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Are you Germans in disguise?

September 15th, 2009 by · No Comments · De Bunker, Football

Despite at times playing dull, safe, and unimaginative football England have won all their qualifiers, for the first time ever. But where is the flair, the excitement, what’s there to love?

OK, we’ll never have a player like Pele, Cruyff or Maradona. But then Brazil, Holland and Argentina probably never will again. But look across the team and you don’t see any world stars, like a Messi or even Gascoigne, who might illuminate the finals. Nor even a lesser player who can become an icon of a tournament like Ronaldo in 2002, Rossi in 1982 or Hurst in 1966. The closest we come is Rooney but diving and indiscipline are likely to see him miss games even if England made it to the final itself.

Most of the matches have been less ‘exciting’ but more ‘satisfactory’ to watch than you’d hope. Even qualifying early has removed the usual desperate delights of making it, or not, at the last gasp. No Poland in 1973 [boo], no Greece in 2001 [hurray]. There was instead a feeling of grinding efficiency, careful planning carried out to order. Despite a few occasions when the team was regarded as under achieving, generally not scoring a hatful against weaker opponents, the facts are that they have never looked like not qualifying.

So we are left with a team that is not great to watch, has no stars, no flair or capacity to delight, but has a clockwork reliability and wins, cheap and/or dirty, whenever necessary. So, welcome to the new Germany – but as I said, I’m not yet sure if I like it.

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