Germany is in the World Cup final. This, itself, is not a surprise. Die Mannschaft was one of the pre-tournament favourites. Success at the World Cup is nothing new for Germany: the squad has made the semifinals of the World Cup a dozen times and won the tournament three times.
What is, however, a surprise is the way in which they dismantled Brazil 7-1 last week. It was a superlative and historic crushing of the hosts. Now, they face an Argentina squad that has strung together ugly victories perhaps most typified by defensive stodginess and moments of brilliance the world’s best player, Lionel Messi.
Germany supporter Josh Nesbitt is a 36 year-old from Warwick who works for CellOne. We spoke to Josh about the strengths and weaknesses of this German squad and whether consistent, efficient football brilliance ever gets dull.
What made you a German supporter?
I liked the way they played. They used to be strong, organized, very defensive. Very German. (laughs) That’s probably the best way to describe their style. But they’ve changed in recent years to become a more flowing, offensive team. The change has been nice to watch.
What’s your prediction?
I have a feeling that it’s going to be 2-1 or 3-2 Germany.
No repeat of 7-1?
Well, you know some Germany supporters are saying stuff like 4-1 or 3-0. I don’t think that’s going to be the case. Argentina’s a different team from Brazil. They’ll keep the ball more. They’re more defensive.
What’s the key to Germany in your estimation?
The midfield. If Germany’s midfield can control the game, which I think they will, they’ll win. Sounds simple, I know.
It seems like the Germans are always advance to at least the World Cup semifinals. Does it ever get dull to watch them dispatch teams with brutal efficiency? Each game you must go in thinking you can and should beat the opposition. Where’s the excitement in that?
They’re consistent. In some cases consistency sometimes leads to complacency but not with Germany. Anything less than at least a semifinal appearance is considered failure.
Does this team have a weakness?
With that high defensive line, they’re susceptible to balls over the top. Especially because that backline isn’t the quickest. Speed could give them problems. It really hasn’t yet and Argentina have looked like they have gotten behind many defensive lines, but they have Messi and anything is possible with that guy.
Messi has to be your biggest fear, right?
Well, the rest of the Argentina’s team really hasn’t stepped up to help him. That’s my biggest fear; that they will decide to click now.
Are you nervous that Germany peaked with that 7-1 thrashing of Brazil?
No, I think that was more of Brazil playing that poorly.