Why the Socceroos can beat Germany

Mike Tuckerman Columnist

By Mike Tuckerman, Mike Tuckerman is a Roar Expert

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    After all the bombast and rhetoric, it’s high time the Socceroos turned in a decent performance – and they’ll hardly get a better chance than against a third-string German outfit.

    Lost amid what little analysis there has been of Australia’s impending Confederations Cup campaign is the fact that Germany have essentially sent their C-team to Russia.

    Forget ‘world champions’, the Germans have sent a development squad to the tournament, explaining that they’re more interested in defending their World Cup title next year instead.

    There were no less than seven debutants on display in the farewell fixtures against Denmark and San Marino – which ended in a 1-1 friendly draw and 7-0 World Cup qualifying win respectively – and only Shkodran Mustafi, Matthias Ginter and Julian Draxler remain from the squad that won the World Cup in Brazil.

    Not even the goalkeeping position is nailed down, with Paris Saint-Germain’s Kevin Trapp vying with Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Leverkusen’s Bernd Leno for a place between the posts normally occupied by Manuel Neuer. Up front, the Germans have selected only two strikers in the untested Timo Werner and Sandro Wagner.

    That’s not to imply that the Germans are easybeats – when have they ever been? – but rather that those who claim the Socceroos will be flogged by “one of the world’s best teams” have already missed the mark.

    And although the Germans have proclaimed that they expect to win the game, it’s hardly a fait accompli as the two sides get set to run out under rain-swept skies in Sochi.

    The question, of course, is whether the Socceroos can finally get their 3-2-4-1 formation to click.

    Australia coach Ange Postecoglou is nothing if not stubborn, and there seems little doubt he’ll be digging his heels in and playing three at the back irrespective of the opposition.

    While that might seem a dangerous game to play against a youthful German outfit, the flipside is that if the Socceroos can eradicate some of the individual errors that have plagued the past couple of performances, they should actually manage to take the game to the Germans.

    This is a side, let’s not forget, that drew 2-2 with Germany when the two teams last met in Kaiserslautern in March 2015, with Die Mannschaft needing a late Lukas Podolski equaliser to snatch a draw.

    Postecoglou’s teams have also proved capable of stepping up when it matters, most notably by winning the Asian Cup on home soil, but also at the World Cup a year earlier – even if results in Brazil didn’t necessarily go Australia’s way.

    (Photo: AFC Asian Cup)

    There’s reason, then, for optimism going into Australia’s fourth Confederations Cup campaign, the last of which came in 2005 in Germany when the Socceroos were reigning Oceania champions.

    They could make history of a different kind in Russia, with rumours swirling that FIFA is set to call time on the tournament and make this the final edition of the Confederations Cup as we know it.

    Certainly the empty seats in Saint Petersburg for host nation Russia’s comfortable 2-0 win over New Zealand suggest the locals aren’t especially enamoured with the tournament, although the stands in Moscow will invariably be packed for the visit of Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal.

    For the Socceroos, though, it’s a rare chance to test themselves in tournament football – not to mention familiarise themselves with some of the venues they’ll be hoping to play in at next year’s World Cup.

    It’s hard then to understand some of the online sentiment from Aussie fans questioning whether the tournament is even worth following.

    Whatever the naysayers think, there’ll be plenty of weary eyes tuned to SBS come 1am on Tuesday morning to watch the Socceroos strut their stuff on the world stage.

    They should play the Australian way and take the game to Germany – just as long as they first sort out that leaky defence.

    Mike Tuckerman
    Mike Tuckerman

    Mike Tuckerman is a Sydney-born journalist and lifelong football fan. After lengthy stints watching the beautiful game in Germany and Japan, he settled in Brisbane, and has been a leading Roar football columnist from December 2008.

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    The Crowd Says (95)

    • June 19th 2017 @ 8:35am
      Jack said | June 19th 2017 @ 8:35am | ! Report

      I am a huge Roos fan watch every match. however see absolutely no way of us winning vs Germany.
      We are around 50 th best team in the world as he were with holger and Pim.
      The great thing about Ange is although we are no even close on paper he will always attack regardless of opponent.
      This is the only way we will become a 20-40 rank and quality team.

      I think our real chance for some glory and a win in a major comp will be Cameroon .
      We are pretty evenly matched so a real 50/50 , this being said no shame to losing to Cameroon either we are playing very very good teams thanks to Asia cup success .

      • June 19th 2017 @ 9:23am
        bobbym said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:23am | ! Report

        Cameroon has too much pace for our super slow defenders – don’t count on a win.

    • June 19th 2017 @ 8:59am
      Lee said | June 19th 2017 @ 8:59am | ! Report

      I fully expect the Socceroos to win and win comfortably. I expect and demand a victory by a minimum of two goals given that this is the German B team. If we don’t win comfortably then it is surely time for ange to go. How long can Australia’s football community continue to accept such humiliation?

      • June 19th 2017 @ 11:39am
        punter said | June 19th 2017 @ 11:39am | ! Report

        Ahhhhh, when 2 tribes collide, we go to war!!!

    • June 19th 2017 @ 9:09am
      BrainsTrust said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:09am | ! Report

      The German coach sounds like he has not watched the recent Australia games or kept track of the squad changes he is expecting a hard physical contest.
      Leckie and Kruse are players at the opposite ends of the physical spectrum. If they get Kruse at wing back versus Leckie it makes a massive difference. The AUstralian team are vulnerable from set pieces if Ange plays his second half line up, Mooy,Behich,Kruse,Hrustic,Rogic,Troisi,Luongo,McLaren are all poor or non existent when it comes to defending set pieces. Too many of them got on the field at the same time against Brazil and hence we saw two goals from set pieces.

      • Columnist

        June 19th 2017 @ 1:25pm
        Mike Tuckerman said | June 19th 2017 @ 1:25pm | ! Report

        Think Jogi Löw was more expecting the Socceroos to play a counter-attacking game. The Germans won’t have left anything to chance – they employ an extensive scouting system.

    • June 19th 2017 @ 9:19am
      bobbym said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:19am | ! Report

      Ange’s Apples will only have a chance of winning if they stop turning over the ball , that said we don’t have the cattle to play 3 at the back – Germany 3-0

    • June 19th 2017 @ 9:36am
      Brian said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:36am | ! Report

      I fear its only worse that its a German reserve side.
      I would have rather lost 0-4 to the first team. These boys will be hungry, quicker and better finishers. The sad thing is a circumspect approach could lead to points against Germany or Chile but Ange won’t event try it.

    • June 19th 2017 @ 9:56am
      Nemesis said | June 19th 2017 @ 9:56am | ! Report

      I spent 60 seconds of my day reading the opening few paragraphs of this article.
      Then, spent another 30 seconds posting.

      Pretty sure that’s 90 seconds more than anyone associated with the National Team will spend.

      Best of luck to my National Team.

      In Ange I trust.
      We win together. We lose together.

      Que Sera Sera.

      • June 19th 2017 @ 1:20pm
        20toc said | June 19th 2017 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

        I don’t trust in Ange. Speak for yourself.

        • June 19th 2017 @ 1:43pm
          Nemesis said | June 19th 2017 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

          “In Ange I trust.”

          Do you understand English and the meaning attached to the singular subject pronoun?

          • Columnist

            June 19th 2017 @ 5:31pm
            Stuart Thomas said | June 19th 2017 @ 5:31pm | ! Report

            As an English teacher Nemesis, I say well done!

      • June 19th 2017 @ 2:04pm
        20toc said | June 19th 2017 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

        Joachim Löw in an interview with the German press recently, referring to his team of youngsters: [I translate]

        “What we can achieve as a team there (in Russia) must reveal itself over the course of the tournament.”
        “It will show how the team deals with the pressure and with their opponents who are well positioned.
        “I’m curious for the boys.”
        “I expect ambition and a certain dynamic.”
        “I have big hopes that there is also a certain learn effect.”
        “The naked result however is secondary”.

        Here you go. The result is secondary to him. He wants youngsters to step up and compete for a place in the team for thew WC next year.

        • June 19th 2017 @ 2:12pm
          Nemesis said | June 19th 2017 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

          Good for Joachim Low.

          We are Australia.
          We are not Germany.

          Ange has said this tournament is very important, but Qualification for WC2018 and performing well there is the ultimate goal.

          Confederations Cup 2017 is just another step towards the ultimate goal.

          • Roar Rookie

            June 19th 2017 @ 10:05pm
            c said | June 19th 2017 @ 10:05pm | ! Report

            fussball is German name for football

        • June 19th 2017 @ 2:28pm
          Chris said | June 19th 2017 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

          Results are never secondary.

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