Never Mind The Ballacks , Here's The New Germany

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Never Mind The Ballacks , Here's The New Germany
After a generally mediocre opening round of the World Cup , it is a rich irony that the one team to have quickened the pulse is Germany.
Usually, the Germans earn grudging praise for their uninspiring efficiency rather than dazzling attacking play, more artisan than artist, more war of attrition than Blitzkrieg!
The redesign of Die Mannschaft was begun  by Jurgen Klinsmann  ,the coach at the 2006 World Cup in their homeland and has been continued under the tutelage of Joachim Low , Klinsmann's former assistant.
So much so, that  you could have mistaken the Germans for the " Total Football" era Dutch such was the interchanging of positions from Low's front four.
Compared to the uninspired , leaden footed Italians, the conquerors of Klinsmann's team in the 2006 semi final , the cautious , functional Dutch , the disjointed, dissentious French  and sundry other negative Nancies, the Germans were a breath of fresh air.
Surprisingly, one of the main reasons for this new outlook may be the loss of their star player, Michael Ballack to injury. Too often in the past, Ballack's team mates would look him to carry the fight to the opposition, in his absence, Khedira and Ozil, two of the players integrated from the successful U-21 side, have been forced to take on more responsibility and their youthful energy has been a contributing factor to Germany's success, where Ballack's older legs would slowed the pace of the German attack.
Another new aspect of the team is the ethnic mix , Sammi Khedira has a Tunisian father, Mario Gomez's is Spanish, Mesut Ozil's parents were Turkish gastarbeiter (guest workers) and Cacau is Brazilian , in a way they are reminiscent of the multi ethnic French side that won the competition in 1998.

Of course the Germans have only won one game , albeit 4-0 and it was against  an Australian side who looked as flat as a crate of XXXX left out too long in the midday sun and as wise , old World Cup watchers will tell you, the team that sparkles in the group stages rarely triumphs in the end,  far better to grow into the tournament , don't you know?!
Indeed , for all of the sparkling forward play their main goalscorer Miroslav Klose , may pay the price for spending a season warming the bench at F.C. Bayern when the knockout stages come around. Klose version 2010  passed up several gilt edged chances against Australia that the 2006 vintage would have scored with his eyes closed.
But at the very least , it is to be hoped that Low's visionary approach may inspire other teams to throw off the shackles and try and win games instead of the caution and negativity that has plagued the tournament thus far.
Vorsprung durch Technik, as they say on German training pitches!

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