Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mind Games Week Continues!

This may be about a guy who doesn't like what he has seen. About a former player disgusted with a shaky performance.

That certainly is what it appears to be, on the surface. German scoring legend Gerd Muller saying Germany has no chance to win South Africa 2010.

But since this is Mind Games Week, here at Countdown to South Africa, maybe something else is involved.

And we are back to the classic "lowering expectations" gambit.

Perhaps Gerd Muller, the second-greatest scorer in World Cup history, wasn't satisfied with Franz Beckenbauer's "notice I don't mention Germany as a contender" statements earlier in the week.

So Gerd cuts to the chase: "We have too many young players."

And then he takes on Germany's attacking players, who failed to generate much of anything in a 1-0 home defeat to Argentina earlier this month, calling them soft. "They sign a contract and immediately become millionaires. They then have no inclination to work hard."

Again, it's premature to write off the Germans, even if Gerd really is trying to (as opposed to attempting to fire up the Mannschaft). Aside from the loss to Argentina in the friendly, it isn't as if they have been horrible. They won their qualifying group, twice defeating the runner-up Russians.

And they have some serious World Cup history: Since 1954, the Germans have been in the quarterfinals at 13 of 14 World Cups (missing only in 1978), made the semifinals 10 times, the finals seven times and won it three times (1954, 1974, 1990).

But the current team is trash! Awful. Sehr schlect!

We'll see about that.

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