Friday, 16 May 2008

There can be only 23: Germany's national coach chooses his team for the Euro 2008

(1:55 pm)
The press conferences continues and I will drop out for now. They just have the usual questions which won't be very interesting or productive in any way. Thanks for tuning in, have a nice day.

(1:49 pm)
There's the question about who was the player who wasn't reached via phone, but Löw doesn't want to answer. Why?

(1:47 pm)
Those are 26 names so three players will have to pack their stuff before the tournament starts. I personally think that one of them will be Trochowski since he wasn't convincing in any of his appearances with the national team.
The press now ask about the Hildebrandt affair. Although this isn't nearly as huge as the stand off between Kahn and Lehmann before the World Cup it is quite a blow. One will have to see how he copes with this decision.

(1:44 pm)
Let's try to straighten things out a little bit. The rumors about Hildebrandt were true. I wasn't following the spanish league that much, but it's only natural that Adler and Enke would follow up since they have been the best goalkeepers in the Bundesliga this season.
As for the defense I was a little surprised about Westermann. When he played on the german team he was, frankly, not playing well. I would have preferred Manuel Friedrich (Bayer Leverkusen). But since the central defenders will be Mertesacker and Metzelder (or should we call them M&M?) I suspect he won't be playing that much anyway.
Marin is quite a surprise in the midfield section, as is Odonkor. Jones was rumored to be on the squad but he always talked way too big to the press so he wasn't quite sure. I don't know if I like the idea.
No surprises for the strikers, although I wouldn't have picked Neuville since he is simply too old.

(1:39 pm)
Here we go, this is the squad:

Jens Lehmann (Arsenal London), Robert Enke (Hannover 96), René Adler (Bayer Leverkusen)
Christoph Metzelder (Real Madrid), Peer Mertesacker (Werder Bremen), Philipp Lahm (Bayern München), Arne Friedrich (Hertha BSC Berlin), Marcel Jansen (Bayern München), Clemens Fritz (Werder Bremen), Heiko Westermann (Schalke 04)
Michael Ballack (Chelsea FC), Thomas Hitzlsperger (VfB Stuttgart), Simon Rolfes (Bayer Leverkusen), Thorsten Frings (Werder Bremen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern München), Piotr Trochowski (Hamburger SV), Tim Borowski (Werder Bremen), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), David Odonkor (Real Betis Sevilla), Marko Marin (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
Miroslav Klose (Bayern München), Lukas Podolski (Bayern München), Mario Gomez (VfB Stuttgart), Kevin Kuranyi (Schalke 04), Oliver Neuville (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Patrick Helmes (1.FC Köln)

(1:29 pm)
Hm, as Löw notes one player didn't have his phone with him, as it seems. So he doesn't know if he's in or if he's out. That's kind of interesting. Now everyone can speculate who that player is.

(1:27 pm)
Nice trivia fact: Germany hasn't one a match at a european championship in the past 12 years (last win came in the final 1996)

(1:22 pm)
Felix Neureuther used to ski and play football with Bastian Schweinsteiger and since his name was dropped so often in the past 5 minutes one can be sure that his name will be on the list.

(1:19 pm)
Right now press coordinator Harald Stenger is talking to the Neureuther-Mittermaier family who are promoting the Ski World Cup 2011 which will take place in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

(1:15 pm)
Oh, Phoenix have Sven Pistor, WDR2's host for the radio coverage of the german Bundesliga, as the expert in the studio. That's interesting.

(1:12 pm)
Since there will be the final round of matchplay in the german Bundesliga tomorrow none of the players will be present for the nomination. Instead there will be children from a local community who will wear the jerseys with the players' names, at least that's what BR3 is reporting right now...

(1:08 pm)
Germany's team manager Oliver Bierhoff just revealed on BR3 that there will be more than 23 names on the list today.

(1:04 pm)
BR3 does its very own predictions. Although I have to admit that the names all make sense. Still why not wait for Jogi Löw to announce the squad. I really find it funny if it turns out that some of the predicted names were wrong.

(1:00 pm)
Most of the other TV stations join in. ARD and ZDF will broadcast the nomination in their "Mittagsmagazin", the bavarian state television channel BR3 has its own program since the Zugspitze is on its territory.

(12:52 pm)

The other names filling up the 26 player roster lead to wild speculation. Germany's biggest newspaper and tabloid Bild thinks those names will be Oliver Neuville and Marko Marin (both Borussia Möchengladbach). Marin is one of the biggest talents in german football. Still under the age of 20 he's a very good midfielder/winger with lots of technique and speed. he would be just as much of a surprise as was David Odonkor before the World Cup in 2006.

(12:39 pm)
The big question which moves the inhabitants of Cologne is whether 1.FC Cologne striker Patrick Helmes, who will move to Bayer Leverkusen for the next season, will be on the roster. Cologne tabloid Express thinks it's true.

(12:25 pm)
The actual press conference will take place some time around 1:15 pm. In the meantime Phoenix is still showing this official Uefa magazine. This will give me some time to take a shower since I got up a little late today. And I am happy that our local college radio station is providing me with a nice mix of punk, hardcore and other stuff over the past hour. You can listen to the live stream if you click here. The shuffle stream will go on until 1:00 pm. I will post something about "Kölncampus" later this day.

(12:12 pm)
There are some rumors about Löw nominating 26 players on a first run and then he will downsize the team to 23 at the date on which he has to name the final squad. German newspapers Die Welt and Süddeutsche Zeitung have reports

(12:08 pm)
Let's be honest, it's horrible to listen to Franz Beckenbauer nowadays. Well, actually it was always terrible. He's now talking about the 1972 Euro winning team.

(12:00 noon)
The Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that Löw will not rely on goalkeeper Timo Hildebrandt. Instead he will go for René Adler and Robert Enke. If that is true it's quite a blow for Hildebrandt.

(11:56 am)
Phoenix is now showing some offical program by the Uefa about the Euro. They concentrated on the German team, so I am not quite sure if Phoenix cut it to size. It's rather funny to listen to Jürgen Klinsmann talk in English.

(11:48 am)
Phoenix is on air. The studio decoration is rather spartanic and funny. A german national team shirt, a ball with the flags of Switzerland and Austria. And that's it.

(11:35 am)
I choose to watch the whole thing on Phoenix, a public TV station mainly broadcasting parliamentary debates and documentaries. But from time to time they tune into football, especially with big tournaments coming up. They have days dedicated to one topic, for instance. So some day they show classic football matches for hours and hours. Apart from Phoenix I read something about 7 TV stations broadcasting live. So don't give me anything about Germans don't take football like the fans in southern Europe. Germans are just as crazy and obsessed as any other big football nation.

(10:28 am)
Since Jürgen Klinsmann took over the job of Germany's national coach things have changed quite a bit. Most of the talk was about the changes made in the training regime with new methods adopted from american professional sports. But there has also been a change in how the German FA, the DFB, presents itself in public. The unveiling of the players who made it on the roster of the World Cup team in 2006 was made into a huge show with video clips, short portraits and so on. So this year for the Euro 2008 they are taking it to another level (quite literally). This year they will present the team on top of Germany's highest mountain, the Zugspitze. I will update this post as it happens.

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