Alles ist gut!
June 22, 2012

I grew up hating Germany, but at this time no other national team—not even Spain—provides more football-watching pleasure than Germany. For some time now, the Bundesliga matches have been compulsively enjoyable. Borussia Dortmund is fantastic, having built a core team from no-names, beating Bayern (spending money like crazy by German standards) as they wish. Most of the German clubs are in the black, the tickets are cheap, the stadiums are full and the football academies have been steadily developing young, exciting players.

Robben and Germany: The Decade-Long Choke
June 13, 2012

Much has been made of Dutchman Arjen Robben’s almost preternatural ability to choke on soccer’s biggest stages. There was his series of oh-so-close shots in Bayern Munich’s losing effort against Inter Milan in the last match of Europe’s most prestigious club competition, the Champions League, in 2010; his indefensible blunders in the final game of the 2010 World Cup; his uninspired and easily-corralled penalty kick in the overtime period of this year’s Champions League Final.

The Huns
June 27, 2010

First of all, let me stand corrected: Germany is impressive. I am the last person in the world who would enjoy being wrong about the Germans. They were fantastic today and just gave a new meaning to the word hiding. They came away from the defeat against Serbia with increased mental strength so far beyond the English that it ought to be studied at the level of county league clubs. Ozil, Muller and Schweinsteiger ran rampant at a speed that was quite literally incomprehensible to the English midfield.

In Case the Germans Need Help Blaming Themselves
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.

A Prognostication and a Disclaimer
June 08, 2010

Before prognostication, a disclaimer: I have never been able to pick a winner. Not that it has ever stopped me from trying to. Well, it has stopped me from buying stock, but let’s not talk about that. I picked a winner in 1970. I chose Pele and Brazil but I was 10 and my dad told me to. I came close in 1974. I picked Holland–West Germany in the finals (Ajax and Bayern Munich were by the far the top clubs in the early 70’s) but I thought Cruyff and Neeskens would waltz through Beckenbauer and Netzer. Heartbreaker. Oh well, this was then.