thumbnail Hello,

Despite sending out the youngest ever Euro squad of all time with an average age of 24, Germany will be disappointed to not have made the finals...

By Arkaprabha Chakraborty


Expectation : After being drawn in the Group of Death, there was much hoodoo about how Germany not having the best record in the Group of Death clashing with the estimates of them being early favourites. Expectations remained volatile for Joachim Low's youngest team yet, ranging from between 'Winners' and 'knocked out of the group'.

Result : Germany made it midway between the two predictions, getting knocked out 2-1 by Italy in the semi finals. However, when they topped Group B winning all three matches, people thought that they might go all the way this time.

The Coach : Joachim Low had not made a single mistake up until the semi-finals, so it seemed only fair that when he did make the mistake, it was on a grand scale. The opening game went well enough, with a hard-fought win over Portugal which made fans hope that Die Mannschaft had added a bit of steel to their World Cup 2010 flair. He hardly put a foot wrong all tournament, often making inspired substitutions and team tweaks, like starting Bender against Denmark who repaid his faith with a goal. But the defensive issue that was Boateng was never quite addressed. And when it came to Italy, Low had completely lost his cool. Completely changing the German system just to negate Pirlo, he saw his central midfield comprehensively outwitted by the runs of Montolivo. Low might have said that they needed to stop Pirlo, but others thought that it obviously implied not JUST Pirlo. However, that's how it turned out. He remains a trusted, intelligent, youth-centric and attack loving trainer, though. Definitely the right man to lead Germany forward.

Where it went wrong : The Germans topped their difficult group without ever having to hit top gear. All their pre-tournament struggles seemed to be erased. They were playing efficiently and like a team, with everyone willing to help out the other. The only concern was their seeming inability to keep a clean sheet except against Portugal, the solid partnership between Hummels and Badstuber notwithstanding. Perhaps the quarter finals were a warning of things to come when even a depleted Greece managed to get in two (one being a penalty) off the quick counter. But it was obvious that Joachim Low had panicked himself into the wrong team selection against Italy. He disconnected the attacking line-up that was working so well for him. He preferred to start with Mario Gomez ahead of Miroslav Klose and the decision to bench Marco Reus proved costly against the Azzurris.

Top Player of the Tournament
Sami Khedira

Khedira was the all-round threat in the heart of Germany's midfield

Perhaps the most unobtrusively brilliant player Germany had on the pitch for these games was Sami Khedira. His stamina, tracking back, determined forward runs and good passing made him an all-round threat in the middle of the park. His crowning glory came in the quarter final against Greece where he scored a screamer of a volley past the helpless Sifakis.

Flop Player of the Tournament
Jerome Boateng

The defender had a miserable time in the knockout stages

Boateng had already been quite shaky in the pre-Euro friendlies and in the group stages, but he really went AWOL in the knockout stages. A poor performance against Greece was only surpassed by his complete meltdown against Italy where he was nowhere to be seen as Cassano sauntered down Italy's left to cross to Balotelli for Italy's first. Was really found wanting when Germany needed him most.

"This is very bitter. We made dumb errors and conceded our goals. It is bitter because our team have so much potential."
- Philipp Lahm
(Talking about Germany's semi-final exit)

How do you stay up to date with football when on the move? With – your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.