Euro 2004: Germany frustrated by Euro exit

24th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

24 June 2004 , HAMBURG - A small group of fans took out their anger about Germany's elimination from Euro 2004 at shop windows, a cameraman and the police, but the majority simply went home saddened and subdued. The local media, meanwhile, was not surprised that Germany were sent packing winless after the first round like in 2000. "Germany's national team has been in stagnation for the past decade," said Kicker sports magazine. Hamburg police said on Thursday that four fans were arrested from a group of 15

24 June 2004

HAMBURG - A small group of fans took out their anger about Germany's elimination from Euro 2004 at shop windows, a cameraman and the police, but the majority simply went home saddened and subdued.

The local media, meanwhile, was not surprised that Germany were sent packing winless after the first round like in 2000.

"Germany's national team has been in stagnation for the past decade," said Kicker sports magazine.

Hamburg police said on Thursday that four fans were arrested from a group of 150 which rioted in the city centre after watching the 2-1 defeat against the Czech Republic on a giant screen with 3,000 others the previous night.

In the nearby Ottensen district the popular Waschbar pub was packed to its capacity one hour before the kickoff, but the festive atmosphere soon turned to agony and the bar was almost empty just 10 minutes after the final whistle.

"They were a little unlucky today, but didn't really t deserve to advance," said Lutz Wischmann, one fan at the bar.

The sentiment was echoed by the German media which raised questions about the future of coach Rudi Voeller before he stepped down from the job.

"It's over. Rudi, we are the fools of Europe," screamed the front- page headline of the Bild daily.

Kicker titled: "National team misses a series of chances. Bye bye."

Kicker said that Voeller had lacked the experience of a shrewd coach despite being on the job for four years.

Bild asked "Will Ottmar Hitzfeld take the job," a reference to the former Bayern Munich helmsman who is tipped as favourite to succeed Voeller.

However, the papers all acknowledged that Germany simply didn't have the class to advance despite the promising 1-1 draw in the opening match with the Netherlands.

Germany's lack of creativity and attacking power become painfully obvious in the 0-0 draw with Latvia and bad luck was added on top of it in Wednesday's 2-1 loss to the Czechs.

Despite a mocking undertone Denmark's Ekstra Bladet summed up the German problem best.

"The robots march homewards. With the exception of (Michael) Ballack, (Bastian) Schweinsteiger and (Philipp) Lahm the Germans are a dull mass of fully trained running machines, who, if necessary, tackle or play easy passes," said Ekstra Bladet.

The youngsters which also include Cologne's teenage striker Lukas Podoslki are Germany's biggest hope in the difficult undertaking to form a team for the 2006 World Cup which Germany hosts.

Expectations will be skyhigh to win the title like at the first World Cup in the country in 1974.

"He is our hope in the fresh start for the 2006 World Cup," said Bild in reference to Podolski.

Kicker also put its faith into youth.

"Even though the under-21 team disappointed at Euro in May, it could provide the backbone for the national team which could make the 2006 World Cup not quite as hopeless as Portugal indicates," Kicker said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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