Germans stick knife into England flops: ‘Now we have to beat a big team’

July 1st, 2010

Germany skipper Phillip Lahm has delivered a withering put-down to England by claiming his side “now have to beat a big team”.

As Fabio Capello and his players continue to lick their wounds following their brutal defeat in Bloemfontein last weekend the Germans are preparing for a quarter-final meeting with Argentina in Cape Town on Saturday.

It is a repeat of the match at the same stage of the competition four years ago, when Germany emerged victorious on penalties, a result that sparked ugly clashes between the two teams.

Germany also came out on top against the South Americans in the 1990 final thanks to Andreas Brehme’s late penalty.

And clearly, they think of this weekend’s tussle in a somewhat different light to the manner in which they assessed England.

“Now we are up against our own big five,” said Lahm, with reference to the jungle animals that are such a prominent feature of life in South Africa.

“We have to show we can finally beat a big team – someone like Argentina, Brazil or Spain.

“Definitely, these are bigger opponents than England.”

The statement was as simple as it was damning. Quite possibly Lahm did not realise exactly how effective it was in slapping England down to size, having gone out of the competition at the same stage as South Korea, Japan and Mexico.

And it did not stop there.

In analysing Argentina’s talents, general manager Oliver Bierhoff admitted Germany will have a far harder task finding fault with the South Americans than they did with Capello’s team last weekend.

“It is not going to be easy on Saturday because Argentina are a stronger side than England,” said Bierhoff.

“There were some obvious English weaknesses that had all been there in the group stages.

“Argentina are much more powerful and stronger. They have very few weaknesses – although there must be some.”

Neither Lukas Podolski nor star man Mesut Ozil trained this morning, although both are expected to be fit for Saturday.

Germany will also have a couple of familiar faces cheering them on in Michael Ballack, who will fly straight into Cape Town, having been ruled out of the tournament after suffering an ankle injury in the FA Cup final, and Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is a frequent visitor to major German matches.

Source: Mirror Football

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