Through two games played, Germany alone has answered all the critics and won both of their matches. Furthermore, the wins have come against serious opposition in the form of Portugal and the Netherlands. With such an early statement being made, Germany could very well get over the hump and end up lifting the trophy in Kiev.
Although the entire side is looking quite ready to make a EURO 2012 run, Mario Gomez has been the shining beacon, scoring each of their three goals thus far in the tournament. His goals have come from all methods. His first against Portugal was a glorious header. Against Holland he displayed touch on the first as he spun around and guided the ball into the corner. His next goal was sheer power as he blasted the ball across the goal and into the top corner. It seems as if there is no end to what the burly German can do with the ball.
Bastian Schweinsteiger has been a controlling force in the midfield and Philip Lahm looks like the world’s best full back as he withheld numerous Arjen Robben assaults and even made dangerous forays into the opponent’s half. Another splendid player for the Germans is Mesut Ozil, who continues to shine and terrorize defenses.
The team totally dominated the Netherlands, a 2010 World Cup finalist. After Robin van Persie scored a goal fifteen minutes from time to bring the match close at 2-1, Germany held on to the ball until the match’s end and didn’t give the Dutch any late game opportunities to scrape a draw. Such a powerful performance showed that this team has the maturity to hold on late in a match which could prove vital in winning EURO 2012.
Another factor propelling Germany to success is that the nation is in such close proximity to Poland and the Ukraine, where the tournament is being held. Their fans have only a short trip to support their country. Even more helpful is that both Lukas Podolski and Miroslav Klose are Polish born, making EURO 2012 a homecoming of sorts for the offensive tandem who would love to score some goals on their home turf.
Germany does tend to start tournaments hot before collapsing at the pivotal moments. In the 2010 World Cup, Germany had dominating performances against England and Argentina before succumbing to the Spanish talent in the semifinals. Similarly, Germany had reached the EURO 2008 finals where they also lost to Spain. Had they won those games, we could all be declaring Germany the greatest team of all time instead of Spain. But, it was not to be. So the question becomes, if Germany continues to play well deep into this tournament, will they finally be able to overcome Spain? After watching the Spanish demolition of Ireland today, I’m not quite sure they will.