter Final Analysis

Astonishing! Germany wins against Portugal and be the first team to qualify for the semi final. Portgual was the favorite of this match but Germany had gone over the obstacle and won against them and the match ended up with 3-2. Now here's my analysis:

Defence: The defence is sensational! Even though the German lose 2 goals, it is still the best performance in these 4 matches. Cristiano Ronaldo has very limited space to work on and he cannot perform his best in the entire match. Still, his first touch is excellent that create the first goal for Portugal, so we can't blame the German defence in that goal as Cristiano Ronaldo does very well. However, the Germans lose concentration a bit to let Portugal score the 3-2 goal and make the last few minutes very exciting. Generally the defence is very good this match. Marks: 85/100.

Midfield: Bastian Schweinsteiger and Michael Ballack say it all. These 2 fellas make an astonishing performance in the midfield. Schweinsteiger make 1 goal and 2 assists in the game, which means all 3 goals are related to him. He comes out in a different person comparing to the last 2 games. He is very active, very aggressive, and creates lots of space from the right side. This is one of his best performances in his career for sure. Michael Ballack, Mr. Big Match, he seals the game in the 61st minute and make Portugal has great distance to get back to the game. His header is always threatening, he only grabs a single mistake from Portugal defense and it is a goal. The others such as Simon Rolfes and Thomas Hitzlsperger have a good game in defense and tackling so Portugal are not comfortable at all in the midfield. So we should give them credit as well. Marks: 92/100.

Attack: Mario Gomez finally is on the bench this game and he does not come out to play. However, Miroslav Klose gains back his confident and scores the most important goal of the match. His 2-0 header makes the Germans lead Portugal to play. On the other words, Portugal just only follows the Germans' rhythm. Even though he is going to be quiet in the last quarter of the game but he still makes threats. Lukas Podolski plays at the left side, even though the starting lineup shows him to be the striker. However, he runs at the left side in the entire match and leads the Germans have one more extra midfield to create the attack. He makes the first goal in the left side for Schweinsteiger. Also, he still makes runs in the final quarter of the match and lead Portugal can't push up too much. Marks: 90/100.

Overall: It's all about belief. I think the key that the Germans win is all about their belief. They kiss all the problem away and only concentrate on this match. Their moral is very high and aggressive, and their tactics also beat Portugal. So the Germans are the deserved winner last night. Overall marks: 90/100.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Germany in Euro 08 - Match 3 Analysis

My apology that it is late to make an analysis here. Germany has successfully qualify the group stage and will face Portugal this Thursday. Before facing Portugal, let's make some analysis before the matchup.

Defence: The defence has not much tough test this match. Arne Friedrich is the only change compare to last match. He is OK in defence, even his attacking is not good enough still. However, I do think that the defence play the crucial role in this kind of crucial match as the German can't afford to lose a goal first. Philipp Lahm (picture) is the star of the game. He is much better at the left back, even though he prefers to be right back. He forces a foul and lead to the crucial goal. The Germans should be very happy that Lahm is back to his best form as it is very important in the next match. Mark: 77/100.

Midfield: Michal Ballack (picture), Mr. Big Match, you've done it again! He creates the first set piece goal in the entire tournament and his aggression really boost the Germans up. The others do the great job both in offense and defence. Clemens Fritz does not play very well and I think besides the first match, he plays only fairly well. Next match against Portugal, I think the Germans can put Bastian Schweinsteiger as the starter as he is quite hard working and fresh. Also, his long shot can create threats to Portugal too. Marks: 80/100.

Attack: No sign of any regaining any form yet. Miroslav Klose (picture) and Mario Gomez still do not have any confident at all. When I watch Gomez fails to score in front of the empty net, I feel that he is facing the problem of lack of confidence. It maybe because this tournament is his first big event for him and he feels really anxious about the match. So his great form in Stuttgart can't convert to the match. Klose is facing the scoreless drought in the 2nd half of the season and now his scoreless drought continues in the national team. Even the Germans win the match, I don't think the front pair do anything magical in the match. Marks: 50/100.

Overall: Big match team, this is what the Germany fans call their favourite. This time, the big match team has done it again. They make it through to the quarter final before falling off the cliff. In general the Germans have not done well in the first 3 matches but the quality and the big match experience help them through. I'm a bit surprised that Joachim Löw (picture) still keeps Gomez on the starting lineup. Maybe Löw believes he can regain his confident. However, I think Gomez should be on the bench to release his pressure and when he is substituted, he will be the fresh man to play. Overall mark: 70/100.

Now it's all about morality. All the tactical problems are all cliche. Going into the quarter final stage is all about the pitch performance. So personally I don't think Germany is an underdog in the upcoming match. Portugal coach Scolari (picture) also thinks this way. So this match is pretty spectacular as both teams are the big match team. Of course, as a hardcore Germany fan, I will fully support Germany that night and I think the pitch performance will be the winning key.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Germany in Euro 08 - Match 2 Analysis

It maybe a bit late to write an analysis now, but it's better to be late a bit coz I can let go my emotions away and make an unbiased analysis. Of course, as a hardcore German fans, we must stand side by side to stick together and Germany will prevail. OK, here's my little anaylsis:

Defence: Tragic, this is the only word I can think about. Lack of discipline create both goals for the Croatians. The Germans have no clue to stop the attack from both flanks, the Croatians make lots of threats from it. Marcell Jansen (picture) has the poor game last night as he can stop the first goal if he finds out earlier that Dario Srna have already taken the scoring position. Jansen can't even create the attack in left side so he can't make any complaint when he is substituted at halftime. The centre backs are not quite well, but they can maintain the normal form. Marks: 45/100.

Midfield: The Croatians win all the possessions in the midfield. All the German midfields can do is to fight against them, not creating the attack. Michael Ballack and Torsten Frings do what they can to try to level things up but it's still not enough. It's pretty sad to see that. David Odonkor needs to prove himself harder to explain why he is worth to be chosen rather than Marko Marin, or even Jermain Jones. Bastian Schweinsteiger (picture) works pretty hard when he is subsitituted, but his unwise red card really hurts the team, it even hurts harder than the match itself, as he will be suspended in the next crucial match. Marks: 50/100 (I didn't count the Schweinsteiger dismissal as it's quite unfair to the other players).

Attack: Lukas Podolski is the only player who shines in the German side. He keeps the great form and helps the Germans to claw one back and gives hope to get all things level. He does the great job. Miroslav Klose (picture) wants to forget this match together with Mario Gomez as they both are invisible in the entire match. They don't have any confidence at all. I think this is more serious than the defence. It's quite lucky to have Podolski who is very fit that the German can score 3 goals so far, and, those 3 goals are all scored by Podolski!! For long term the German needs to figure out how to help Klose and Gomez regain their confident in the entire tournament. Marks: 50/100.

Overall: The Germans didn't learn the lesson from the warm up match against Serbia 2 weeks ago. They make the same mistake in this match and this is very hurt to the Germans. Next match against Austria is the final. No room to hide, no room to run, the Germans must win. Now the Croatian have won the group and the Germans only maintain the seat to qualify to quarter final against Portugal. Changes are predicted in the next match, Tim Borowski (picture) is predicted to start the match and Jansen may become the substitute. The defence line may re-organize that Heiko Westermann or Arne Friedrich may start the match as the right back, and Philipp Lahm will start at the left. Overall mark: 45/100, I failed the German coz they can avoid the defeat at least.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Germany in Euro 08 - Match 1 Analysis

Germany has been officially started the Euro 08 campaign last night. As predicted the German had the solid win against Poland. Lukas Podolski had scored twice helped Germany won 2-0 and led the group by goal difference. Here is some analysis of mine:Defence: The defence was not too bad. Jens Lehmann (picture) had a pumpy start and then he was getting better throughout the match. He made some crucial saves and catches that led the German kept in the clean sheet until the end of the match. The back four was in the normal shape, but Christoph Metzelder needed some match practice as he was back from injury not for long ago. Per Mertesacker had a great game, he led the defence line efficiently and the German had a fairly comfortable win with the solid defence. Marks: 72/100

Midfield: The midfield was the key of the match. Lukas Podolski (picture) had made a huge impact since he was moved to the left wing. This position gave Podolski more freedom and space to run and shot. So he had the great game. The Polish defense seemed hard to defend Podolski as his position made lots of spaces. It was quite unfair to judge Bastian Schweinsteiger if only accord to the statistics. He worked hard since he was substituted and his hard working created the second goal directly. Even though the statistics did not show it, his performance was improving. Marks: 85/100
Forward: Both Mario Gomez (picture) and Miroslav Klose did not have great game. Klose hadn't gain back his confident yet. Frankly, he should have scored in the second goal but he mis-controlled it and the ball ricochet to Podolski and he made the wonderful volley. Mario Gomez had a bit too urge to show himself and it affected his performance directly. He didn't make shots and headers that impact the Polish defence. However, the forwards could efficiently connect with the midfield and made the attack had ore variety. Marks: 70/100

Overall: Overall speaking, Germany had the right tactic in this match. Slow to medium tempo led them to keep the quality possession of the ball. I think Germany will make use of this tactic in the entired tournament. The defence needs more match practice and Lehmann needs to start up his match quickly. The attack needs to clam down a bit, especially Gomez. Overall the marks will be 78/100.