Three thoughts on Germany's England stalemate

Germany’s international friendly against England ended in a goalless stalemate in a wasteful, cagey evening.

It was a cagey affair for much of the game with neither side coming out on top. It was a total, at times frustrating, stalemate. Although England featured a heavily rotated squad, they were impressive and showed Germany a tough, goalless evening. 

Mats Hummels as captain

Hummels is exceptionally skilled and calculated. He had an air of authority tonight, sure, but he was not the dominant defensive presence I had expected him to be. He was a bit off the mark and slow when it came to defending in the first half. He got into the game in the second half and showed off his impressive defensive skills as he made a few clever defensive tackles in dangerous positions to deny Loftus-Cheek (57’). Still, England did cause Germany a few heart-in-throat moments that could have been avoided through more alert defending.

Wasteful, woeful

Germany as a collective had a stronger squad and should have put this game to bed much sooner. They were a little inefficient in front of goal, however. Sané was trying to position himself well for tap-ins but he was just a bit out of reach with his shots and therefore sent them wide of the mark.

They had some great opportunities – one in particular was agonising, where Werner was practically one-on-one against the English goalkeeper but was unable to sink it. He was a tad slow and Pickford was on point to pull a decent save.

It ought to be noted that Mesut Özil was also very quiet which did not help matters in attack. Germany had 55% of the possession but were unable to make anything of it. They missed a classic number 9 and would have probably done better had Mario Gomez been on the pitch.

Halstenberg debut

Halstenberg was impressive on his international debut with some fancy footwork and manoeuvring. He was all over the pitch in all the right places and was a bright presence throughout the evening. Halstenberg is a key man in RB Leipzig’s lineup too and proved his impressiveness on an international front tonight. Expect him to feature heavily in next summer’s World Cup.

Meanwhile, Leroy Sané was impressive and worked very hard tonight. He played quite high up the pitch and was certainly trying to position himself correctly throughout the game but his final shots were just off the mark. Germany’s youngsters show promise and if they can learn to be clinical, they can make a success of the upcoming World Cup.