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German duo most recent to take shots at England national team

Nov 17, 2013, 7:44 AM EDT

schurrle Getty Images

It would seem sledging the England national team is becoming a popular tactic during this international break.

First, Chilean Alexis Sanchez was quoted with saying England players were soft, although reportedly that story was fabricated by the media.

Real or not, someone decided to hit out at the team and now the Germans are following suit ahead of their friendly on Tuesday.

Chelsea’s Andre Schurrle hit out at Premier League rival Wayne Rooney by saying he wouldn’t be good enough to make the Germany squad.

“Would Rooney get a game in the German team? It’s difficult,” said Schurrle “Rooney is a great player. But we have good quality, too, in every position, and maybe twice, so I don’t know if he would play.”

It’s actually not a completely ridiculous claim, considering the 23-year-old already has to compete with likes of Mesut Ozil, Marco Reus, Thomas Muller, Miroslav Klose, and Mario Gotze in the attacking front.

Former German superstar Michael Ballack went a step further, noting that he believes the England lags behind Germany in competitiveness.

“I don’t see England as being the same level as teams like Germany or Spain. They’re a bit behind,” the 37-year-old former Germany striker told BBC Radio 5 Live.

Ballack said whenever these two teams face off, it’s not exactly “friendly” like the official title of the upcoming match.

“This is not a real friendly game. England are playing Germany and it’s always a big rivalry.”

Unfortunately, it wouldn’t seem that German boss Joachim Low would agree with Ballack, as he confirmed he will rest the trio of Mesut Ozil, Philipp Lahm, and Manuel Neuer for the match.

  1. mianfr - Nov 17, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    Wayne Rooney is good enough and versatile enough to start for any national team.

    He’s probably dead even with Ozil right now, but he’s better than the rest of that lot (and much better than Schurrle, for that matter).

    You think Spain doesn’t wish he was Wayne Rivera so he could be their perfect false nine? Stylistically he’s not a great fit for Brazil, but I think he’s a better option than what they have at striker.

    Argentina has an absurd amount of attacking options up front, but I bet they’d love to have someone they can drop back and not worry about decreased ability, like Fergie has used him in the past.

    Everywhere else I don’t even think you can argue they’d love to have him in the mix.

    • bear06 - Nov 17, 2013 at 10:27 AM

      Rooney wouldn’t be able to start for Argentina, Germany, Spain or Brazil.

  2. medic0nduty - Nov 17, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Well, just for fun, let’s make this situation hypothetical. Let’s say Wayne Rooney is German and is looking to get a place in the current German national team. First, let’s go through the positions where he can play.

    Germany traditionally play a 4-2-3-1 (or 4-5-1, whatever you want to call it), with two holding midfielders, two wingers, a central attacking midfielder, and a lone center forward. Wayne Rooney is not a goalkeeper or a defender, so those five positions are out. This leaves us with the midfield and center forward roles.

    Rooney has never been know for being a deep-lying midfielder, and so Khedira and Schwienstiger remain as they were. That and with Gundogan and Kroos Germany have more than enough talent and cover for those positions.

    He’s never been known as a wide player, so Reus and Muller remain. This leaves us with the central attacking midfield and center forward positions.

    For most of recent his time at Manchester United, Rooney has operated as a second forward playing off the main striker. This makes him ideal for the attacking midfield role, but he has competition here, and highly talented competition as well. If he goes in there, either Ozil or Gotze has to come out; although Ozil could move out wide, he’s clearly better off operating out of the middle. So Rooney would probably be second choice to Ozil and would have stiff competition with Gotze.

    This leaves us with the center forward position. Germany have two competent center forwards in Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez, and I’d say that Rooney is on the same level as both of them. But his preferred position is second striker, so while he could play there he would be better utilized in the position usually filled by Ozil, and we already talked about that.

    So, could he get into the German national team? Probably, but his position wouldn’t be as guaranteed as it is in the England squad.

  3. midtec2005 - Nov 20, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    I don’t think any of this is very controversial, the results speak for themselves. Ballack is completely right about the level of the English team.

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