Harris Sportsthoughts

Thoughts about Sport

Brushing Up On German History

with 3 comments

Given the deleterious effect it may have on his magnificent hair, Joachim Loew has probably never worn a spiked helmet. So I have no idea how he might look in one. But we’ll probably find out this week when The Sun publishes its unique interpretation of the German manager amid a gallery of goose-stepping bratwurst and possibly David Hasselhoff in lederhosen.

Despite the tabloids’ most strained attempts at whisking up the xenophobia, it’s definitely more difficult to hate the Germans now. And it’s not really because of the war. We’ve been laughing about that for yonks. Since ‘Allo ‘Allo that is.

But mainly because German football has changed. It’s been a sustained period of mutation since 1990, when they were thoroughly disagreeable largely because they were really good. During the European Championships in 1996, when their powers just began to pass their sell-by date, they substituted in a grittier wilful arrogance which simmered throughout the tournament and came to the boil in that hellish peacock walk executed by Andreas Moller on sending England out.

And then they turned bad. Laughably bad. So bad they lost to Keegan’s England. So bad they were thumped by Sven’s team. So bad that when they reached the World Cup final in 2002 the rest of the world giggled and sighed at their ludicrous durability in the face of total incompetence.

And at their nadir Jurgen Klinsmann and Loew applied the final spin on the revolution, liberating the team from the defensive shackles that bound their predecessors. Joyous yet fragile football that has inched them closer towards the summit again. And since they’ve gone onto the offensive they’ve become less, well, offensive.

So if like me, you’re struggling to summon up the bile from your innards to aim at Germany, then here’s a little aide-memoire for you:


3 Responses

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  1. Good to see someone else staying level-headed about another meeting with the Germans. The media try to drum up a feeling of doom about it, but I just wrote a blog adding up the total wins and goals between England and Germany since 1930. It’s surprisingly soothing.

    Argentina? Now that’s a different matter.


    June 25, 2010 at 2:07 am

  2. I’d forgotten about Andreas Moller’s strut…it’s actually pretty amazing – I think I like the Germans more now.

    I reckon Thomas Muller is d*ck though – annoying face.


    June 25, 2010 at 10:54 am

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