Germany beat Portugal 1-0 last Saturday thanks to a header from Mario Gomez, Germany’s best scorer in the Champions League this season. Despite his fine header, the man himself still faces severe criticism back home. An analysis.
A Golden Future?
German football of 2012 praises itself for having a golden future. This is a major claim indeed but on the back of an immaculate qualification campaign for this tournament (10 out of 10 victories, 34:7 goal difference) as well as beating Brazil (3-2) and the Netherlands (3-0) in friendlies last year, confidence was naturally at a high. Defeats against France in February and Switzerland came at the right time as a warning shot that the Euro 2012 won’t be a walk in the park. This renewed Germany played some of the best football at the World Cup 2010 and with the average age of the squad below 25 the claim to possess the key to a golden future bears some truth.
Gomez, the Blast from the Past!
Alas, if there wasn’t a certain Mario Gomez, many journalists in Germany would be happy or so it seems. The German football magazine 11Freunde described Gomez a ‘blast from the past.’ Unlike Klose, who is an agile centre forward often dropping deep to collect the ball and offer passing opportunities to team mates, Gomez’ style is that of an old school centre forward, lurking around the opponent’s penalty area to punch when he sniffs the slightest of a chance. At club level, this does work well as he scored 26 goals this season and came second behind Jan Klaas Huntelaar of Schalke 04. He is in the best tradition of Gerd M