10 Mistakes Germany should avoid in this World Cup

April 29, 2014

Germany has made it to the semifinals of the 2006 World Cup, the final of Euro 2008 and the semifinals of both the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012. They have been incredibly consistent but have failed to translate that form into any sort of tangible success. It has been a case of “always the bridesmaid never the bride” for them and that is something which hasn’t gone down too well with everyone in the country.

The Germans make their way to Brazil among the favorites to lift the World Cup in 2014. They will need to take care of a few things to do that however. In order to reach the top of the mountain once again, I have pinpointed 10 mistakes that they need to avoid in order to lift the World Cup. They take care of the little points mentioned below and they will be pretty close to lifting the biggest title in soccer for the fourth time in history.


Complacency: The cardinal sin. The Germans are good, there are no two ways about that. The media around the world has been putting them up as one of the teams to beat in the tournament and there are chances, that all that hype might make them complacent. They have got to avoid that and the only people who can stop that from happening are Joachim Low and his staff. Soccer has a way of hurting when you drop your guard and one wrong move could spell doom.

2- Lack of belief

The Germans need to believe in themselves. They have got to believe that they will come out as winners regardless of who they are up against. Lack of even a little bit of belief can be fatal. They have enough talent in the squad to go all the way, something that I have highlighted in my predictions for the world cup 2014. They’ve got to keep the faith because if they think they are not good enough, then they will not be able to play to the incredible potential that they surely have.

3- Not playing to their strengths

Sometimes very good teams come out on the receiving end of a bad result when they try to focus a little too much on the opposition. It happens. The Germans need to avoid doing that. They have their own strengths and are a brilliant counterattacking unit with pace and power to topple any team in the world. They’ve got to play to their strengths because German soccer has its own identity and the players are all used to that.

4- Not concentrating on the opposition’s weaknesses

There are no unbeatable teams in the world. Whoever says anything other than that has no clue about soccer. Every team has its weaknesses and Germany will have to make sure they capitalize on any weak points that the opposing team has. It might come as a contradiction with the previous point where I said they need to make sure they don’t focus too much on the opposition. The key point here is “too much.” The Germans can hurt teams with their style of play without over focusing on whoever they come up against. They will need to find a way to exploit the weaknesses, a chink in their armor, of their opponents while playing their own brand of soccer. This is absolutely crucial.

5- Go into a game with an inferiority complex

Germans are not renowned to have an inferiority complex as a nation. And conventional wisdom would say, why their soccer team would have it. But when they come up against the likes of Spain on the pitch, the thought might just cross their minds. They are after all defending two times European Champions and the reigning World Cup holders. Even a little bit of self doubt can hurt Germany. They will need to go into every game with a clear mind – Soccer is played as much in the head as it is played on the field.

6- Picking players on past form

A lot of teams tend to play players who’ve done quite well in the past. That is simply a ‘no go’ area for Germany. Yes, players like Miroslav Klose and Sami Khedira have been crucial, but players who are fit, both mentally and physically, will need to be picked, it is as simple as that. Klose hasn’t been in too good a form lately and Khedira spent a large chunk of the season on the sidelines after rupturing his ACL. The coaching staff will have to make tough decisions but that is what they are paid to do, aren’t they?

7- Over reliance on one or two individuals

Modern soccer is all about each and every single player playing his part on the field. Reliance on a few individuals or making them the focus of tactics and preparations will be a death knell for Germany’s chances in the World Cup. One or two exceptional players will only take the team so far. They might win a few games but soccer is a team sport and everyone will have to play their part if Germany is to stand at the pinnacle when the World Cup is over.

8- Inflexible tactics

Tactics will play a big part for Germany in the tournament. They will need to be flexible in the way they approach each game. A little tweak to the system here and a little change there, can go a long way in bringing the World Cup to Germany for the first time since 1990. Germany will counterattack everyone knows that, but the way they carry out those attacks and players they swap and change before and during the games should surprise their opponents. Will it be 4-2-3-1, 4-3-2-1, 4-5-1 or 4-3-3; the correct call will have to be made every time.

9-A slow start

Germany are in Group G, the dreaded “Group of Death”, along with Portugal, USA and Ghana. It is an extremely tight and tricky group, so Germany will need to come out all guns blazing. Germany kickoff their campaign against Portugal on June, 16 at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador and a fast start will go a long way in laying down the marker early on in the tournament.

10- Not taking one game at a time

Last but definitely not the least, Germany will need to keep their focus on their next game. Teams tend to get caught up in the excitement and start to think too far ahead. What that does is, it takes the focus away from the immediate job at hand and that break in concentration is a sure sign for disaster. All great teams that win titles tend to keep their focus on the game that is up next. This is how it works and this is how it should be as well.

So these were my two cents about what the Germans need to avoid if they are to have any chance of getting their hands on the coveted Jules Rimet Trophy on July 13. The spine of this German team is as strong as any other side in the world. The type of soccer they play is being lauded, but they now need to deliver on the biggest stage of them all.

This is it from my side for the time being. Now let’s hear what you have to say about the pitfalls the Germans need to steer clear of in order to win the World Cup. Auf wiedersehen!


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