Since its total makeover almost 10 years ago, Germany has been two things that everyone can appreciate (whether you are a fan of Die Mannschaft or not): winning soccer and attractive, exciting soccer.
Under Jurgen Klinsmann’s reign, Germany moved toward a style that was more exotic, less stodgy and pragmatic. His replacement, Joachim Loew, kept the party going, success-wise and stylistically. It all served Germany well; the venerable national side placed third in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, plus a runner-up spot at Euro 2008. Germany went to the semifinals once again at Euro 2012.
So, is there more? Can Germany move of the plateau?
Loew (pictured) says the nation can – but they’ll need to change. They’ll need to be even more aggressive. This should be exciting. What he had to say, ahead of tomorrow’s initial World Cup qualifier for the 2014 World Cup.
We will have to completely change our tactics – which used to be, ‘if we have the ball we are active, if not we drop back. Our aim in the next months will be to play a high pressing game, even against attacking sides. We have to be more active when defending without the ball. Everyone has to play their part and this gives us quite a lot of work to do in training but we have to tackle this now. Before the European Championship there was not enough time.”
Germany meets Faroe Islands on Friday at Hanover’s AWD Arena. The far tougher assignment comes four days later as Loew’s men meet Austria in Vienna.
Catch up on all of Friday’s EURO qualification action, as two more teams have booked a ticket to France.
Spain 4-0 Luxembourg
Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla hadn’t scored a competitive goal for Spain in more than six years, but he scored twice today to help earn his country a berth in EURO 2016. Cazorla and Paco Alcacer scored all four goals for the Spanish, while Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas became Spain’s all-time leader in assists. However, both David Silva of Manchester City and Alvaro Morata of Juventus were forced off with injuries, with Morata’s looking to be serious.
Switzerland 7-0 San Marino
Switzerland led just 1-0 at halftime, but a six-goal second half which included three penalty kicks means the Swiss have secured qualification from Group E for EURO 2016. As expected, Switzerland dominated every aspect of the match against minnows San Marino, and Vladimir Petkovic’s side had seven different goalscorers.
[ MORE: Thursday’s EURO 2016 roundup — Northern Ireland qualify ]
England 2-0 Estonia
England remained perfect in Group E, taking their ninth win from nine matches today at Wembley. Theo Walcott‘s great scoring form from Arsenal carried over to the national side, opening the scoring just before halftime. In the second half, Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy came on as a substitute and assisted to Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, who made it 2-0. With a few minutes to play, Tottenham teenager Dele Alli got a short run in his England debut.
Elsewhere in EURO qualifying
Macedonia 0-2 Ukraine
Slovakia 0-1 Belarus
Slovenia 1-1 Lithuania
Liechtenstein 0-2 Sweden
Moldova 1-2 Russia
Montenegro 2-3 Austria
After scoring five goals against Newcastle United, Sergio Aguero may have to wait a bit of time to get back to scoring in the Premier League.
The Manchester City striker lasted just 25 minutes in Argentina’s World Cup qualifier on Thursday, as he was stretchered off with a hamstring injury.
Aguero underwent testing in Argentina, and told the local media “I think I’m going to be out for a month.”
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
Manchester City and Argentina teammate Nicolas Otamendi said Aguero was in tears in the dressing room, and some reports have penned the injury as a torn hamstring.
If Aguero were to be ruled out for a month, he would miss City’s Champions League clash vs. Sevilla, as well as the massive Manchester derby away at United on October 25.
To make matters worse for City supporters, David Silva was forced off after just ten minutes while playing for Spain today. Silva took a harsh challenge from behind, and hobbled off with what looked to be an ankle injury. If Silva’s injury ends up being more than just a knock, City could be without their two most important players in the attack.