Try as I might, I can’t see England take this. I can’t see them getting passed the Germans. There is so much riding on this though, 44 years of hurt, and all that. We also have the trauma of ’90 and ’96 penalty shootout losses to Germany to put to rest.
The last three England performances have been less than impressive. People cling to the hope of the final group victory against Slovenia, but that was a mediocre performance, a close win, against less than impressive opposition. Any premiership team would have rolled over Slovenia, especially in a must win game. We’re going from a poor performance against the USA, a shitfest of a match versus Algeria, and an only just win against Slovenia. And now we’re expected to face the might of Germany??
Sure, this isn’t the same German team who won the World Cup in 1990 or the European Cup in 1996, and it is an inexperienced side by comparison to the old brigade from the last few cups, but they are not to be underestimated. They turned in an impressive opening game against Australia, were narrowly beaten after going down to ten men by Serbia, and managed to secure top of the group qualification by defeating Ghana (who defeated a US team that we seemed to have such a difficult time against.
A Facebook status update of, “believes we can do this today !” was met with, “Course we can – difficult games always bring out the best in us.” and that seems to be the general feeling from many England supporters I have talked to. Yes, we played badly, but this is Germany. Two world wars and one world cup. We can take them. They are our biggest rival. Or are they?
I’ve been following trhe nonsense that is @SupportABE on Twitter and they re-tweeted this interesting snippet:
Aye, true enough, Laddie. You can’t really argue with the facts. And the two world wars and one world cup don’t really cut it anymore. ’66 is 44 years ago. The world wars even further back. Even the England victory in Euro 2000 gives but a glimmer of payback. I’d love to see us defeat Germany. We can hark back to the 5-1 mauling in Berlin all we like, but in World Cup history we play a poor second fiddle to the might of Germany.
My heart says England, but my head has always been considerably more rational. Hopefully I’ll be able to come back from the match and prove my head wrong…