Here are my ratings for the DFB squad in the Euro 2012 tourney. I’m using the German version which is low to high: 1=God, 3=decent, 6=Should play for Ireland…just kidding!! Basically, crapola
I can’t remember if there is a 3rd place match, but that’s worthless anyway, so here’s my ratings:
GK: Manuel Neuer Grade: 3
It’s hard to gain a perspective on Neuer, as he was pretty solid, but generally didn’t have much to do. Neuer actually didn’t have any of his usual “wanker-itis” fits costing Germany a goal, so by and large, a decent tournament.
DF: Jerome Boateng Grade: 3
Boateng was OK, but not spectacular. One of his better games was holding down Cristiano Ronaldo in the opener, but he was exposed, especially in the Italy match.
DF: Lars Bender Grade: 2.5
Bender only got to play with Boateng suspended, but he did make the most of it, scoring the winner against Denmark and generally playing well.
DF: Matts Hummels Grade: 2
Hummels was excellent except against Italy. He showed quickness and vision. Showed some danger in the opposing penalty box on set pieces.
DF: Holger Badstuber Grade: 3.5
Generally solid, but he is kind of slow and prone to clumsiness when challenged. He certainly wasn’t up to holding down Balotelli. On the other hand, he was OK in most other matches, and has been improving at Bayern, so there may still be some additional upside. He reminds me of Beckenbauer’s waterboy, Georg Schwarzenbeck.
DF: Philipp Lahm Grade: 3.5
This was not one of Lahm’s better tournaments. He had some decent moments, mostly when going forward. He was all over the place on defense, often getting beaten. What you want is a talented Berti Vogts. That’s Lahm, but he didn’t show it on defense this round.
DF: Per Mertesacker Grade: DNP
Mertesacker is actually one of the big losers. I only mention him because of that. His lack of pace has been exposed at Arsenal and he’s basically been played off the park by Hummels and Badstuber. It looks like it will take injuries to get him back in the lineup.
MF: Sami Khedira Grade: 2
Khedira had a strong tournament, solid in defense and going forward was quite dangerous. He was one of the few who didn’t crumble against Italy, constantly pushing hard.
MF: Bastian Schweinsteiger Grade: 4
A crap tournament for Schweini. Some of it may be due to his nagging injuries, but he was crap and possibly should have been yanked. He lost the ball a lot and had few ideas going forward, seemed slow and lumbering. This may be an exception, so obviously Löw has to give him the benefit of the doubt.
MF: Marco Reus Grade: 2
Reus certainly improved his chances. One may have wondered whether his Gladbach success was an exception, but he indicated that he might be the real deal. Fast, strong in his dribbling, accurate in his shot. He had nothing to lose, and took his chance.
MF: Lukas Podolski Grade: 4
Crap tournament for Poldi. 100 caps and he looked old and slow. His shots were all over the place, if he was scoring, you’d forgive the rest. Let’s hope he regains his killer instinct.
MF: Thomas Müller Grade: 4
Müller wasn’t having a great tournament, and apparently Joggi Löw perceived that, as he wasn’t chosen for Italy. At times, he was dangerous down the right flank, but in general this year has not been a very good one, as his form at Bayern was below his capabilities as well. Seems to have lost his scoring touch.
MF: Mesut Özil Grade: 3
Others are marking Özil down, but overall, I didn’t think he was that bad. He showed creativity in flashes, but was quiet for periods. He often gets blamed for not scoring, but frankly he seems too wussy to bang the ball in the net. That’s really not an issue, as Germany has enough to score goals. Look, he’s not ever going to be Diego Maradona, but he adds another dimension to the German attack.
MF: Toni Kroos Grade: 4
Kroos apparently complained a lot about sitting on the bench. Löw gave him his chance against Italy, and Toni basically dropped a turd. He was overmatched in midfield by the Italians, and didn’t add any creativity in attack. He did show some willingness to take shots, and of course it’s unfair to judge him on only a single match.
MF: André Schürrle Grade: 4
Certainly didn’t help his chances, basically sucked.
F: Mario Gomez Grade: 3
Gomez didn’t do much but put the ball in the net. What more do you want? He started out OK, but I think Löw might have made a crucial mistake in not letting him start against Greece. If he had banged in a couple there, he would have been ready for Italy. Instead, Gomez seemed bewildered by what had happened, and amazingly timid.
F: Miroslav Klose Grade: 3.5
It’s the end of the long road. Maybe you’ll get a few worthless caps so you can pass Gerd Müller, but let’s be serious: you’re no Gerd Müller – it’ll take you twice as many matches to score those goals. Klose was a nice option off the bench and played decently when he was in. But he’ll soon be collecting his pension, so it’s time to move on.
Coach: Joggi Löw Grade: 3
Löw deserves some credit for building this team and imposing an attacking style and attractive play. He’s promoted youngsters and got them working together – in fact, Germany was the youngest squad at the Euros! Early in the tournament, it was clear he made the right choices. For example, going with Hummels over Mertesacker proved to be dead on. But starting with Greece, it seemed like he wanted to prove he was real clever. No real loss there, because Germany was far superior he could have had Benny Lauth or some of the England squad out there. However his cleverness certainly seemed to screw with Gomez head. Then he was outcoached by Prandelli at the start, and the hole proved too deep to come back. Still, he’s got Germany on the right track. I think his main challenge is to find another option to challenge Gomez now that Klose probably is thinking retirement in MLS…