Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Is it fair to describe this performance as ruthlessly efficient?

I am reluctant to, given the cliche, and the stereotypical overtones, but it would be a fair appraisal. In proper lazy hack fashion, I'm writing this 15 minutes before full time, Germany are 3-0 up without having had to exactly break their necks. Ecuador have rested key players and look much weaker for it, but Germany have looked really dangerous going forward - Podolski breaking his duck was quite a moment, and the crowd went absolutely balistic. The fans are singing "Jurgen Klinsmann" with some considerable relish - Germany have probably already performed better than expected and you can sense a real feeling that they could improve still further and cause some of the "bigger" teams trouble. It will be very interesting to see their defense (which has looked better than it did in the first game) against world class attacking lineups - if England do manage to get a result against Sweden it means the Germans will play Sweden or T&T - a pretty favourable draw in anyone's book.

Talking of England getting a result, the best thing about this result is that it means all talk of whether England should throw the Sweden game if Ecuador top the group are now redundant. If everything goes according to WallChartPredicting 101 Argentina will meet Germany in the quarter finals, and since one of them always beats us, I wouldn't be sorry to see either of them go...