England defence crumble in German masterclass
England coach Fabio Capello would do well to take a transcript copy of Germany coach Joachim Loew’s post-match press conference – because in it he would find all the simple reasons why his side were trounced 4-1 and sent packing from the World Cup on Sunday.
In it, Loew rather clinically explained to the international press sat before him that his side were instructed to target John Terry, pull him out of position and pretty much walk into the huge gaps created in England’s snail-paced central rearguard.
It worked. England will forever talk about the Frank Lampard ‘goal’ that, quite incredibly, was not given despite bouncing a full yard over the German goal line with the score balanced at 2-1, but even if they had equalised, the final result would not have waivered.
Germany were breathtaking at times, able to break at will with electrifying pace and switch the play seamlessly from left to right to leave the England defenders in a state of dizziness and goalkeeper David James no chance between the sticks.
Thomas Mueller, Man of the Match and a real find at Bayern Munich, was superb. Playing on the German right wing he decided to cleverly leave England left back Ashley Cole to his own devices and instead cut into the huge space between England’s midfield and defence time and again.
That, combined with Podolski providing width down the left and Klose running England defenders Terry and Matthew Upson ragged, proved all too much for the Three Lions side.
England certainly provided some fight, and they actually played quite well going forward but a team is only as good as their defence and when the opposition begin targeting it as a weakness, you know you are in trouble.
Photo: England’s Joe Cole, John Terry and Steven Gerrard react at the end of a 2010 World Cup second round soccer match against Germany at Free State stadium in Bloemfontein June 27, 2010. REUTERS/Darren Staples