Posts Tagged ‘ Ron Robert Zieler ’

Perspective-Superior Germans Have Problems Ireland Won’t Exploit

Will Jogi Be Jumping For Joy In Dublin?

Germany visit the Aviva Stadium to play against the Republic of Ireland in the World Cup qualifiers tomorrow. Given the 100% record in the EURO 2012 qualifiers plus reaching the semi finals, the Germans enter the match as clear favourites. The vast majority of the Germany squad play either for the strongest Bundesliga teams like Borussia Dortmund or Bayern München, or have established themselves in some of the biggest teams in Europe, like Mesut Özil and Sami Khedira at Real Madrid, Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker at Arsenal or Miroslav Klose at Lazio.

The team continues to be one of youngest and most talented ones in the history of German football, but despite (or because of) that, things are not as rosy as they seem.

There are a couple of things that are certain with a team from Germany. Number one: We could supply several other national teams throughout Europe with goalkeepers. Manuel Neuer, Ron-Robert Zieler and Marc-André ter Stegen are the three selected, but there is another handful of keepers in the Bundesliga other countries would be proud of having on their bench, or even between the posts. René Adler, Roman Weidenfeller, Bernd Leno, Fabian Giefer,….

Number two: There will always be enough attacking midfielders around. Okay, this is a more recent development, but the point stands. Germany have the choice of fielding 3 of the following behind lone striker Miroslav Klose: Müller, Özil, Podolski, Reus, Schürrle or Götze. It is suspected that Müller, Özil and Reus will get to start, but every combination is a threat for the opponent.

But this uber-offer of creative, pacy wingers hints at one of the major problems Germany face now and even more in the future. With Gomez injured, there is only Klose up front. And not many strikers are really showing themselves in the league. As coach Löw hinted before the Euros, it is suspected that a 4-6-0 formation like Spain played last summer with Marco Reus in the “false nine” role might be the solution. However, this formation has never really been tested in a competitive match.

Speaking of problems, there is another one that exists for years and doesn’t look either like being solved in the future; the defence. Mats Hummels misses the qualifiers with a foot injury, Philipp Lahm pulled out of the games as well. This makes a centre back partnership of Per Mertesacker and Holger Badstuber quite likely. Mertesacker was benched recently while Badstuber played left-back for Bayern in their last matches. The two are not used to playing alongside each other, that might leave gaps.

Things on the fullback positions are problematic too. It says a lot about a country as big as Germany, that all hopes relied on Lahm to perform on either side. There simply isn’t a second good to great left- or right-back in Germany, let alone a replacement. Joachim Löw heavily criticized Dortmund left-back Marcel Schmelzer before the upcoming qualifiers because of his recent performances and was complaining he didn’t have many alternatives to choose from. It’s true that Schmelzer had a bad match against Austria last month and he has been occasionally found out against tougher opposition, but there are indeed not many replacements around, sadly. Boateng on the other flank, as Lahm’s backup, is expected to do a solid job, although nothing spectacular.

Okay okay, this is whining on a very high level, compared to Ireland’s problems. But these problems are enough to make people question Löw’s work as coach. However it is not expected to see him leave any time before the World Cup. Qualifying for a major competition is a box ticked by the German public and media, even before it starts. Therefore winning the group is a must for Löw and the team. And despite the Euro 2012 hangover the squad has, a few individual moments can make a difference against a spirited team performance. The game in Vienna last month is the best example, where two good moments in the match guaranteed two goals and the team was just about able to hang on to the three points, they didn’t deserve.

Key Man: Dortmund’s Marco Reus

All in all, these players now have found their form in the Bundesliga or the respective leagues and should be motivated enough to beat Ireland and then Sweden on Tuesday, at home in the Berlin Olympic Stadium.

Germany will line out like this: Neuer – Boateng, Mertesacker, Badstuber, Schmelzer – Khedira, Schweinsteiger – Müller, Özil, Reus – Klose.

Against a restructuring home team, those eleven (plus subs) should be well able to comfortably beat the Republic of Ireland. However, the last Germany win on Irish soil was in 1979 (3-1). Alright, only two games were played in Ireland afterwards, both ending in a draw. The most recent was a 0-0 in the Euro 2008 qualifiers; only Mertesacker, Schweinsteiger and Podolski are players who featured in that match and are back five years on.

I’ll say Germany has enough quality to beat Ireland comfortably, despite all the defensive problems I predict a 3-0 win for Germany to keep the 100% record in the qualifying group.

By Ansgar Löcke (@ansgarius_90)

Scout Report: Five Hannover Players Pats Must Be Wary Of

St Patricks Athletic square off against Hannover 96 tonight in the Europa League. With a pulsating tie in store, Irish News Review takes a look at the five biggest threats that could potentially hamper St Patricks Athletic’s European dreams.

Mohammed Abdellaoue

The Norwegian international poses the greatest threat to Pats ambitions of Europa League success. The former Valerenga striker, who made his international debut against the Republic Of Ireland, has been a success since he joined Hannover in 2010, bagging 21 goals in 54 games to date. The Pats rearguard will have to be at their best to keep the clubs top scorer from last season at bay and ensure they don’t concede an away goal.

Dider Ya Konan

The former Ivorian footballer of the year is a significant player for Die Roten, with his performances last season catching the eye of Bayern Munich amongst others. The former Rosenborg star is extremely talented although his goal ratio isn’t the best. Konan has scored 29 goals in 80 games since making his move to Germany three years ago but his talent cannot be underestimated. Konan is the player who makes Mirko Slomka’s side tick and Liam Buckley will have briefed his side on the importance of stopping the Ivorian international.

Szabolcs Huszti

Huszti rejoined Hannover on July 23rd after a three year spell in Russia with Zenit St Petersburg. The former Hungarian international is a welcomed addition to Slomka’s side and will provide some much needed experience on the wings. His pace and ability pose a threat to any side and the Pats wingers will have to be solid in their defensive duties to keep Huszti quiet.

Ron Robert Zieler

German international keeper Zieler is the man tasked with keeping Supersaints striker Christy Fagan quiet. This challenge between the duo pits two ex Manchester United youths against each other. 23 year old Zieler joined Hannover in 2010 and quickly established himself as the club’s number one keeper. Sir Alex Ferguson showed great faith in the youngster’s ability by plucking him from FC Koln at the tender age of 16.

Steve Cherundolo

American international Cherundolo is something of a legend in Lower Saxony having spent his entire club career with Hannover 96 to date. The man affectionately known to Die Roten fans as “Dolo” should make his 350th appearance for the club in next week’s return leg in Germany. Club captain Cherundolo is one of the most underrated full backs in the Bundesliga and will pose a threat going forward.