2010 FIFA World Cup: The Strange Downfall of Germany's Miroslav Klose

Samrin HasibAnalyst IJune 3, 2010

An image of Miroslav Klose after his substitution at half time showed very little he seemed very like his old self and almost had a confident look on his face. Joachim Loew must have assured him of a starting berth.

Maybe Klose was resigned to fate. In the space of one year, the tall striker has gone from being one of the world's most reliable strikers to a man who is deemed to be too "old." Louis van Gaal cannot be blamed for his downfall. At club level, he didn't perform well for Bayern and was benched as a result.

His club form didn't effect his form with the national side though. He scored the winner against Russia in October 2009 which eventually took Germany to the 2010 World Cup. One thing his club form did was destroy his confidence.

One of the best finishers turned into a man who couldn't head a ball from a simple cross into the net. Klose never does give up. This time, however, it seems like he will have to give up. Today, when Loew substituted him, it felt as if Miro Klose had just lost "his" starting berth in the national side. 

Klose tried his best to score against Bosnia. However, Loew always plays him as a lone-striker in a 4-5-1 formation. Klose's talents as a second striker are known to almost every German fan; however, Klose cannot play as a lone striker. During the 2006 World Cup, Klose had Lukas Podolski alongside him. At the moment, he needs another striker to play off of.

Klose went into the 2002 World Cup following a good season where he scored 16 goals for Kaiserslautern. Prior to the 2006 World Cup, he was the Bundesliga's top scorer with 25 goals in 26 appearances.......and plenty of assists. In both of those World Cups, he struck five times. Thus, there is no guarantee that he will shine in the World Cup following a poor season at club level.

Perhaps his downfall can be blamed on an injury that occured in Bochum in 2009. Klose was in excellent form going into that match against Bochum in the Bundesliga. He fell on the bumpy pitch and hurt himself quite badly. He needed surgery to repair the damage in his ankle and was out for about two months.

Since then, he has never quite been himself. In just a year, Klose's form has disappeared. He might have even lost his starting berth in Germany's line-up despite the fact that he really did try to score against Bosnia. His frustration at being substituted by Loew against Hungary was there for all to see.

Form is temporary but class is permanent. It seems that Klose's loss of confidence might have shattered him to a point from which he is being unable to recover. Joachim Loew, though revealed nothing in his post-match interview.

He had this to say after the Bosnia game:

"We still have more than a week before our opening game against Australia (June 13) and I am not thinking yet of the starting 11."

Plenty of German fans want to see Klose's revival. They want to see him score again. It's been a while since he scored his last goal.  However, Germany may not even see a Miroslav Klose goal during this World Cup.

Klose still might recover his form before the World Cup. This task, though, will indeed be difficult. The World Cup is, after all, only a week away.

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