What's Wrong with German Soccer?

World Cup 02, Euro 04, WC 06, Euro 08, WC '10, and now Euro '12.

Nothing, zip, zilch, nada. Always seem to be one of if not THE favorites going in, and always seem to seem to advance so close, yet so far. The best anyone can say is that they won consecutive 3rd place finishes for two World Cups, which I guess counts for something. But otherwise, they always to seem to choke (and boy do they gasp for air) when the moment comes and push comes to shove. I don’t know about the opinions of longtime soccer watchers, but this has got to be one of the most ridiculous and painful bouts of blue balls in sporting history.

Anyone with any knowledge why that’s the case? Is there something pathological if not terminally wrong in German soccer?


I’m sure there’s an example in every sport. This might be the best one from America.

I can’t comment on the earlier ones, but Germany was nowhere near being a favourite in 2010. It had a young team, and third place was better than expected. They weren’t the favourite this time round either — that’s Spain.

Honestly, six competitions, half with sixteen and half with thirty-two teams, covering only a decade, ain’t much of a “drought”. Actually, it’s what we call a “small sample size”. For a demonstration of what a “drought” means, see England’s team. (Edit: sorry, it’s been sixteen years since they won a championship. I think my point stands.)

I remember when West Germany won in 1990, someone (I think it was Beckenbauer) said that the unified Germany would be even stronger, since there would be more players to choose from. It turns out they didn’t win anything since, except for the 1996 Euro championship. However, they get close so many times and are otherwise consistent but for a fan it must be excruciating to be so close yet so far.

Getting to the Final at WC2002 and 3rd place finishes at Wc2006 and WC2010 were certainly better than expected results. Runner up at Euro2008 was perhaps disappointing though.

They play great, but its a tournament, difference between the top teams is minimal.

Every team ebbs and flows to a certain degree. Germany are constants in the latter parts of the big tournaments and I don’t see them as being underachievers at all. They may get turned over by better teams on the day but “chokers”? I don’t get that at all.
They were joint favourites with Spain in many people’s eyes (mine included) and had they put their chances away against Italy they could easily have reached the final. To be honest, you could flip a coin for the winner out of any of those last four.

They still regularly get to finals and semi-finals. Like others have said, it’s a small sample size and there’s a certain amount of luck in knockout football.
From an English perspective, there doesn’t seem much wrong with the German national team :). Get back to me when it’s fifty years without even making a final.

46 years!!!

There’s nothing wrong with German soccer.

Brazil went from 1970 to 1994 without a World Cup. Italy went without from '82 to 2006, and hasn’t won the Euros since '68. Argentina hasn’t won a World Cup since '86. For Germany, it’s just possibly a bit of bad luck, bad timing (having a very good squad at the same time as Spain being exceptional, kind of like the Netherlands in the 70s having to play at the same time as a great West German team), and some other teams being just a tad better in crunch time.

And counting. Pretty confident it will get to 50.

Because they’re Germans? :smiley:

As a long time “soccer watcher” I have a little theory — it is, in fact, a composite of many little discussions on Euro soccer with my friends —and it starts with infamous game of 1982 WC Italy vs. Brazil. The theory goes from the fact that it was one of the best Brazil selections ever put together with such a flare and beauty, a game of soccer geniuses with physical readiness unmatched. Needless to say it was an absolute fun to watch Brazil play. That team was met by a team that is a representative of the style of game that tries to dumb it down, keep the ball away from action, players that are trained to be dirty, players that come from soccer culture where diving, rolling on the grass “in pain” and whining to the referee was an integral part of growing up. Just for reference go back to the times of K.H. Rumenige and watch this guy, every time he is fouled and ends up on the grass he would be back on his feet within a second. Then compare to say, Paolo Rossi or del Piero or Ronaldo. It’s funny and sad at the same time. Anyways…

From that time you can go all the way to today and find evidence that besides Italy, you also have Spain and Portugal in the same boat. On the side of a more ‘watchable’ soccer, a soccer without drama, besides Brazil, you have Germany and Netherlands. France is interesting because it fluctuates between flavours of each depending on the generation.

Therefore, teams like I, S and P play extremely boring games that usually result in 0:0 when they play against each other and 1:0 when they play the more interesting teams. So, they usually win because it is easier for them to dumb the game down than to have them to accept other soccer style. So it seems that when Germany plays Italy they have a difficulty matching them in the style that presents itself.

So, really, this is not an answer per se but it’s interesting to notice that in Euro 2008 final game Germany lost to Spain 0:1 and earlier, Spain and Italy played 0:0. Also, memorable boring game was 2010 WC final game that Spain won 1:0 over Netherlands; earlier, they won over Germany with same score. All these games I watched and they were boring to death - I mean, darn it. On the other, one of best games I ever watched was 2002 WC final between Brazil and Germany (incidentally, this was the only ever WC meet between the two). The gold standard of team play.

Of course, there are results that disprove the theory but still.

Attractive is not the same as effective. It can be, but it isn’t guaranteed to be,

Also, lets not pretend that Brazil are any better than any other team when it comes to the subject of diving.
Ask anyone what the most famous diving incident is in world football and odds-on they’ll say it was Rivaldoin 2002,

This would be the game where the Germans did not it seems even try to score until they were 2 down?

You have watched a lot of boring “soccer”.

Here’s your answer.

Germany is consistently finishing in the top 2 or 4 teams in the biggest international tournaments. There’s no problem with German soccer; they’re fricking AMAZING at it. The break haven’t gone their way in a few games. There’s nothing more to it than that.

If Germany was like England, consistently blowing up in earlier rounds, it would be concerning. They’re not; they are playing big games at the end of tournaments pretty much every single time out.

Hey! stop knocking our team! :mad:

Actually, don;t. This thread would be better served by concentrating on the woeful performances of the England team in major tournaments.
I mean, we have all the raw materials required. A large, football playing population. Established successful league with many of the world’s best clubs and players, enough money sloshing around to refloat the Euro.

And yet we are crap. As someone said on the radio this morning “yeah, sure the Spanish are technically better than us” at which point the host said “but doesn’t that just mean they are, in fact, better?”
And this is true. English footballing tactics have stood still for the best part of 50 years. Our players are incapable of maintaining the possession required and adapting to the style needed to win tournaments. We have the potential talent but our youth development fails them. Other countries have spotted this in themselves and done something about it. Us? we are still a decade away from seeing any improvement.

England would love to have Germany’s “problems”.

Well, it may be a matter of taste but the 1st half of that game was the best attack ever put together by Brazil. Thanks to German defence and goalie at the time if it was anyone but Germany the result would be 3 or 5 goals for Brazil. Once Brazil got tired a bit, Germans were able to mount a solid set of chances and it was sometime luck they didn’t score (YouTube shows a goal post was hit once by German player).

Again, what makes a soccer boring is this dragging effect that takes place once one team is 1 or 2 goals ahead. Add to that dirty fouls & taking sweet time with ball possession and you have what I call “boring game” and I call Ita, Esp and Por teams to be primary examples.

It’s funny that Italy and Spain played a highly entertaining match yesterday that had pretty much none of the negative and cynical stuff mentioned. Both teams were open and attacking, and especially once it was 2-0 (but before Italy lost Motta), I thought both would score at least 1 more goal.

I think Spain is an entertaining team to watch. They may not have a lot of flash and they may not push the ball as much as other teams, but their technical skill is astounding. When it all clicks for them and they get a goal, it’s a beautiful thing.