Germany began their Euro 2016 experience with a 2-0 win over Ukraine, at times they looked unplayable and unlike England, they honestly looked to control the game, so after England's strong performance but disappointing result, what can Germany teach us with regards to getting results over the line but not only that, looking ahead what can they teach England about how to produce on the big stage.
1. Proof in the Youth
Germany boast quite a few talented young players within the national squad. Players like Jonas Hector, Julian Draxler, Mario Goetze. Even players that seem to have been playing for so long still are not that old like Thomas Muller and Jerome Boateng, and because of this 9 times out of 10, , they are often guaranteed a place in the squad until they are much older, due to their early gaining of experience at such a high level, and most are thriving off that.Letting the players grow through first team experience at international level is maybe something England should take not of, Hodgson chose to bring another striker in Marcus Rashford, maybe he should start him.See what he can do, instead of bringing him to have him watch us exit the tournament then not pick him in his next squad selection. Obviously there are stepping stones to improve like the Under 19s and 21s which is vital, but if the player has impressed regularly in the Premier League, such a high performing league, then surely if they're good enough they are old enough.
2. Same tactics,different players
My second view of what Germany can teach England is how to set themselves out, obviously when players become injured it gets very difficult, but throughout qualifying England tried different tactics and players trying to find something that worked, but never finding anything too conclusive. Still some ideas were working better than others. Then, in the first game of a major tournament, a completely new system is being tried out, one previously not seen with some players playing out of position in it. Look at the German side, every player in their team knows their role inside out, because there formation and tactics are following a trend of what has worked for them in qualifying. England just seem to be probing and planning and plotting, but nothing conclusive is in place yet to assure confidence in the fans that we have a strong set up. Obviously as new players arrive tactics and formations will change, but it shouldn't happen all at once, it takes time to mould to a new way of playing, particularly if the players aren't used to the positions they are now playing in. Probably not something which should be put in place in the first game of a major tournaments, but of course adapting to defend against opposition threats is still sometimes vital.
3. if you want to win, play to win.
Germany were in a similar situation to England, 1-0 up but with Ukraine still creating. Where the difference came was Germany didn't stop everything to protect their one goal cushion. They kept going for another goal, eventually leading to one late on. England struggled to create towards the back end of the second half, and after defending so dearly, conceding took a lot out of the players which won't help their confidence. we should've taken it up a gear when Russia came out strong after half time and really put the pressure on, but it wasn't for the want of trying, just certain substitutions and changes could've seen things go differently. England need to play to their strengths, we had the Premier League's top goal scorer on the bench as an unused substitute, a striker who's best asset is his pace, who would cause havoc against one of the tournaments oldest and slowest defences.
Now over to you! let me know on twitter, or In the comments section, where you think it went wrong against Russia, and where England should look to improve. What should Roy do to change things? what players need to be changed? and most importantly where will England finish in this tournament? for me if we beat Wales I'm happy, but that will be harder than we think, but we must keep believing.
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