‘Wembley suits us’ – German press on game against ‘the hitherto harmless English’

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June 25, 2021
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    German players react to 2-2 draw with HungaryGerman papers are not brimming with confidence after a difficult group stage

    Having scraped through the group stages with Tuesday night's 2-2 draw against Hungary, Germany now look ahead to a last-16 match against old foes England.

    But given the drama of qualification – and with the failed World Cup campaign three years ago still fresh in the memory – there are doubts in Germany about whether they can repeat the glory of Euro 96 at Wembley, where they beat England in the last four on penalties, before defeating the Czech Republic in the final.

    That doubt is reflected in the German newspapers, although there is still hope that they once again knock England out.

    Bildexternal-link said: "We are through but nobody knows why!

    "German football has escaped another absolute embarrassment by a hair's breadth! 2-2 against Hungary. As runners-up in the group we qualify for the round of 16.

    "Facing England on Tuesday. At Wembley. In our favourite stadium. A classic. But we have to get better. Much better. Otherwise we will look old against the hitherto harmless English."

    Leading sports magazine Kickerexternal-link described the Hungary match as a "Roller-coaster ride with a happy ending."

    It added: "In the last 16, the English are now waiting in their home in London. While the German team conceded five goals in three games, the British conceded none.

    "However, this English team do not appear stable, they move forward with difficulty, as only two goals prove. Therefore, the chances for the German team next Tuesday in Wembley are 50:50 despite the soberingly weak display against Hungary."

    Screen grabs from Welt and FAZ newspapersBoth managers have faced questions over their selection and tactics

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    Tagesspiegelexternal-link offered some (possibly faint) praise to the English national team. "With only two goals, but ultimately confident, England qualified for the round of 16 – and played almost as efficiently as Germany used to."

    Die Zeitexternal-link carried a warning to anyone underestimating Germany's ability.

    "The ups and downs of the German team continue. On Tuesday they will give a performance at Wembley. Making it to the knockout stage was only partially deserved. But anyone who has already written them off against England is making a mistake," Die Zeit wrote.

    Die Weltexternal-link carried the headline: "So the end is near."

    It added: "The 2-2 in the last preliminary round match of the European Championship against Hungary showed above all the weaknesses of the team. Once again… Germany has not really found its way into the tournament yet. Last 16 at Wembley Stadium is a real acid test for this team. Or their end."

    The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitungexternal-link said: "Wembley suits us.

    "From a technical point of view, seasoned professionals from big clubs like Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund or Chelsea FC made so many mistakes on Wednesday due to nervousness and naivety that a prediction for the round of 16 in London would be tantamount to a gamble."

    Meanwhile, Der Spiegelexternal-link retains hope, given the opponents.

    "Leon Goretzka saved the German team from leaving the tournament [in the game] against Hungary. But that does not hide the lack of consistency of a team which particularly struggles against outsiders. That is precisely what gives us hope," it wrote.


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    June 25, 2021
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