Vas is Los? I’ll Tell You Vas is Los

Germany’s draw with Japan may simply be a sign of things to come. In a provocative analysis on the origins of the modern German game in the Nazi sport system, the Financial Times’s Simon Kuper offers some thoughtful observations on why German football is in terminal decline. In short, the virtues of the German game were physical courage and conditioning, and superb organization. Once that may have been enough to dispense with beer-guzzling Englishmen, Brazilian ball-artists and tackle-shy Frenchmen, but the homogenization of the global game over the past decade has meant that all teams now aspire to the traditional German levels of fitness; the Brazilians play with a holding midfielder and the French have learned to tackle — in other words, Germany no longer has an edge on anyone.
To this, I’d add that the current shape of German football and the nature of the society itself today militates against producing world champions — Germany’s team comes almost entirely from the Bundesliga, which is where second-string Brazilians go to make a living and ambitious Eastern Europeans go to get the attention of coaches in Spain, Italy and England. And, of course, it’s a prosperous consumer society with all the attendant lethargy and self-doubt: The era of German dominance begins in 1954, on the rubble of World War II where the whole of Germany was a kind of favela, the Brazilian urban slums that produce most of the country’s footballers, and the country was looking for a peg for its national identity. I think Germany’s moment has passed and won’t be coming back any time soon. My own prediction is that Germany will win its group (hell, you could imagine Lehmann getting on the score sheet if yesterday’s performance by the Polish ‘keeper Kuzcak is any indication) but then go out to England in the first knockout stage. England? Yes, England — that’s because Sweden will snatch victory in their group by drawing with the Brits and then beating Trinidad by a bigger margin. And from that point on, Germany’s role at World Cup 2006 will be to provide the beer and sausages.

5 comments on “Vas is Los? I’ll Tell You Vas is Los
  1. A rebuttal to Vas is Los? I’ll tell you Vas is Los

    I think Tony Karon is being a bit tough on the German team. Admittedly the world has incorporated all the good elements of German soccer- the physicality, the efiiciency, the slow and methodical buildup in midfield that would test the…

  2. A rebuttal to Vas is Los? I’ll tell you Vas is Los

    I think Tony Karon is being a bit tough on the German team. Admittedly the world has incorporated all the good elements of German soccer- the physicality, the efficiency, the slow and methodical buildup in midfield that would test the…

  3. Polish goalkeeper video, please. Must have been hilarious. Being a goalkeeper myself (including some historical mistakes according to my teammates), I feel some (only some) sympathy…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


− eight = 1

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Powered by sweet Captcha

Current month ye@r day *