Germany vs England: What is The Difference? It’ll be the third time in as many tournaments that these two old rivals will meet on the field. The first clash came in the final of Euro 1996, when England won on home soil thanks to Alan Shearer’s famous late header. Twelve years later, it was again Germany who triumphed 2-1 in the last four at a packed Olympiastadion in Berlin. But while England and Germany have both reached the semi-finals of a major tournament for the fourth time in a row, they have come to this point from very different roads. This year has been especially revealing: while Gareth Southgate’s side have played with style and panache, Joachim Löw’s men have often looked stilted and one-paced. The difference becomes even more apparent when you look at their individual players – but what is it about each team that helps explain why? Let’ let us take a deeper dive into what makes these two teams tick…
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|Date:||7th Jun, 2022|
|Time:||2:45 p.m. ET|
|Live Stream:||Watch Here|
At the last World Cup, the reigning champions were sent home in shame after losing to both Mexico and South Korea in the group stage. It was a total humiliation, from the manager’s decision to sit his best players in the first game to the collective mental collapse in the final group match. As a result, Joachim Löw and his leadership team have been under intense pressure to put things right ever since. They’ve succeeded, of course: Germany have been one of the best teams in the world since the start of 2017, winning 12 straight friendlies, including victories over Spain, Brazil, and Argentina. But how sustainable is their system, and what are its long-term weaknesses?
The end of an era:
For the last decade or so, Germany have been defined by a certain type of player: a sturdy, reliable central midfielder, a physically strong type with an eye for a pass. The prototype was Michael Ballack, then came Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira. Then came Toni Kroos. Now that era is over, and the younger generation hasn’t risen to replace them. Sebastian Rudy and Julian Weigl have come closest, but the passing style that has served Germany so well for so long has been out of kilter with the rest of the world for months now. With nobody suited to the deeper midfield role, Löw has tried a variety of ill-fitting solutions ahead of a defence that has looked vulnerable all tournament.
Rebuilding from the bottom up:
This is an issue that has plagued Germany throughout the tournament, but it’s one that only becomes apparent when observing their team as a whole. It’s not just their midfield that has been found wanting: they’ve lacked a core, a spine that holds everything together. There’s no clear No. 9, no single creative hub. Instead, they are a disjointed, shapeless team: nobody is sure of their role, and nobody is dependable. They can score at any given moment, but they cannot control the game. When you compare them to England, who have a clear system and dependable, reliable players throughout their side, it’s easy to see why the Three Lions are favourites.
An attack built on width and speed:
With the exception of Leroy Sané, Germany’s attack has been built around the likes of Timo Werner, Mario Götze, and Thomas Müller over the course of this tournament. It’s a nice trio, but they’re not a traditional front three. With Sané back in the starting lineup and Joshua Kimmich playing as a wing-back, Germany have been playing with width. With two strikers, they’ve been playing without a central creative hub. It’s an odd mix that has produced moments of brilliance, but it has also been noticeably lacking in consistency. With England’s defence and midfield set, it’s up to Germany to break down a defence that has yet to concede a goal in the knockout stages. It’s not an easy task, but it’s one that is certainly possible.
It would be foolish to rule out Germany, who have proved their worth time and again during recent years. But to reach the final, they’ll have to find a new gear, step up their game, and find a way to incorporate their different strengths into a cohesive whole. It’s not going to be easy, but they are certainly capable of doing it. If they do, it will be fascinating to see which England team turns up in the final. Will it be the free-flowing, creative side that has dazzled so many in Russia so far, or will it be the more pragmatic team that we saw two years ago?