The unthinkable has happened Germany has actually crashed out at the group stage; it seems the curse of the champions has claimed another victim but is it actually a curse or did the defending world champions bring this upon themselves? Most people seem to asking this question.
Italy, France, Spain and now Germany these are all teams who after winning world cups have been knocked out in the group stage. What is the reason – Complacency? Arrogance? Who knows the answer different from person to person one thing though was very obvious -Fitness. Joachim Loew’s side showed a lackadaisical performance against both Mexico and South Korea-they failed to maintain the speed that was clearly required. Ironically their passing was brilliant and so was their play but unfortunately it is that spark that we saw in 2014 and we’re hoping for in 2018 was absent.
Here’s a record of Germany after 1978 in world cups – 2ndplace, 2nd place, 1st place, quarterfinals, quarterfinals, 2nd place, 3rd place, 3rd place and 1st and finally this result. Germany has never been knocked out at group stage in the last 80 years with the last time being in 1938 and then only because the format was knock- out.
Despite being the favorites in many people’s eyes, there were certain questions about the team that Joachim Low was taking to the championship, with them being one of the oldest sides in the team, while it may have worked for the Chennai Super Kings in IPL, it did not do so in this scenario. All the stars were lackluster including the captain Manuel Neuer who did a move that may have been made out of desperation when he tried to play as a midfielder but ended up costing Germany another goal.
The team looked tired and disjointed and the questions before the world cup will now cause a deep road of inquisition into the German side. Mats Hummels showed a below par performance despite getting several opportunities to score, Jerome Boateng did some good defending but couldn’t play in the final match. Tim Werner failed to live up to expectations of all as well as the clear gap left by the legendary Miroslave Klose. Thomas Mueller looked stiff and failed to hit even a single goal. And Mario Götze whose shot won Germany 2014 was clearly absent most of the time.
That side that won them their world cup was missing in spirit. However we cannot deny the fact that all the teams played brilliantly in group F especially South Korea. Led by Son Heung Min they were tenacious and unbreakable showing true spirit. The goalkeeper Cho Hyun Woo, the man of the match blocked superb strikes by the Germans including stellar shots by Kroos and Werner.
What now Germany? There will be some serious changes and we can only hope for the best in 2022.