This question asked by my son during Germany’s semi-final defeat at Euro 2016 has summed up the German tournament. Not just in highlighting the development of the player himself over the last two years since scoring the goal to win the World Cup. It also highlights a lack of centre forwards in German football.
There is Mario Gomez, who, while not the greatest of players, was at least a pivot in the German attack during this tournament. During the last tournament where he participated in 2012 he was the target of wide spread media ridicule, some of it justified. Gomez, a tall player was seen too immobile. That however, has changed and was possibly best seen in the build-up to the German goal against Italy, when he played a pass, that is normally the domain of Mesut Özil. Gomez created that space for Hector and Özil rushed in to score. The roles were reversed. Yet, it overpainted the glaring in the middle up front.
Ever since the retirement of Klose 2014 the lack of an out and out striker, a real centre forward has been ignored. The qualification for the tournament was not without little shake ups but was secured nonetheless, but the man in the middle was missing. Nowadays, though everyone wants to be a Mario Götze, a midfielder who scores beautiful goals. The invisibility of Götze summed up the substitutions of Germany’s coach, Jogi Löw. Can went off and Götze came; it did not pay any rewards. Götze was not connected to the game, he was not there. It did not help Germany that they had more possession and created more chances; without a poacher there is nothing to be done to work on a 2-0 deficit. The defeat against France was self made and the analysis should be thorough.
Where is Götze? This question by a six year old sums up the game for Germany and I could not have put it better. On that note …