The entire Euros has been built around the premise that it is Joachim Low’s final chance at redemption and a chance to establish his legacy. But then again, given the fact that Low has gotten very little right in years, here is why Germany sucks and why he will play party pooper at his own party.
Your team: Germany (Euro record: Stellar is one word. Three wins and a record of qualifying for every tournament since 1972 plus six semi-finals at the last eight Euros)
Record since Euro 2016: 28 wins, 15 draws, 9 losses
28 wins in *checks math* in 52 games, isn’t half bad now, is it? If you, like many out there, nodding your head at that, then you’re an idiot. That’s right, you’re an idiot and if you add two bread slices on your ears what does that make? An idiot sandwich, so go do that and then come back to read this because 28 wins out of 52 games aren’t half bad. But for the German side, one considered to be a superpower in world football and especially a superpower on the world stage? That’s bloody awful.
Especially when it hits you that I’ve included international friendlies as well which means the losses hit so much harder, like a couple of sucker punches from Mike Tyson in his prime. Because the losses aren’t many but when and where they happened is where they matter. Think 6-0 to Spain last November, 4-2 to Netherlands in the UEFA Nations League, 2-0 to South Korea and 1-0 to Mexico at the 2018 World Cup, 3-0 to the Netherlands again and a 2-1 to France, both at the 2018 Nations League.
And the list goes on but the worst one, the worst possible one? 2-1 to North Macedonia in a bloody World Cup qualifier with Goran Pandev scoring. That’s right, 37-year-old Goran Pandev, the man who toured Italy as a journeyman before leaving for Galatasaray and then coming back in 2015 to Genoa. Since then, he has averaged 5.6 league goals a season. That Goran Pandev and that alone should see them disqualified and removed from the Euros 2020 and the 2022 World Cup.
The man leading the charge: Joachim Low
The ball-scratching – I meant football, get your mind out of the gutter – superman for Germany. Mr Hygiene himself and while Low did a superb job of winning the 2014 World Cup, he had a certain Argentine striker, the man won’t be named but it’s Gonzalo Higuain, to thank for that. Because his German team were crap for most of the game, Messi and his side had a ball with chances few and far between for Die Mannschaft. But that’s a story for another time because World Cups come down to one perfect moment and Low’s side produced it……seven years ago.
They then followed it up with that Euro 2016 performance, knocked out to France, and then that stupendously superb World Cup in 2018. Decadent and reminiscent of their best, Germany followed the route that most reigning World Cup champions took. The easy way out via the group stages because who cares right? But the way they did, no side since Italy in 2010 or Spain in 2014, had managed to do it better. Outplayed, out-thought and yet, Joachim Low's 'process' seemed right. Guess the man has connections in high places, huh?
But that’s fine, right? Because ostracizing three German legends, keeping the man (Toni Kroos) who said that, and I quote, “We got what we deserved” after getting knocked out of the World Cup instead makes perfect sense. Because when you’re building a new generation, that’s exactly the kind of man and mentality you need leading the charge. So, you guys – aka fans – waited and waited, took blows after blows after blows while the new generation, new team and the next version of Die Mannschaft arrived.
Mr Hygiene kept his place and then, BOOOOM!! Spain put six past them, then North Macedonia beat them in a woeful game of football and the bubble burst. Because the other losses saw Germany walk away smelling like roses, right? Anyway, which brings us to Euro 2020 and Mr Low’s last dance, or so it has been termed, but given things, it’s more like his attempt to have a goodbye party when absolutely no one else cares that he’s actually leaving. Then again, I could be wrong but why else would he bring back two of the ostracized German legends? Because they care, duh…
Joshua Kimmich: Oh my word, this man is god. No insults whatsoever will be fired from me at Kimmich because some of the stuff this dude does is just nuts. Any team, international or club, would be lucky to have him because he just might be the greatest ever-versatile player to grace the football field. I mean, you put him in as a center-forward and the 1,77 meters (5 foot 8 inches) German would still do a job for you, that’s just how good he is. If he’s bad, then it’s all Joachim Low’s fault, cause that's the way to go!
Timo Werner: Oh Timo, Timo, Timo. The hate you gets is absolutely justified because no human being on the planet should be found offside that often and yet, you came fourth for most offsides this season. It seems someone else has friends in high places but even then, the chances you get, you don’t take and the ones you don’t get, well you don’t take those as well. How are Chelsea ever going to win the Champions League…..Germany ever going to win the Euros and satisfy Joachim Low’s last dance fetishes if you don’t hit the target?
Kai Havertz and Jamal Musiala: Seriously? A 21-year-old and a teenager are considered superstars now? Then everyone has got a real real problem because this is young football fetish really needs to stop. I mean give your love to the older guys right? Emre Can, Thomas Muller, Mats (the) Hummels, Toni Kroos and co are all available and waiting.
Give these young guys a break or else they’ll flame out quicker than Germany’s 2018 World Cup campaign. Why? Because idiots like German fans, opt to place them so high up on a pedestal, they tend to suffocate and die since there’s no wind or oxygen up there for that matter. This is *insert famous German young superstar’s name here* all over again.
What’s new that sucks:
The lack of hope surrounding the German national team and for once, that sucks. Why? Because how on earth are your haters, not me, supposed to hate on you if there’s no hope to hate on. It’s why people love hating on fans of clubs like Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan and a few others. Because every year, they’ve got so much hope in their teams to do something, anything well and when it all comes crashing down, the rest get cathartic pleasure.
The same goes for the German national team. But this time around, the hype surrounding the German side is barely palpable and who can blame them? But it kinda sucks the fun out of everything and yet, when your side is lower than Denmark on the FIFA rankings, it makes sense.
What’s old that sucks:
Manuel Neuer. This feels kinda harsh but when your best goalkeeper opts to have surgery because he knows he won’t make the cut/play/start games, then something has to change. Don’t think that we hate Neuer – because we don’t – but Neuer is no longer Neuer and that is something everyone knows, okay maybe not EVERYONEEE. He is slower, his decision making has become rather terrible and his reaction times aren’t “holy pit that’s Manuel Neuer, we could put two sticks in defense and still win the game” anymore.
And the fact that Low continues to plug on with Neuer is shocking and you’ve got to feel for Marc-Andre ter Stegen a little bit. But it’s kinda sad, especially since Ter Stegen won’t be at the Euros to add a little drama to this German team because who doesn’t love two feuding goalkeepers? Especially when Ter Stegen is in it, hmmmm!
What might give you some hope:
The fact that there is literally no expectations or hope surrounding Germany. This might be the first tournament in decades, no centuries where nobody expects anything from the Germans. That might have a lot to do with Joachim Low or the fact that this side has been in transition for the better part of three years or the fact that they’ve been placed in a group alongside France, Portugal and Hungary. All three sides could – and should – exploit and expose the weakness in the German side but the hope is that an ageing Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller will help bridge the gap.
And yet, the fact that there is no hope, no expectations, no nothing from German might actually help the younger dudes thrive. Especially……...ok, they’re all old and in, or beyond, their mid-twenties but have absolutely no experience playing in a final in a proper international tournament that isn’t a UEFA sanctioned method of filling their pockets. So having absolutely no pressure on them could help their case and maybe give Low the send-off he so desperately craves. Or they could crash and burn, either way, we’ll be there to watch it!
PS: Warning, it is best not to blink your eyes once the competition starts or else you will miss not just Germany's exit but also the exit of one of the best managers in the world. Okay maybe not the best, okay maybe we hit an all-time Löw