One of the biggest strengths of Germany has always been the mental side of things. The further they went in competitions, the harder they were to beat. Unfortunately, it’s not happened in the last four tournaments. This is the question mark I’ve got about the team as they prepare to launch their latest bid against Portugal.
The likes of Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose have got the quality; they’re very talented; but they’ve had four chances. I don’t think they’re weak, but if they were as good as people made out they should have won at least one of the last four tournaments, and they didn’t.
Bayern Munich showed it last year, and they’ll probably have the most players in the squad. They showed it after disappointments in Champions League finals to come back and win the trophy at Wembley in 2013.
I think they’ve got the mental toughness, but it’s all right talking about it; you’ve got to show it when the chips are down, on the pitch. The ultimate test is in Brazil, and they still have to show that. They certainly have a team capable of upsetting all the others and winning the World Cup but they’ve got to do it this year because some of the players are not getting any younger and for some of these players time is running out and it may well be the last World Cup for some of them.
For that crop of players it would really be a travesty if they weren’t to win a tournament …