Germany manager Joachim Low has announced his 23-man squad for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil. The 54-year-old has opted for just one striker in the form of Miroslav Klose, who needs just two goals to overtake Brazil’s Ronaldo as the top scorer in World Cup finals history.
As a result, Low has opted to leave Kevin Volland, who enjoyed a successful season with Hoffenhiem. He also omitted former Everton defender Shkodran Mustafi and Marcel Schmelzer due to injury.
Speaking to the German media, Low said: “Each individual has worked excellently. Players have done what I ask for. It is very hard to make this decision and Shkodran, Marcel and Kevin are naturally very disappointed. I understand that as they had every right to hope to be going to Brazil.”
There is a good blend of youth and experience in the Germany squad with six players on over 50 caps and six players with under ten caps. They certainly have a good spine to their team, in each area of the field bar the goalkeepers there is a player with over 100 caps.
In defense, Phillip Lahm has 105 caps, in midfield Bastian Schweingsteiger has 101 caps and in the forwards Miroslav Klose has 131 caps and Lukas Podolski has 113. It is quite contrasting to last time when Germany had a very inexperienced squad at the 2010 World Cup.
Arguably though, that inexperience did work in their favor to some degree in South Africa. Germany were a bit of unknown quantity at the time and they thrived on exploiting the opposition with their fast-paced counterattacking style, which came to fruition in their wins over Australia, England and Argentina.
It will be questionable how Germany approach the World Cup, it seems unreasonable for them to play every game with same intensity as they did four years ago. A much more reasonable way to go about is to pack the midfield with players who can dictate the game. Of the Germany squad, Low should start with Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Khedira and Ozil in the midfield.
That is a midfield with experience, control and the required flair to at least get them to the final. Of course, Low can use his attacking players as impact substitutes. The likes of Andre Schurrle, Thomas Muller and Lukas Podolski would be ideal in that situation when the opposition are on their ‘last legs.’
Another option could be to deploy a false nine system with Lukas Podolski as the forefront; the Arsenal forward proved he has the capability to lead the German front line with his performances for the North London club at the end of the season.
Furthermore, Miroslav Klose does not have the pace to really hurt defenses as he did four years. But then again, he is probably the best poacher at the World Cup and it would be difficult to justify leaving him out.