Connect with us

Tactical Analysis

World Cup Tactical Analysis: USA 0-1 Germany | Germany expose and dominate wide areas

On the last day of the group phase, one of the most exciting groups, Group G, drew to an exciting close. All 4 teams were in with a shot of going through to the next round. There was a lot of tension in the air in the build up to this game as a draw was enough to take both sides through, and many had doubts after Germany’s performance against Austria in the 1982 World Cup. That aside though, this was also set to be a very tough game as two very evenly matched sides very going up against one another. Coach Jogi Low, who was assistant to Jurgen Klinsmann during the latter’s time in charge of Die Manschaft went up against his former colleague as well, to add some more spice to the occasion.

Line ups:

USA: Howard; Johnson; Gonzalez; Besler; Beasley; Jones; Zusi (Yedlin, 84); Beckerman; Bradley; Davis (Bedoya, 59); Dempsey.

Germany: Neuer; Boateng; Mertesacker; Hummels; Howedes; Lahm; Schweinsteiger (Gotze, 76); Kroos; Podolski (Klose, 45); Muller; Ozil (Schurrle, 89).

Scorers: Muller (55)

Made using Tactical Pad

Made using Tactical Pad

ANALYSIS

USA full backs getting exploited

In the first 2 group games, Germany unveiled a slightly different system with no real striker, and a False 9 doing the job for them. Generally, it was Muller who took up this responsibility. Their 4-2-3-1 had been discarded for the 4-3-3 to add extra protection in midfield as a sort of shield against counter attacks. Philipp Lahm, the additional man, served as a holding midfielder, who sat to protect the defence. The full backs too, were actually centre backs, and didn’t really get forward too often to support the attacking players. This worked out very well in the first game against Portugal, with Germany effectively ending their World Cup campaign at that point. In the next game against Ghana though, Die Manschaft struggled as Ghana sat deep, and tried to play on the break with quick wingers used to target the German full backs. This worked out very well for Ghana and exposed a potential weakness.

Due to the lack of width they offered in the previous game, Klinsmann probably expected Germany to keep their attacks focused through the middle of the pitch. However, only 30% of the German attacks came through the middle, primarily because USA left the wings quite open. The pressure from the USA early on in the game came in the middle of the pitch. The USA midfielders got quite close to each other to try and cut out vertical passes that the German midfield might try and play through them. Doing this left Germany with a lot of room on the wings.

Boateng heat map. He spends more time in the opposition half. via squawka.com

Boateng heat map. He spends more time in the opposition half.
via squawka.com

 

In response to this, Low encouraged his full backs to get forward and support the midfield. Boateng and Howedes spent a lot of time in the opposition half early on in the game. The Germans played a number of horizontal passes to move the ball from side to side and create spaces for the wide players, before eventually releasing one of the full backs to cross. On most occasions, it was Jerome Boateng who got in behind to cross the ball. The Bayern Munich player attempted 8 crosses, but only managed to find success with 2. That’s still a good figure when you consider how successful crosses are in general. When you consider the types of crosses that were played too, you can only praise Boateng, as it was often poor finishing from the strikers rather than an inaccurate or weak.

German chances from open play via fourfourtwo.com

German chances from open play
via fourfourtwo.com

As you can see from the graphic above, most of the chances that the Germans created from open play had something to do with the wide areas. A number of them have come from crosses.

USA wingers dropping deep

In response to the overwhelming effect that the German full backs had on the USA and their ability to hold the ball and create, Klinsmann made his wingers drop a little deeper off the ball. When the Germans did get the ball and hold it, the two USA wingers, Zusi and Davis dropped very deep, to form a back 6 of sorts. This way, they afforded the full backs some protection. It also meant that the USA had a few more numbers defending their box and marking zones carefully, reducing the effectiveness of the German attackers running into the box. Unfortunately for the USA, this a lot made it a lot easier for the Germans to keep possession when they had the ball. A 91% completion rate over 90 minutes is no joke, and what we saw was utter dominance of the midfield area. They managed to restrict the Germans in open play, but struggled to get forward. They were looking to long diagonal balls to break down the German defence, but Clint Dempsey wasn’t really able to do a great job holding up the play, and so the USA struggled to mount any real pressure on the German defence.

RELATED ARTICLES

Lahm bursting forward

Another key part of the midfield battle was the exceptional Philipp Lahm. Nominally selected to play as a holding midfielder, the captian did a very good job of supporting the attacks as well. On a normal day, his job would be to screen the back 4 and allow the likes of Kroos to get forward and link up with the front 3. But with the USA playing so close together, it became a bit difficult for the likes of Schweinsteiger and Kroos to dominate proceedings. Those two were forced all over the pitch, and received a lot of rough treatment for their efforts. This is where Lahm came into the picture. The Bayern player’s vertical movement made him hard to pick up for the USA team, and he was able to get in between their block and make passes to try and scramble them. THe USA did well to retain their shape, but Lahm served well as a passing hub, making 116 passes with his 125 touches at a 95% success rate. He was extremely effective, and it’s easy to see why he is rated so highly in this position by so many.

BEST PLAYER

Schweinsteiger was a nominee for this prize, with some good play through the game. His battling performance though, wasn’t as effective as that of his compatriot Philipp Lahm. As mentioned above, the German was phenomenal in midfield, allowing his team to take control of this area and the game. He will be crucial for German hopes going forward into the tournament, and if he can keep up this level of  performance, it will be difficult to stop Germany.

WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE THEM?

In the knockout rounds. The USA did just enough to make it past a very difficult group, and fans at home must be in love with a certain John Brooks for that crucial late goal. They will probably face Belgium next in what should be an interesting encounter, but will need to add some more attacking verve to their line up if they are to trouble the Belgians.

The Germans put in a domineering performance that saw them win the group with ease in the end. The team, like so many tournaments in the recent past, looks strong going into the big games. They now need to ensure they get their tactics right in the upcoming battles to finally lift some silverware.

Read all our World Cup 2014 content here

To watch highlights, video on demand, skills & dribbles, and live streams from the FIFA World Cup 2014 visit livsports.in now!

Powered by Blogmint

Vishal Patel

Vishal Patel

Massive Chelsea supporter. Follow Mourinho and love Ronaldinho. Enjoy discussing tactics anytime, anywhere. Enjoy watching the Italian National team as well.
Vishal Patel

100 to Watch

Latest

Interviews23 hours ago

Interview: Ex-Premier League players on the Problem with Young Footballers

Outside of the Boot had the opportunity to speak with ex-Premier League players – Manchester City’s Paul Dickov, Leicester City’s...

Scout Report23 hours ago

Scout Report: Nicolo Barella | Cagliari’s Complete Midfielder

Kaustubh Pandey provides a detailed scout report on Cagliari’s promising Italian midfielder, Nicolo Barella In a country that is as passionate...

Opinions24 hours ago

Statiscal Analysis: Which team has the worst injury record in La Liga?

Luke Glassford provides us with a statiscal look at the injuries suffered by various La Liga teams over the past...

Scout Report2 days ago

Scout Report: Chris Willock | Benfica’s ex-Arsenal youth product

Hrishi Anand takes a look at youngster Chris Willock, whose move away from the Premier League could help blaze a...

Scout Report2 days ago

Scout Report: Marlos Moreno | Manchester City’s Colombian flash

Josh Sippie takes a look at Colombian international Marlos Moreno, whose Spanish education will make or break his chances at...

Opinions4 days ago

Analysing Kevin De Bruyne: Pep Guardiola’s Total Midfielder

Charles Onwuakpa analyses Kevin De Bruyne, who has quickly developed into Pep Guardiola’s most important player. When we talk about...

Scout Report4 days ago

Scout Report: Josh Sargent | USA’s rising star

Josh Sippie takes a look at USA’s brightest young star on the block, Josh Sargent With the Bundesliga’s new prerogative of...

Scout Report4 days ago

Scout Report: Timothy Weah | The talented encore to George

Josh Sippie analyses one of PSG and USA’s young starlets, Timothy Weah The United States trek towards international relevance is...

Indian Football1 week ago

Traveling Barefoot – The Story of Indian Football

Arinjay Ghosh details the topsy-turvy tale of Indian Football through the years.

Talent Radar2 weeks ago

7 Players to Watch at the U17 World Cup 2017 in India

Brian Hradek highlights seven players who could make an impact at the U17 World Cup 2017 The U17 World Cup...

Series2 weeks ago

Tactical Philosophy: Eddie Howe

While this website has made its name focusing on the lesser known youth of this beautiful sport, and combined it...

Interviews2 weeks ago

Tales of a Football Scout: Giulio D’Alessandro

Kaustubh Pandey gets the chance to sit down with Italian football scout and agent, Giulio D’Alessandro Contrary to popular opinion,...

Opinions2 weeks ago

Newcastle and the Loyalty Project

Josh Sippie takes a look at Rafa Benitez’s approach and style at Premier League newboys Newcastle United. Liverpool, Inter, Chelsea,...

Opinions2 weeks ago

What direction is football heading in?

Jonathan Roberts looks deeply into the direction football is heading in, using de Boer’s sacking as an example.  It’s easy to...

Specials2 weeks ago

In-depth Analysis: Why Lukaku makes Man United better than Ibrahimovic ever will

Alexiou Konstantinos provides a detailed comparison between Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic and why the former is an upgrade for...

Tactical Analysis2 weeks ago

Tactical Analysis: Monarcas 3-0 Xolos | Monarcas’ Pressing And Xolos’ Offside Trap

Brian Bertie writes a detailed tactical analysis about the Liga MX match that ended Monarcas 3-0 Xolos Monarcas and Xolos...

Scout Report2 weeks ago

Scout Report: Donny van de Beek | Ajax’s midfield star

Danny Lewis takes a look at Ajax’s new midfield anchor, Donny van de Beek. After last season’s European success, the...

Opinions2 weeks ago

Britain’s long fabled fear of the Director of Football

Calum Clark brings to the fore a much debated issue of the footballing fora- Should Directors of Football exist? Hailing...

Talent Radar2 weeks ago

2017-18 Young Players’ Team of the Week #6: Anthony Martial & Bruno Xadas feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Young Players Team of the Week with the best young...

Talent Radar2 weeks ago

FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 Guide: Group F

The 17th edition of the U17 World Cup takes place in India, the first FIFA tournament held in the country,...

Talent Radar Award History

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Young Player Rankings 17-18

More on Outside of the Boot