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England fear Germany as Der Kaiser lays into long ball tactics

| 15.06.2010

As the prospect of facing Germany in the last 16 becomes increasingly real, World Cup great Franz Beckenbauer has turned the heat on England by criticising their playing style.

Der Kaiser said of England’s stuttering 1-1 draw with the USA: “It looked to me as if the English have gone backwards into the bad old days of kick and rush.”

In stark contrast, Germany began in blistering style by handing a 4-0 thrashing and footballing lesson to Australia.

Beckenbauer’s comments have intensified an already feisty sporting rivalry between the two nations, which could truly be reignited should they meet during the World Cup.

England will be now be doubly determined to win Group C because, if they finish in second place, they are likely to face probable Group D winners Germany in the second round.

If England do meet Germany in the round of 16, their World Cup could come to a premature end. England are 19/10 to be eliminated at the last 16.

Germany would delight in securing such a fate, and their sparkling young talents Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski will be salivating at the prospect of facing a depleted English defence devoid of pace.

England have reason to hope, though. With Gareth Barry fit, Fabio Capello is expected to revert to a five-man midfield which could potentially sterilise the German midfield’s creative forces.

Furthermore, as Wayne Rooney has revelled as a lone forward for Manchester United this season, England would hope to see the best of their talismanic striker in a 4-5-1 formation.

Doubts persist in the England camp, however, following Ledley King’s injury, Rob Green’s gaffe and the collectively unconvincing performance against the USA.

If you’re susceptible to the sense of gloom, you can bet on England to keep with tradition and get knocked out on penalties. They are 7/2 to do so.

Do you disagree with Beckenbauer? England are 7/1 to win the World Cup. See the full England Specials market.

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Author

Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.