World Soccer views and news
Another meaningless friendly? Well, not quite…
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