Germany favourites for Russia 2018 after beating Northern Ireland
thoughts
Germany favourites for Russia 2018 after beating Northern Ireland

With nine wins in nine games, Die Mannschaft have done a fabulous job. After outclassing Northern Ireland in a performance that made the Germans look like the home side, Germany are the world’s leading superpower going into Russia 2018.

Rudy is simply….Rudiculous

Sebastian Rudy my word, what a player. It is not everyday you see a midfielder as calm, composed and efficient on the ball as Rudy is; especially when that same midfielder can strike a total rocket of a shot from outside the box like Rudy can.

In under two minutes into the game, Rudy unleashed a pin-point shot to give the goalkeeper Michael McGovern absolutely no chance. It was his first goal in 22 caps for Die Mannschaft and was certainly spectacular. Bundesliga fans who watch Rudy on a regular basis would know this type of goal from him has been due for a while now, however. He has been proving how calculated and audacious his long-range shooting technique can be since the beginning of the season at Bayern Munich.

With that goal in mind, I can quite surely say that the German midfield has a gem in Rudy (as it does in most positions, honestly). In fact, even Toni Kroos should be watching his back now, because with Rudy’s performances lately, starting spots are not guaranteed.

Germany’s secret weapon…

At the moment, Germany are numero uno in world football, do not let FIFA’s rankings deceive you. I cannot think of another team that can match the squad depth that they have in attack, midfield and defence, or even in reserve goalkeepers(!). Spain could come close, but place the two full squads side-by-side (something I have taken the pains to do) and the comparisons will make you a believer.

Germany are World champions, Confederation Cup champions, and if the secret weapon of squad depth is managed well, you could well see them retain their World Cup crown. This is the same feature of Real Madrid’s recent successes, where you have so many world class players battling for the same position. No other team has that, at least on the level that Germany does; and if harnessed properly, this could be the trick to undo any opposition in the coming World Cup.

What makes Germany’s squad depth so special is the mix of both young talent, and experienced seen-it-all players infused into the same team by Joachim Low in almost every game, and this gives the team the luxury of having so many backup plans to better any opponent.

With that being said, I have absolutely no idea how Löw manages to keep every player satisfied in his squad. I know I would probably need a superpower to pull that off if I were in his position; but consider this: with the right players out of this vastly talented squad on the pitch at the right time, for the right game, and with so many options on the bench (and off the bench) available to tweak things even in the middle of a match where the team is struggling, you could well be looking at the next winners of the World Cup.

Lahm would be proud

It has been said before but must be reiterated: Joshua Kimmich has given Die Mannschaft and Bayern Munich a huge sigh of relief. What would the plan have been if Lahm’s retirement had left a gap in the full-back position, had it not been for The Kid stepping up to take up the position by the scruff of the neck? I don’t know about you, but we are looking at the best Lahm replacement we could have asked for, especially if you consider the fact that he is just 22 years of age.

I would even go all the way as to stress that he has a bigger goal-scoring mindset than Lahm probably had, and it is made so evident in the way he joins the counter-attack in getting into scoring positions (as he did with his goal tonight). Kimmich has started all of the last 21 games for Germany, and I dare anyone to take him out the team.

He scored 9 goals last season, (yes, our full-back scores goals too), and has simply blasted into space this season. He has been one of Bayern Munich’s best players of the season so far, and now firmly rooted in the national side as one of Joachim Löw’s limited, exclusive club of regulars.

He even bagged another goal and assist tonight, in case you were wondering. Kimmich now has 8 assists – more than any other player at the Qualifiers; all just at age 22.  He is a current World Confederation Champion, and with this string of performances, probably a near-future world champion.

Yes, he’s that good.

Fear the Germans

All in all, Germany have a well-oiled machine going into Russia 2018, and at this point, it is hard to see them not retaining the mantle as the best footballing nation at the World Cup. In a sport that changes as harshly as the tide, let’s hope that I’m right.

Red Odyssey