JERMAINE JENAS: The idea of the Germans coming to town isn’t frightening anymore. Joachim Low’s men are inconsistent and NOTHING like their country’s teams of old… there’s no need for England to be scared of a fading giant
A knockout game againstis not a prospect the players will look at with the same kind of fear as in years gone by. There won’t be the old feelings of ‘oh no, it’s Germany.’ Throughout the competition they have shown a fragile side, which is why they stumbled over the line.
It’s different this time. When I look at Germany, I see a team who can turn it on one day and are massively off it the next. The old Germany was solid and consistent. Even if they had a bad game, they found a way to get it done.
Now, the aura they had is starting to show gaps. You never saw that before. Their attack is still dangerous but their defence was struggling so much they had to beg Mats Hummels to come back.
There is absolutely no reason for England to be fearful of this group of Germany players
They’ve shown in the group stages that they can be on it one day and massively off it the next
Is that cohesion still there? It’s Joachim Low’s last tournament. Are the players happy with him? There is more of that feeling about the team now. They still have very good players but they blow hot and cold. They also don’t appear to have the belief from their own country.
We all might have personal history and memories of losing to Germany. I don’t know if that even exists with this group. I look at this group of players and they are so fresh of mind and free from fear.
The scary idea of the Germans coming to town doesn’t exist with this kind of player. They are Premier League winners, they are Champions League winners. There are players who compete in their league, play that style. They won’t care. They won’t fear that. The only fear they may have is about not performing to their own level.
England would have always feared the worst when the Germans were coming to town
Now, it is about Gareth Southgate finding the right formula. Which players start, which come off the bench.
I have a feeling this game could go to extra-time, perhaps beyond even that. If it gets to that, the team that finishes the game will be just as important as the one that starts.
If it does go to penalties, I believe in this group of players more than any other to win the shootout.
They will be in front of 45,000 at Wembley and they will feel the weight of the country on them. And they will be nervous. But we have players who are used to that feeling.
This group of English players won’t have any bad memories of being beaten by Germany
Harry Kane knows what it feels like to be stood over the ball in the final few minutes, knowing it needs to go in. Marcus Rashford has scored massive penalties for Manchester United.
The shootout against Colombia at the World Cup was a big moment. They know they have been there and won.
And no one knows the situation better than Gareth. He knows what you need to overcome. He will have got the players ready for it.
Gareth Southgate knows the situation and emotion of playing Germany better than anyone
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