Mixed reaction as Germany extend reign
The German media largely greeted the 1-0 victory over England with a shrug, with the nation’s unbeaten reign at Wembley now approaching 40 years.
• Lomas: Germany too good
England have beaten Germany four times since 1975 -- including a 1-0 win at Euro 2000 and the memorable 5-1 success in a World Cup qualifier in Munich the following year -- but the Three Lions’ last home success over their rivals came 38 years ago.
The visitors’ record looked under little threat on Tuesday night. Germany, despite resting key players, claimed a win courtesy of Per Mertesacker’s first-half header and -- other than an Andros Townsend shot that hit the post -- were rarely troubled by the hosts.
The tabloid Bild told Germany boss Joachim Loew not to get too carried away, leading its coverage of the friendly on Wednesday with the headline: “Jogi, we are always good enough for England.”
It added: “A fantastic final game of the year for our national team, but no wonder -- Wembley is almost our home.”
Meanwhile, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung was particularly enthusiastic about the match, declaring: “Wembley remains a special place for German football.”
The paper argued that the performance brought back fond memories of the days when Germans used to “run, slide, fight” and said it was like “travelling in time ... Old school Germany in nostalgic green jerseys.”
However, most of the German newspapers were not overly impressed by Loew’s ‘B’ team, which featured eight changes from the team that drew 1-1 in Italy on Friday.
Sueddeutsche Zeitung felt Germany were less dominant than they had been in Milan and suggested the inclusion of the Bender twins, Lars and Sven, was a particular reason for the “lacklustre” performance.
The paper argued that the brothers -- who play for Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund respectively -- interpreted their holding midfield roles “like centre-backs” at times and were inadequate replacements for injured trio Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira and Ilkay Gundogan.
“Can Germany compensate the loss of Schweinsteiger, Khedira and Gundogan?” Sueddeutsche asked. “After seeing the Bender twins in midfield: It seems not.”
The German weekly Die Zeit also commented that the game would have been nothing to write home about had it not been the sixth straight win at Wembley.
“For most of the time, the match was not a top-class duel between two teams with World Cup ambitions -- but then came Mertesacker and provide for a moment of happiness,” it said. “Despite a couple of weaknesses, it was a pleasant final game of the year, which brought nine wins, two draws and only one loss.”