German national team coach Joachim Loew
has told his players that form will count over experience when it comes to selection. But after Wednesday's mediocre defeat at home to
England, the German press has concluded that the only winners were the absent captain Michael Ballack
(injured) and midfield veteran Thorsten Frings
Both players had been critical of Low's policy, and both subsequently apologized to save their international careers.
In the Financial Times Deutschland
, Stefan Osterhaus
bemoaned the lack of quality in the German
midfield, and said that goalkeeper Rene Adler
's mistake on the first England goal reflects the fact that "Germany, the land of goalkeepers, currently has one or two
super-talents, but no one of international class. That dilemma applies to all positions, especially in defensive midfield, where Jermaine Jones
and Simon Rolfes
worked diligently to advertise the merits of the out-of-favor Frings." Overall, the game was "proof of the indispensability of Ballack. The German team presented itself as a corpse-pale heap
Columnist Christof Kneer
in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung
said he was relieved that Loew
had not banned Ballack und Frings for their criticisms. During the England game, "nobody showed leadership, nobody organized the play or had the authority to calm his teammates." And Michael
Horeni in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said that "the young players showed a remarkable lack of passion in failing to exploit the opportunity that their coach offered them on a silver tray.
Without Ballack it doesn't work."
Read the whole story at FT Deutschland/Sueddeutsche Zeitung/FAZ »