Where's the creativity?

Where's the creativity?

QUARTER-FINAL

FRANCE 0

GERMANY 1

(Mats Hummels 13)

Who was the key man for Germany in this game?

Parker: Manuel Neuer did very well.

He blocked everything that France threw at him and not only that, he also diverted the shots to the wide areas where there was no danger of the French players putting the ball back in.

He has a big reputation, so that's what people have come to expect him to do.

But to actually deliver the goods as consistently as he does is amazing.

Germany were up against an excellent French side, but Neuer kept his team in the tournament.

Did Germany deserve this win?

They played with a level of enthusiasm that you can't find fault with.

This was their best defensive showing in the tournament.

Although they defended well, they also had plenty of goal-scoring opportunities at the other end.

What they did right was to block the middle of the pitch, to force France to go wide. Restoring Philipp Lahm in his favourite right-back position was a wise choice, too.

Sure, France would feel that they have enough chances to win the match, but Germany looked more likely to lose to Algeria (in their Round-of-16 match) than they did this morning.

Was there anything France could have done differently?

Before the tournament, if you had asked France coach Didier Deschamps if he would have taken a quarter-final place, he would have grabbed it with both hands.

Just compare this team with the side at Euro 2012 and the one at the 2010 World Cup, and you will see how much they have improved. For sure, they looked a much-happier lot. They nearly made it to the semi-finals in Brazil.

They have a good group of young players coming up, so they should be in a good position by the time they host the European Championship in 2016.

Why do you think Germany have looked unconvincing since they beat Portugal 4-0 in their opening match? They lack creativity in midfield.

Sure, they have Thomas Mueller, but they can't rely only on him.

Joachim Loew (above) must look for ways to add flair to that department.

In the middle, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira don't seem to offer enough options in the attacking sense.

He may want to look at introducing the likes of Julian Draxler and Mario Goetze, for instance.

They need to do something different to change the attacking dynamics, that's for sure.

Germany will meet hosts Brazil in the semi-finals. Can they go all the way and win their first World Cup since 1990?

They are a top side. If there's any team from Europe who can win the World Cup in South America, it's the Germans.

They can definitely beat Brazil, who play a more European brand of football.

The Selecao also do not play at a very high tempo, which Germany struggle to cope with, perhaps because of the climate.

Paul Parker is a former England and Manchester United defender who won two EPL titles and earned 19 caps for his country.

npsports@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on July 06, 2014.
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