It was toward the end of the 2012/13 season that Mario Goetze shocked German football by agreeing a €37m move to Bayern Munich from Borussia Dortmund just one month before his then-current and future employers clashed in the Champions League final.
The 22-year-old playmaker has received significant plaudits in Germany and none more so than from the Kaiser himself, Germany legend Franz Beckenbauer:
He has the same understanding and technique, and he's a footballer who acts purely on his instincts - just like Messi. It's impossible to stop Mario Gotze. You just cannot play any better than him. He just strolls through as if there are no opponents.
Why should Goetze become the focal point?
In addition to Beckenbauer's comments, Goetze scored 15 goals in 45 matches during his debut season in Munich—one in three games for an attacking midfielder is a significant return, in addition to 13 assists. By contrast Ozil scored seven times in 42 matches and assisted 14 goals.
What makes this comparative all the more impressive is that Goetze only averaged 62 minutes per game under Pep Guardiola's tutelage, compared to Ozil's 80 minutes at Arsenal.
His reduced minutes means theoretically Goetze only played the equivalent of 31 full matches. He is therefore fresh compared to his peers and Die Mannschaft should take advantage of this—particularly given the absences of Lars Bender and Marco Reus.
How has he performed in his first two games?
One goal, albeit fortuitous, to open the scoring against Ghana, taking his tally to three in three appearances for Germany and four goals overall in five appearances during 2014. He also won the penalty, converted by Thomas Mueller in their opening match against Portugal.
Furthermore, as per WhoScored.com, Goetze was the best German performer against Ghana up until his substitution before the 70th minute.
By taking the above heatmap into consideration, it is fair to suggest Goetze was far more disciplined than his counterpart Mesut Ozil, who appeared reluctant to track back. The Bayern man, sacrificed some of his creativity for the greater good, to ensure he helped out his full back acknowledging Ghana's threat out on the flanks.
Admittedly, Miroslav Klose did equalise less than two minutes after the change but an analysis of Goetze's statistics should mean he plays the entire 90 minutes in the crucial match against the USA on Wednesday.
This is not a dig at Mesut Ozil by any stretch but in any successful team there is only room for one or two leading players, with the others being reduced to supporting cast members.
This may sound harsh for the likes of Ozil, as well as Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos, but the reality is that right now, Goetze, alongside Thomas Mueller, are the main men. Joachim Low must acknowledge this and not worry about ruffling other players' feathers.
Germany have a great chance to win this World Cup but they will only do so if they rediscover their ruthless streak—Goetze must dictate their play.
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