“It’s Germany’s tournament to lose. They dominated with World Cup like few have, now they’ll set their sights on the Euro 2016 finals in France this summer.”
Germany by any measure are the team to beat in this tournament. A rare blend of skill, speed, grit and sheer talent, there is no frailty in any section of their squad. A healthy blend of youth and experience, they will look to do to the Euro’s, what they did to the World Cup – Dominance.
Headlined by the usual suspects of Neuer, Boateng, Hummels, Schweinsteiger, Kroos, Gomez and Mueller, they aren’t leaving anything to chance in claiming another piece of silverware. With the introduction of touted starlets; Julian Draxler, Julian Brandt and Joshua Kimmich, plus the consistent and highly sought after Karim Bellarabi, there is a clear intention to blood young talent as a means to continue the success which they began in 2014.
In a team choc-full of talent, if one fails, another can step in place. Possessing a frightening level of depth, this is Germany’s tournament to lose. Players in the ilk of Jerome Boateng, Benedikt Howedes, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mesut Ozil and Thomas Mueller will bear the brunt of the responsibility, but the mark of Germany’s success will be in the performance of their quality bench players, specifically; Toni Kroos, Mario Gotze and Andre Schurrle.
Kroos, a standout from the 2014 World Cup, capitalized on his form and secured a transfer to Real Madrid after the tournament. Amassing 68 appearances, Kroos is slowly returning to the consistency and standing which saw him be an integral member of Bayern Munich from 2007 to 2014. A rare breed, Kroos possess the ability to play sides of the ball, with a blend of grace and aggressiveness which will make him an x-factor for Joachim Loew, either starting or coming off the bench.
Mario Gotze, the goal scoring hero of the World Cup has seen his star stall in recent years. Having left Borussia Dortmund, the very club that made him who he is, he found himself floundering amongst the big-fish of Bayern Munich’s worryingly deep and talented midfield. Looking to regain the momentum which had him placed amongst the very best young talent, his ability to be in the right place at the right time will be vital. Whether it’s in front of goal as he was in the World Cup Final, or in the middle of the park, Gotze is an instant addition of quality to any team, and in this team, he is expected to be the x-factor from the bench that he was in the World Cup. If he is fit, he could again prove to be the man to win the tournament for the German’s once more.
Finally Andre Schurrle, another in the long line of ‘right-place, right-time’ attacker’s that the German team possess, will also provide something for this team that very few can, a proven record. With 20 goals in 50 international appearances to his name, he knows what it takes to have an impact on the biggest stages. With the touch and turn of pace similar to the likes of Dimitri Payet and Pedro, he poses a serious threat in any situation, be it one on one or on the counter.
All three players haven proven their quality for club and country when it matters, and when called upon in this tournament, it will almost certainly be the same.