Friday, 22 June 2012

Germany v Greece preview

Six matches to go. How the hell has this happened? If, like me, you are essentially unemployed, then this year's European Championships have been the ultimate blessing. The opportunity to vent your frustration at unknown eastern Europeans while your fantasy football team struggles provides the perfect distraction from the need to actually earn some money know, grow up.

But, in times of struggle, one must keep calm and back the Germans, and that is what I plan to do here.

For so long, the cliches associated with German football were about how "efficient" they were or how one should "never write off the Germans." I wrote off the Germans once, and I'm still paying for it. The shame. These days, there is a glorious unpredictability about Germany; they will either play well, or they will play really well. The drama!

Tonight, they play the weakest team left in the tournament.

What frustrates me most about this game is not that Greece qualified despite being a dreadful team, nor that a certain German victory will mean that England - should they beat Italy - will only be playing for the right to lose to a better team once again. No, what annoys me is that weeks ago, I proposed the possibility of Germany winning this quarter-final against Greece, giving me the chance to write the brilliant headline "No referendum needed, Germany kick Greece out of the Euro." Now everyone has thought of it and I just look like Ross in 'Friends' when he said he came up with the phrase "got milk?"

I digress from digressing.

I honestly can't see past a German win. That said, I can never envisage a world where Greece win football games, yet it happens. In Mario Gomez, the Germans have a striker who has more goals than touches of the football. Gomez remains a player I don't rate too highly and the tireless work of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski makes me think of the horse Boxer in 'Animal Farm', the animal which did all the work while the greedy pigs get all the spoils.
Come on Germany
In defence, the Germans can be exposed, but luckily for them, Greece aren't great at exposing vulnerabilities, all economic jokes aside. Besides, if the defence do muck it up, Manuel Neuer is more than likely to bail them out, all economic jokes aside. Having said that Germany's defence can be brittle, can't anyone's? Pretty much all the teams at Euro 2012 are said to have a weak defence, maybe defending is just harder? Or, in our own minds, we are remorseless, tackling machines?

Greece's only real hope coming into this game was their captain Giorgos Karagounis, but even he got suspended after he was booked for 'diving' against Russia by a referee who seems as desperate as me to avoid the snorefest that was Euro 2004. In defence, a lot of players with very long names are impressive, but shouldn't have enough to cover the movement of Germany's attacking quintet, a group of men more scary and evil than One Direction. In attack...there probably won't be much attack, but Georgios Samaras and Dimitris Salpingidis will have much depending on them, but they are unlikely to cause too many problems.

Is it me, or is European 'weird' weirder
than regular 'weird'?
That said, they will probably score from a corner and win 1-0. Again.

To all my Greek readers, I apologise for any bias against your team. Your players have done your country proud in such difficult circumstances. However, I am a football fan, not a nice person. Come on Germany.

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