A World Cup that started slowly, improved in the last 16 and featured four excellent quarter finals. In each round Germany have delivered the best performance of the tournament and they may need to reach those heights again if they’re to dispose of Spain and reach their second final in three tournaments. Read more…
Another interesting article, Rocko, and I’m very much looking forward to this game.
Spain are baffling me a bit with their team shape. We’re used to watching teams set up in straight lines in this part of Europe but Spain have had a pretty unbalanced look to them at times. For example, Ramos has been bombing on down the right with Iniesta tucked inside for large spells, while Capdevila on the other hand has been very disciplined on the left with David Villa providing width on that side. They almost looked to be set up something like this in the second half against Portugal:
It reminded me a bit of Barca playing Dani Alves wide right of their front three in the latter part of the La Liga season at times and they effectively had 4 central midfielders, with Xavi and Iniesta more advanced than the sitting players. Portugal couldn’t get a sniff of the ball but it was very congested and most of the play came through the centre. In fact, Portugal had plenty of players behind the ball for the goal but the quality of the one touch football enabled Spain to play right through them to work the opening for the goal.
Iniesta drifted wider more often against Paraguay but they still found it hard to break them down despite again having most of the possession. It may not necessarily be just due to a lack of width as Torres hasn’t been at his sharpest to give them his usual threat through the middle.
But Germany may find it more difficult to get their fast tempo passing game going on Wednesday if Spain again overload the centre, especially as they press high in the opposition’s half and will look to prevent Schweinsteiger having time on the ball, while Busquets and Alonso will be occupying the space that Oezil likes to work from. Mueller is a really, really big miss because he’s a class act, adept at finding pockets of space both infield and out wider and he could have got at Capdevila though Oezil’s movement has also been excellent and he’s shown great awareness in finding space on either side of the field if the traditional ‘# 10’ area is being covered by defensive minded midfielders. Of course, Germany also have the option of hitting Klose with more direct balls if Spain are cutting off most passing lanes (Go American Football) and the Barcelona pairing at the back have looked a bit out of sorts at times during this tournament.
I find this one really intriguing and I think football tactics are fascinating at this high level. I also acknowledge that I need to get out more.
Spain were certainly more orthodox against Paraguay but even then they weren’t symmetrical anyway. Xavi was getting forward from midfield and going alongside Iniesta with Villa further forward and further wide than Iniesta.
I think that’s a dangerous area for Germany. Lahm has been excellent defesively but there were a few times that Ghana got in the space between him and Mertesacker and Argentina nearly got in there once or twice. It’s more about Mertesacker’s reluctance to cover across than any feature of Lahm’s play. It happens less on the far side because Boateng starts from a narrower position and Freidrich is more mobile than Mertesacker.
I have to say I’m not a fan of symmetry for the sake of it but there is something a little imbalanced about the Spanish team at the moment. Iniesta isn’t getting involved enough and while he’s not playing all that wide, nor is he switching with Villa ever or drifting the other side of Xavi. I thought Mata gave them a bit more unpredictable movement when he came on against Honduras but they haven’t tried that again since.
It’s a huge but obviously BUT without Villa they’d be long gone. The rest of the team just haven’t clicked. Torres is playing badly but even still they’re not dominating in midfield like you’d expect them too and apart from a few obvious exceptions (notably for goals - like Portugal) they haven’t passed through teams or had players going by opponents.
From German’s point of view it’s a huge ask for Trochowskli to replace Mueller but he needs to be brave enough to make runs inside sometimes to keep room for Oezil and to ensure he’s not just picked up by the full back the whole time. Not many teams were as inept as England in trying to figure out who should match the midfield runs but the more you move your opposition about the better chance you have of a defender or midfielder making a bad decision.
Good stuff lads, very interesting.
germany will find it much tougher against spain than either england or argentina. for the simple reason that spain have much better players than either of those two countries.(and mueller is a big loss)
That article was pretty shite I thought bud. In every other game this championship the onus has been on the Spanish to dominate. That wont be there this time around and I think they are perfectly set up to contain Germany in midfield and probably dominate the football as a result. Puyol has been caught for pace a few times this championship but Klose wont pose that kind of threat. I expect Busquets to stick pretty close to Ozil and he has the athletic ability to stay with him. Busquets problem so far in this championship is that he isnt sure of his role but watching Ozil will almost certainly be his role tomorrow night. A role I think he is perfectly capable of playing. Spain will protect the area in front of the D that England and Argentina pathetically were unable to. Alonso and Xavi are pretty athletic players in any case. Alonso is a decent tackler too but with Busquets drifting, I’d see Xavi and Alonso happier playing a bit deeper with the ball anyway. Teams have had tactical joy against Spain by protecting the area in front of the D and forcing them wide. Both Paraguay and Switzerland did this well. But Germany without Ballack dont seem set up in this way and without Mueller the creative onus on Ozil will be huge.
I’d prefer if Torres didnt start. A world cup semi is no place to be finding form or to be carrying a player. Llorente is average enough but should be able to give an aerial threat and a ball winning ability anyway. The areas where I see Spain really causing Germany problems though are between full back and centre half. I’m expecting David Villa and Iniesta to target these areas repeatedly while when Germany have the ball I think these two will be key to pressing the German full backs back. The Spanish passing has been a bit predictable thus far but with the numbers Germany break with I think they will be pretty vunerable to the counter attack especially with Xabi easing the playmaking burden from Alonso from a deeper position.
Spain -1 . 1 pt 4/1 PP (2pts if Torres is dropped).
[quote=“KIB man, post: 487372”]
That article was pretty shite I thought bud. [/quote]
That’s not midfield honey. Anyway as I said in the article Cacau could be a factor there. But Klose has never been about pace, he’s caused every other team problems despite his lack of pace and I don’t think the Spanish centre halves are playing remotely well.
I don’t think it will matter at all that there’s no onus on Spain to dominate. They’re a team that is built around possession of the ball, whether they’re expected to have it or not won’t affect that. In fact you’ve just gone on to say that you think they will dominate so that’s a bit odd. Nevermind.
[quote=“KIB man, post: 487372”]1. I expect Busquets to stick pretty close to Ozil and he has the athletic ability to stay with him. Busquets problem so far in this championship is that he isnt sure of his role but watching Ozil will almost certainly be his role tomorrow night. A role I think he is perfectly capable of playing. Spain will protect the area in front of the D that England and Argentina pathetically were unable to. Alonso and Xavi are pretty athletic players in any case. Alonso is a decent tackler too but with Busquets drifting, I’d see Xavi and Alonso happier playing a bit deeper with the ball anyway.
Teams have had tactical joy against Spain by protecting the area in front of the D and forcing them wide. Both Paraguay and Switzerland did this well. But Germany without Ballack dont seem set up in this way and without Mueller the creative onus on Ozil will be huge.[/quote]
Obviously Mueller won’t be there to create or score them but Trochowski playing instead offers them equal width. Ozil scored against Ghana from the “area in front of the D” but since then the second, third and fourth goals against both England and Argentina were created from wide areas with supporting players breaking into the centre or the back post. That’s exactly why they want Spain to sit deep and centrally - the threat from Germany is wider. That threat is diminished without Mueller but it isn’t gone completely.
Also Xavi isn’t particularly athletic and Alonso certainly isn’t.
- Germany have two central defensive midfielders in front of the D - Schweinsteiger and Khedira. I don’t see your point. Ballack isn’t a factor. They’re playing much better without him.
You’re agreeing with an awful lot of my analysis for someone who didn’t like the article. Could it be that you were a little blinded by your arseholery on the Celtic thread yesterday?
I think Iniesta pressing Boateng would be a waste of time for Spain, unless they’re ahead and Germany are pouring forward repeatedly. Boateng hasn’t gone forward much at all in the last three games. He’s prepared to sit and allow Lahm to attack on the far side, which does leave a slight imbalance for Germany. Boateng will push forward defensively a small bit to get to the ball early as it’s passed to opponents but other than that he’s happy enough sitting there.
Also Xabi is Alonso.
Great arcticle Rocko. The main thing that has to be taken into account is that no team has “played” Spain yet. They’ve all tried to stop them. Germany’s tactics will decide how the game develops. Del Bosque is one of the great tacticians of the modern game in my opinion, he worked wonders with Madrid when a lot of others failed and I’d bet on him being able to stop the counter attacking style of the Germans-mainly cos his players won’t give the ball away too much. Schweinsteiger (or however you spell his name) will not get as much room in this game; the real superstar for me is Iniesta and if he produces Spain should win. Still, it’s so even it could go right down to penos. Reina to subbed on after 119 minutes??
I don’t pay any attention to articles written by no marks who know nothing about soccer.
You wrote an article and now you won’t read it?
I know more about soccer than everyone. EVERYONE! I just don’t go on about it.
The thing is that neither team will have faced this scenario in the competition. Germany haven’t played a team capable of stopping them yet, even Serbia who were a little lucky though probably deserved winners. And as you say nobody has really taken Spain on yet.
I’ve a lot of time for Del Bosque but Spain certainly haven’t played well yet. Their passing hasn’t been as good as it can be and some of their top players aren’t playing well. I do think they’ve been overcrowded in the middle of the park and they’d be more dangerous if they had the lateral movement that Germany and Holland have used so well. It doesn’t mean that won’t start tomorrow though.
Promises to be a cracking game.
That’s the best part. This is all just hot air (or it’s online equivalent). Let’s play ball!
The article wasnt as bad second time round. Would strongly disagree about Alonso. He is athletic enough and a decent tackler too. He wouldnt have thrived as a central midfielder in a 442 in the EPL if he wasnt athletic. Xabi can get around the park too but playing closer to the strikers doesnt appear to suit him. None of them are as pedestrian as the likes of Barry, Di Maria or Maxi Rodriguez in any case.
Agree about the Spanish centre halves not playing well, Puyol in particular struggled for gas against Paraguay but Klose wont test him there. Think the Spanish have got to force the Germans to play high risk long balls like the English did for about a 20 minute spell. Klose on that occasion was unable to offer himself as a target for possession and the Germans wobbled as a result. Spain will have better ball players to take advantage than the likes of Barry etc too.
I’d like to have seen how Capdevilla would have reacted to the likes of Muller attacking his inside shoulder rather than his outside one. I think he will be fine with the random Kraut. Without Mueller the onus will almost solely be on Ozil to create and I think Busquets is capable of tying him up. Low has repeatedly said how they specifically attacked the d in front of Terry and Upson. He felt they would be vunerable being dragged out of position. I think Spain through numbers will be able to reduce this threat.
i wouldnt see Schweiny or Khedira as being defensive midfielders. I thought they struggled a bit with Lampard actually in the English game. Schweiny looks the complete central midfielder really. Khedira is getting ahead of the ball a bit too but I think Ballack’s nous may be missed in this game from a purely holding perspective. David Villa has the potential to cause serious damage in the D and to Lahm’s left. I think that is the German weakspot.
Ya agreed about pressing on Boateng. They should actually force the ball down that side and make the Germans get Podolski on the ball. You cant fault Podolski but he hasnt the same quality of Ozil or Muller either.
How do you like those apples? Would be actually good for debate on this site if you do end up calling this right, its been too easy since you were neutered back last November.
I’m really looking forward to the game. Have a feeling tonight will be a struggle though.
Stopped reading after that, the back tracking continues. This is nearly worse than your lack of knowledge on the thread where hurling is being discussed. :rolleyes:
Fixed that for you there Kev. Think you got a few words mixed up you dyslexic cunt
Never mind the bullsh1t analysis ffs. Paul says Spain are gonna win, lock this thread.
The Oberhosen Octupus?
He has correctly predicted all of Germany’s results so far… Where have you been MBB?
Ah fuck, that Paul.
For a moment there I thought you were referring to ubercunt Collins.