Another meaningless friendly? Well, not quite…

November 19, 2008

Germany’s friendly against England at the Olympiastadion later on Wednesday will have the feel of a B international, given the absence of so many familiar players.

England are without Beckham, Gerrard, Rooney, Ferdinand, Heskey, Owen and a couple of Coles, and Theo Walcott has now joined the injured list. 

Germany are without four of their best known and most experienced players from the World Cup and Euro 2008 in Ballack, Lahm, Frings and Lehmann.

My colleague Martyn Hermann takes a look at the whole issue over on our main website. Martyn says the friendly has been rendered “almost meaningless” by the absentee list.

I think the qualifier “almost” is a pretty important part of that sentence.

I agree it’ll be pointless reading much into the result, but playing this sort of match at a venue like Berlin’s Olympic stadium is always a worthwhile exercise.

As Fabio Capello said at his eve-of-match press conference, it will be very interesting to see how the newcomers take to one of the more intimidating stages in European football.

When Germany played England at Wembley in 2007 the likes of Ballack and Frings were missing then too, along with senior players like Podolski, Klose and Schweinsteiger.

England had a more experienced and supposedly superior team yet players like Christian Pander, Piotr Trochowski and Thomas Hitzlsperger performed above their reputations to wrest control from a complacent England and claim a 2-1 win. Trochowski and Hitzlsperger are now fixtures in the team, and only injury is keeping Pander out.

Are there unheralded England players who can take their chance tonight? We’ll see…

PHOTO: Fireworks explode above the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, following Italy’s victory over France in the World Cup final, July 9, 2006. REUTERS/Toby Melville


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After hints from Fab, the England starting XI tonight will probably be James; Richards, Terry, Upson, Bridge; Wright Phillips, Carrick, Barry, Young; Crouch, Defoe
Yes there are loads missing but I reckon all of the above bar Upson will make it into the 2010 World Cup squad so they are not duffers and they need to know how to play in a big stadium just in case the injury curse hits again in South Africa.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

Mr. Fylan (sorry if that sounds very formal), you almost took the words out of my mouth. Ahead of the match at the Wembley last year, a number of the Germany regulars were not there. But why did they eventually beat England 2-1?

I don’t really understand why people are saying this is a meaningless friendly.

Posted by diana | Report as abusive

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Posted by Another meaningless friendly? Well, not quite… | TotalClubFootball | Report as abusive

Miss Diana. The difference in the attitudes of the players at Wembley was incredible that night, wasn’t it? And I quite like the formality, actually. It sets a different tone around here, certainly.
I like your blog very much, by the way…

Posted by Kevin Fylan | Report as abusive

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Posted by Soccer Camps » Blog Archive » Another meaningless friendly? Well, not quite… | Report as abusive

check this out mates, looke funky and different

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

Thank you, Mr. Fylan. Just trying to prove that we females do know a thing or two about football (though I have to admit till now, I am still kind of confused over the offside rule). Not the most educated opinion on my blog but, just doing my bit.

If I am not wrong, you did the podcast during the Olympics in August, right? I had always wanted to say that I am a fan of the daily podcast you and your colleagues did during the Beijing Games. I had always look forward to it and when the Olympics came to a close, I was sad that it was all over.

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Well Mica Richards didnt get a look in which was disappointing as he has played out of his skin for england in the past combining well with Shaun Wright-Philips, but Glen Johnson did well and has put himself right up there with Wes Brown competing for that right back place.
Matthew Upson put in another reliable show perhaps proving he is the best cover if Ferdinand or Terry get injured, and lets not ignore Downing’s performance (much as I’d lke to being a Villa fan) who having been given the nod over Ashley Young yet again has finally repaid Capello’s faith in him providing some decent left-footed crosses and a couple of good right-footed shots having cut inside.
The only minor glitch coming in the confusedly conceded goal, but to be fair sub keeper Scott Carson was let down a little by Terry who’s shielding of the ball seemed to extend only as far as the edge of the box.
Overall I’d say the team showed good hunger, ability and composure which could carry them a long way.

Posted by Ed est.1337 | Report as abusive