In Case the Germans Need Help Blaming Themselves

by Aleksandar Hemon | June 18, 2010

I wish I could read German so I could find out whether the press and soccer fans in Germany are blaming the referee after they lost to Serbia. Should Germans need any help in blaming themselves, I would be happy to step forth:

Undiano the ref was a little card-happy, but was consistent. Klose's second foul was dumb and clearly cardable. He played little for Bayern last season and when he did he was poor. He might not be all that battle-ready as his slowness was visible in both of the carded fouls—both times he was a step or two behind the running man. Podolski missed a few chances before he missed the penalty, which is perfectly consistent with his goal-shy season at Cologne. Low called them up despite all that and the blaming volunteer might argue that, today, that backfired gloriously. Furthermore, he pulled out Ozill and Muller just as they were orchestrating all of Germany's relentless attacking and replaced them with Marin and Cacau who promptly did nothing. To compound his dismantling of his own team, Low put in Gomez who has been a lump for a while and it was all over.

Everyone sang praises to the Germans after their game against Australia (and I don't remember anyone complaining about Cahill's straight red card), which was not unlike banging hamsters with a hammer—less an example of killer instinct then enjoying the victim's helplessness. Even after the Serbs committed the now-traditional inexplicable act of self-destruction, the ungrateful Germans would not take what they were so idiotically given. Low has been playing with the same core bunch for a while now, which has won nothing. And I doubt the good Germans will win anything this time around. Indeed, a first round elimination is not beyond them at all.

Not so long ago, I was always ready to root fanatically against Germany, as I thought that their industrial game was antithetical to what I thought soccer ought to be. But soccer changed, I changed and the Germans changed. Now they're no longer a mode for anything, representing no soccer philosophy. I felt genuine pity for Podolski, for example, and I have never pitied a German before. For a while now, they have been also-runs. The other team no longer needs my support when playing against Germany, though I will always be happy to apportion blame generously. 

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/world-cup/75676/case-the-germans-need-help-blaming-themselves