Ending with a whimper

Rewind back to the start of the season, and one could smell the feel-good factor in the air as Germany starting things off as the newly-crowned four-time world champions. As 2014/15 comes to an end after a less than stellar and in many ways slightly strange nine months for the Nationalmannschaft, it all ends with something of a whimper with a publicity friendly against the United States and the Euro 2016 qualifier against Gibraltar – hardly the greatest test in the German team’s long and rich history in the tournament.

With the game against the Iberian minnows little more than a walk in the park Nationaltrainer Joachim Löw is even able to rest three of his biggest stars – goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, midfield stalwarts Thomas Müller and Toni Kroos and flying winger Marco Reus. For this two upcoming matches, a squad of twenty will probably be more than enough.

Amidst the now familiar names there is one new face in the shape of Borussia Mönchengladbach winger Patrick Herrmann.

The absence of regular number one Neuer leaves just two ‘keepers in Roman Weidenfeller and Ron-Robert Zieler, and there are seven defenders in the squad with Borussia Dortmund’s Erik Durm back in for the injured Holger Badstuber and Schalke 04’s Benedikt Höwedes making way for VfB Stuttgart’s Antonio Rüdiger. New boy Herrmann joins eight of midfield contingent from the previous two matches, and up front there are no changes with Mario Götze and Max Kruse again selected.

The midweek friendly in Köln sees Germany and the United States meet for the first time since their group stage encounter in the World Cup in Brazil, with coach Joachim Löw once again crossing swords with former boss Jürgen Klinsmann.

The team then head off to the Portuguese resort town of Faro to take on a Gibraltar side that has shipped twenty-seven goals in their five matches. The previous meeting with the group whipping-boys in Nürnberg was something of a disappointment with the Nationalmannschaft “only” winning 4-0, and as the players get ready to start their summer break they will surely be looking to deliver a far more convincing display.


Roman Weidenfeller (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 4/0)
Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96, 5/0)


Jérôme Boateng (FC Bayern München, 51/0)
Erik Durm (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 7/0)
Jonas Hector (1. FC Köln, 3/0)
Mats Hummels (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 39/4)
Shkodran Mustafi (Valencia CF, 7/0)
Antonio Rüdiger (VfB Stuttgart, 5/0)
Sebastian Rudy (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, 7/0)


Karim Bellarabi (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, 5/0)
İlkay Gündoğan (BV 09 Borussia Dortmund, 9/2)
Patrick Herrmann (Borussia Mönchengladbach, 0/0)
Sami Khedira (Real Madrid CF, 54/5)
Christoph Kramer (Borussia Mönchengladbach, 9/0)
Mesut Özil (Arsenal FC, 64/18)
Lukas Podolski (Internazionale Milano, 123/48)
André Schürrle (VfL Wolfsburg, 44/17)
Bastian Schweinsteiger (FC Bayern München, 109/23)


Mario Götze (FC Bayern München, 43/13)
Max Kruse (Borussia Mönchengladbach, 11/1)

Ending with a whimper
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