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Loew: 'Time was ripe to do something different'
by Paul Kennedy, June 23rd, 2012 3:03PM
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TAGS:  european championship, germany, greece


[GERMANY-GREECE] The fabulous depth in Germany's national team was on display for the world to see Friday as Coach Joachim Loew dropped the attacking trio of Mario Gomez, Lukas Podolski and Thomas Mueller and the Germans did not miss a beat in a 4-2 win over Greece in the Euro 2012 quarterfinals.

Miroslav Klose and Marco Reus, both inserted into the starting lineup, scored in a 13-minute spell when Germany broke open the game with three goals.

"I had a feeling after three wins that we had to make some changes to breathe some life into the team," Loew said. "The time was ripe to do something different. I think they did it well."

The 23-year-old Reus was a revelation with a strong game on the right wing.

Klose entered the game with 63 international goals but had been relegated to the bench behind Gomez, who scored three goals in Germany's first two games.

"I was glad that I got that goal," said Klose. "I was really happy to be given the chance to start. Our bench is very, very strong, which makes us stand out. Anyone can come in and play, which is great for us."

Germany dominated the first half, but only broke through in the 39th minute when captain Philipp Lahm scored.

A shock equalizer from Georgios Samaras on the counter briefly tied the score in the 55th minute.

But a powerful volley by Sami Khedira six minutes later turned the game in Germany's favor for good.

Klose scored the third on a header, and Reus made it 4-1 with a goal off Klose's rebound.

A late penalty by Dimitris Salpingidis served as caution for the Germans that they will need to do better on defense if they are to win their fourth European Championship.

  1. U M
    commented on: June 24, 2012 at 11:16 a.m.
    Well. Loew is partially correct. Reus was the proper replacement for the pedestrian Muller, who works hard but doesn't not have the same technical polish as Reus. Schurrle is not mentioned but he was the correct replacement for the less-than-pedestrian Podolski who looks more and more like a big lunk out there with each passing game. He is suffering from Andy Carroll-itis it seems. Schurrle was quick, showed nice intent and is impressive technically. Pololski is athletic, that's about it. The change I would not have made was Klose for Gomez. Gomez would have knocked in a couple early on with his slashing cuts to the goal. Klose did very little early on and got lost in the shuffle. Gomez never gets lost, he stand outs, big and bold, and knocks it in.
  1. Kevin White
    commented on: June 24, 2012 at 11:16 a.m.
    Germans can not win with Boateng at defender. He was lethargic and was responsible for both goals. Spain will exploit him for several goals if Germany gets that far.
  1. David V
    commented on: June 24, 2012 at 11:28 a.m.
    This Spain team is not of the quality it had pre-WC, yes pre-WC is what I said. The team peaked, in terms of quality around mid 2008 to mid 2009 (when they lost to the US on a fluke game). They only won the WC because they were so far ahead of the world in 2008 and 2009 and as they dropped in quality, by the time June 2010 hit, they were still slightly above the quality of the other top teams, and so they won it. The business about a series of 1-0 victories has nothing to do with the Spanish philosophy of attack, it isn't that they aren't entertaining and aren't trying to score goals, it's that the other teams hunker down with 11 men goal side of the ball. Before this strategy by the other teams (and by the way, which Germany has employed on 2 losing occasions), the Spaniards scored plenty of goals, but when everyone is gunning for you, and they're all hunkering down, it's very difficult. It's remarkable that they have continued with this success while they are in the middle of the cross-hairs. Germany is the 2nd best side in the world and they have been for a few years, (Portugal could have an argument here if success for them comes in this tournament). If other teams figured out that they should hunker down against Germany, the way they do against Spain, there wouldn't be so many goals from the Germans. Interesting notes about Jordi and Andres from the France coach... when it's all said and done (and I could tell this 2 years ago as Spain were looking for a replacement at left back for Joan Capdevila), Jordi will be one of the top wing-backs in history. Now, can you imagine how much better Spain would be, if their best defender (who always shuts down Ronaldo, in La Liga, in the Champions League, and in national team play), Carles Puyol was not injured... plus, that would allow Sergio Ramos to be almost as threatening, on the right side, as Jordi is on the left. And can you imagine, if the world's most prolific goal scorer from 2006-2010, and Spain's all-time goal scorer, and scoring leader in 2008 qualifying, and top scorer in 2008 Euro, and top scorer in WC qualifying, and top scorer (tied) in WC, and top scorer in qualifying for Euro 2012 (David Villa) had been able to recover from his broken leg to make the tournament? Wow! Whether they can win 3 major tournaments in a row (I expect they have a 50/50 chance of it, I won't be surprised if they win it all or if they get knocked out in the next game), they are one of the best teams in the history of football, period, and most likely are/were a few years ago. Even the great Pelé has conceded this Spain squad (2006-2012) is the equal of the long-recognized best team ever, his Brazil '70 team. The Wall Street Journal just ran an article about them being the best team ever, not just in soccer, but in all sport... it's a great ad for soccer here in the states for guys like WSJ and ESPN reporters even talking about it ("Is Spain's 'La Roja' The Greatest Team Ever? ") Go Spain!
  1. Carlos Thys
    commented on: June 25, 2012 at 7:12 a.m.
    Jerome Boateng is also there in the lineup due to his height. The Germans always want to maintain a one or two player very clear height advantage in very half of every match. They want to be spoiled for a height advantage so they always have to compensate for the small guys Lahm and Oezil. Otherwise, purely on playing skills, we'd have Philip Lahm coming over to his right back position and Marcel Schmeltzer as the left back (with Boateng on the bench). Miro Klose still has it even at his advanced age for a striker that relies on a lot of running as part of his game. And I like it far more when Klose is in there rather than Mario Gomez. As do about 68% of the football viewing Germans. I think that Lukas Podolski has now lost his starting position. This is the correct decision. I'd also be giving more time to Andre Schurrle, Marco Reus, and Mario Goetze. Perhaps Lars Bender, too. I like very much that so many are less than 24 years old. This is very smart.

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