The VfB Stuttgart midfielder shows he is ready
Michael Ballack may not be missed at all. That is because his replacement Sami Khedira was so good against the Australians that Ballack’s absence may not be a good enough excuse any more not to do well.
Khedira played box to box, darting forward deep from midfield and on a couple of occasions almost scoring and then falling back equally quickly to defend. He was entrusted by Jogi Low to protect the back four especially the inexperienced Holger Badstuber. A job he did very effectively neutralizing the threat of Brett Emerton on the left.
He also showed effectiveness as a passer completing 43 out of 53 passes for an accuracy rate of 81% compared to the team average of 76%. Like Ballack, Khedira is used to a leadership role being the captain of a very talented German U21 team that won the Euro 2009 Championship beating England.
The Mannschaft have very clear goals – apart from doing well in this World Cup, they are more importantly preparing a squad for the future. Jogi Low also started Mesut Ozil as attacking midfielder and Manuel Neuer in goal. Both were part of the U21 squad. Another member Marko Marin came on as a second half substitute. On the bench there was Danny Aogo and Jerome Boateng. Thomas Mueller one of the goalscorers and Holger Badstuber are part of the present U21 squad.
Such was the dominance of Mueller and Ozil, that they were involved in three of the four goals, all down the left flank.The only exception was Philip Lahm’s cross that was headed by Klose for his goal. Khedira, Mueller, and Ozil look ready to take over in the 2014 World Cup when they will be at their peak of their powers.