German footballers fail to attack
7 June 2004 KAISERSLAUTERN - Coach Rudi Voeller has finally admitted that Germany have a problem in attack - and there is precious little time to rectify the situation ahead of Euro 2004.
7 June 2004
KAISERSLAUTERN - Coach Rudi Voeller has finally admitted that Germany have a problem in attack - and there is precious little time to rectify the situation ahead of Euro 2004.
"We simply don't score enough goals. The problem is not new," said Voeller, himself a prolific striker who lifted the 1990 World Cup trophy.
The statement came in the wake of Sunday's 2-0 home defeat against Hungary in the final Euro tune-up match where neither Fredi Bobic nor Miroslav Klose impressed.
Cologne's teenaged striker Lukas Podolski won his first cap late in the game, but failed to score.
Klose may have all but lost his expected place in the starting line-up at the 12 June to 4 July Euro-finals in Portugal, where Germany meet the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Latvia in the group stage.
The Kaiserslautern striker scored no goal in the three warm-up games, the others being a 7-0 win over Malta and a 2-0 victory against Switzerland.
The three games saw only three goals from Voeller's strikers in what has been a trend for the past year.
Bobic got one against Malta while VfB Stuttgart's Kevin Kuranyi (rested on Sunday due to back problems) assured himself of a place in the starting line-up 15 June against the Dutch with a double against the Swiss.
"The strikers were not able to control the ball in the attacking zone, showed no drive towards goal, but were also not set up properly," observed Kicker sports magazine on Monday.
The statement underlines that all but the entire German team played below par on Sunday, the only exceptions being defenders Philipp Lahm and Arne Friedrich.
"The defence was insecure, the midfield disorganised, the attack without drive," said Kicker.
Christian Woerns was outplayed on both goals by Sandor Torghelle, playmaker Michael Ballack only shone against harmless Malta with four goals and even the reliable Torsten Frings did not impress.
Voeller admitted that he will reconsider his original starting line-up for the Dutch game.
"Of course you have a line-up ready in your head, but you start thinking after a match like this. Some players will have to offer me a little more," Voeller said.
Defender Jens Nowotny said: "Rudi was very disappointed. And that is much worse than if he is angry."
Voeller will be rethinking his Euro plans Monday and Tuesday while the players have the two days off. Germany then depart for their Euro camp in southern Portugal on Wednesday.
Voeller will need to restore morale as a confidence-boosting final win would have done the World Cup 2002 runners-up much better.
But Voeller and captain Oliver Kahn also insisted that the defeat, as much as it dented the team's morale, didn't mean doom and gloom at Euro as a foregone conclusion.
"I cannot believe that we will underestimate an opponent at Euro," said Kahn with a slight sarcastic twist.
Voeller said: "The future is not as bleak for us as some believe."
"We are working to be ready on day x. That was not against Hungary, but next week against the Netherlands," Voeller said.
Subject: German news