Kroos Kontrolle

Posted by Susie Schaaf

After holding midfielder Sami Khedira took a second half knock against Ireland on Friday, Joachim Loew brought in Germany's super sub- Toni Kroos- to replace him. And by the time the final whistle blew, Kroos had doubled his international total with a fine brace of two volleys from distance.

Those "Kroos missiles" have given the 22-year-old Bayern Munich midfielder the confidence that he has earned a place in the German Startelf, stating on fcbayern.de, "Obviously you're disappointed when you've made such a good start to the season [at Bayern], but don't start [for Germany]. Those who know me are well aware that I have confidence in myself, and it's my opinion that I ought to be playing somewhere. [...] I've arrived in very good form, and I went out and confirmed it, no more and no less."

Toni does have a point. Jogi Loew used him only sparingly in the Euro 2012 campaign, starting him only once: The tactically disastrous semi-final match against Italy. Raphael Honigstein, on SI.com, made a good point when he said that " a steady supply of goals had been missing from his game until recently along with an even more essential ingredient: a die-hard will to win". He went on to state that new Bayern sporting director, Matthias Sammer, was responsible for the change. And Kroos intimated as such, saying about Sammer: "He has an aura that's very important for us young players, he's someone that can get the last few percentage points out of you".

It seems to be the case as the Greifswalder has opened Bayern Munich's season scoring three very pretty goals in the Bundesliga and one in the Champions League; all from his now favored position in the playmaker's spot. Unfortunately, with the German national team, Kroos is a bit lower in the pecking order as he has to compete with Real Madrid's Mesut Oezil and Borussia Dortmund's Mario Goetze for that same position.

While he may favor being in the hole, he is now looking likely to start against Sweden in Berlin on Tuesday, partnering Bastian Schweinsteiger in holding midfield as Sami Khedira is still being treated for the knock suffered against Ireland. Whereever he is given the chance, I've got a feeling he'll make the most of it. Toni Kroos has truly come in to his own. And as a Bayern Munich and Germany supporter, I am heartily glad of it.

You should follow Susie on Twitter @fusballsusie .

Read Honigstein's excellent piece on Kroos here

ESPN Conversations