So it’s like that is it!
Franz Beckenbauer believes England made a stupid mistake by failing to avoid a second-round match against Germany at the World Cup in South Africa.
The two sides will meet in Bloemfontein on Sunday after England failed to win Group C despite beating Slovenia 1-0.
“Stupidly, the English have slipped up a little by finishing second in their group,” said German great Beckenbauer.
“The English look a little tired… they are burnt out. We respect them but we certainly don’t fear them.”
“The Premier League players have got to play far more games than their Bundesliga colleagues, including two national cup competitions,” added Beckenbauer, who scored one of West Germany’s goals in a 3-2 quarter-final win against England in Mexico in 1970.
“Therefore, when it comes to a World Cup or a European Championships, they are burnt out. Our players, on the other hand, seem to be in a physically better condition.” (BBC Sport)
I can imagine the scene now. Der Kaiser flicking through his copy of Mind Games by Sir Alex Ferguson and working out how best to respond to questions about the forthcoming battle between sworn enemies England and Germany, Beckenbauer believes a good insult should do the trick.
The legendary sweeper was of course part of that losing 1966 team and probably still wakes up every morning covered in a cold sweat as he recalls the moment Hurst and co. got the better of him and his team mates, hence his need to put the boot in.
Of course in some ways he is right. The English did stupidly finish second in their group or perhaps that is what he is being made to think? For all we know this is a cunning plan by Fabio Capello as he may well have decided that he may as well deal with the Germans in the last 16 and not later on down the line, probably not the case