Patience key for Germany team against Greece
A day before their European Championship quarterfinal against
Greece, the one thing on German minds was patience.
Both coach Joachim Loew and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer believe
composure will be the key to success. The Germans expect Greece to
erect a defensive wall in front of its goal. Breaking it down will
need a lot of hard work, while taking care not to be exposed to
Loew says one thing his players won’t do is underestimate
Greece, the surprise winner of Euro 2004. While Friday’s match in
Gdansk has also attracted attention because of its political
backdrop, Loew stuck to football matters.
The coach was happy to be spared the stress of traveling, since
the Germans have been based outside Gdansk for the tournament.
”We are feeling good and looking forward to playing a ‘home’
game,” Loew told reporters Thursday. ”We have a short way to the
German Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to attend the match and
her presence could anger Greek fans. Germany, Europe’s biggest
economy, has been a major contributor to international bailouts for
Greece and was instrumental in demanding structural reforms and
hugely unpopular spending cuts in return.
Loew said the team had no injuries and that midfielder Bastian
Schweinsteiger would play despite not training at full speed over
the last two days because of an ankle injury. Right back Jerome
Boateng is likely to return after serving a one-match suspension
but Loew, as usual, would not disclose other details about his
”We create chances and we’ll get them against Greece, but we’ll
have to run a lot,” said Loew, whose team is seeking a record
fourth title. ”When you have 10 men behind the ball, it’s going to
be difficult to penetrate. We are going to be biting granite and
we’ll need patience.”
Greece upset Russia 1-0 to advance to the quarterfinals. Loew
said scoring an early goal would give his team some security.
”We’ll a need a certain killer instinct,” Loew said.
The Greeks have six players with Bundesliga experience and Neuer
singled out Fanis Gekas as a dangerous striker with poaching
”He’s got a nose for being in the right place at the right
time,” Neuer said.
Greece will be missing playmaker and captain Giorgos Karagounis
”Whoever plays for him will be just as motivated, but his
absence could hurt Greece,” Loew said.