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Captain Ron

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Reporting from Munich.

The Germans are very pessimistic about their chances to even escape the group. 2018 rattled the confidence in the national psyche.

The Croatians around town, on the other hand- of which there are plenty- feel they are gonna win the whole damn thing.

I’ve seen more Croatian Checkerboards than German flags this AM then ever before.

Will be a fun day.

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8 minutes ago, Shady Ray said:

Reporting from Munich.

The Germans are very pessimistic about their chances to even escape the group. 2018 rattled the confidence in the national psyche.

The Croatians around town, on the other hand- of which there are plenty- feel they are gonna win the whole damn thing.

I’ve seen more Croatian Checkerboards than German flags this AM then ever before.

Will be a fun day.

I don’t expect the Croatians to do squat.

My dad told me that the Croats ran their own Concentration Camps during WWII without any German oversight. They were happy to contribute to the process, so it is understandable that there would be a sizable Croat community there. 

Regarding Germany’s lack of excitement, ESPN has an article about Kimmich, his excitement, and the lack of excitement back in Germany…

Germany's Joshua Kimmich: No 'real joy' for World Cup at home

Germany midfielder Joshua Kimmich said his "childhood dream" of playing in a World Cup is being tainted by the constant criticism directed at hosts Qatar from his country, while adding there is no 'real joy' in his home country for the 2022 tournament.

"I would like to be able to look forward to a World Cup, even if it takes place here," Kimmich said Tuesday before Germany's opening game against Japan the next day. "It's a huge dream for all of us, we're all on fire. We all want to play a good tournament, we all want to win tomorrow and yes, it's not our fault where the World Cup takes place."

Kimmich also talked about the general atmosphere in Germany, where there are none of the usual huge outdoor fan parties and where hundreds of pubs and bars are boycotting the tournament in protest. There are few flags flying from balconies or car windows, and little sign of any enthusiasm for the event.

"I don't feel like there's any real joy there," Kimmich added.

Germany's buildup to the tournament in Qatar has been overshadowed by fan protests at home, political statements and calls to boycott the tournament over human rights issues including the treatment of migrant workers and members of the LGBTQ community in the oil and gas-rich Persian Gulf nation.

Kimmich, who has never suggested the complaints or grievances were in any way misplaced, previously said the protests were 12 years too late in reference to FIFA's 2010 decision to award the game's most important tournament to Qatar.

The 27-year-old Bayern Munich midfielder repeated that point on Tuesday.

"We've talked a lot about the fact the World Cup was awarded here. That was 12 years ago, when I was 15, and now I somehow always have to comment on it. I don't know if it's always justified," he said.

Germany's Joshua Kimmich speaks to the media ahead of his team's World Cup match against Japan. Getty Images

Kimmich said he did think it was important players speak out against problems and grievances.

"But we also have to manage this balancing act of focusing on the sporting side," Kimmich said. "I mean regardless of where the World Cup is taking place, it's a World Cup, it's the biggest competition for us footballers there is.

"It's a huge childhood dream to play tomorrow and yet somehow I have the feeling that it's always being talked down a bit or that you can't really look forward to it."

Meanwhile, Kimmich's manager with the Germany team, Hansi Flick, praised the quality of Japanese football ahead of their World Cup Group E clash on Wednesday but said he is confident about his team's preparations for the tournament…


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Yeah, the political angle has been really, really front-and-center here, which has surely been felt by the players. Their biggest sponsor, Rewe Supermarkets, just now pulled sponsorship yesterday over the armband issue, so lots of distractions and unwanted interviews/attention for the players.


I don't know how the coverage has been on Fox in the US has been, but here on ZDF it has literally been:


Pregame = Reports on human rights violations;

Opening kick until halftime = game coverage

Halftime = Reports on human rights violations

End of half through extra time = game coverage

Postgame = Reports on human rights violations


And that's not to blame ZDF...fuck FIFA for allowing this shitshow to occur.


But that said, yeah, there are a ton of Croats in Munich...around 60k total. Around 300k in Southern Germany alone. 


And yeah, they ran their own shit. von Horstenau sent a note to Heinrich Himmler (yeah, thaatttt Himler) saying, "Gottttt damn, these Croats are fucking ruthless. Their concentration camps are not nearly as civilized as the extermination sytem you built, Heinrich."


Wild shit. Lord help us all if the Serbs and Croats somehow meet up in this one.

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16 minutes ago, Hagbard Celine said:

nippon will have to open up now

For having 11 men behind the ball, they have been open from the beginning.  Their defense is like 5 yos on amphetamines.  Multiple lines and crazy marking setups.

Ok, how could the AR not flag Havvertz there?

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8 minutes ago, DanTheHorn said:

Because big teams have been getting away with those calls for decades. Including the mano de dios. I am loving these reviews until I don't when it affects one of my teams.

I just assumed he was holding it down to see the result of the play before raising it.  But considering how clear his sight line was and the fact that Havertz only half assed celebrated it seemed odd.  

Subjective calls (fouls) have always been suspect and will be as long as human refs exist.  Offsides with VAR have normally pretty cut and dry.

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3 minutes ago, DanTheHorn said:

I had never seen Musiala play. The kid can move with the ball on his feet. Keeps it close so even in traffic folks can't get to it. Good vision too. His shooting is still a little wild at least so far.

Yep, seems just a matter of time with him. A lot of fun to watch 


"Musiala is a prime example of what we like to call a 'needle player' -- a player who carries the ball through small gaps and tight spaces in-between multiple opponents. His technique, but especially his agility and quick decision-making, allow him to do that like not many others," says tactical analyst and coach Martin Rafelt.


Musiala may very well be the most gifted pocket footballer in the world alongside Barcelona and Spain midfielder Pedri. The clash between the two heavyweights on Sunday could be epic. But while Pedri is widely admired in Spain, Musiala is still underrated in some fan circles at home. One reporter recently noted that Germany's football has been predominantly about counter-pressing and intensity in the past decade and that a skinny teenager with light feet contradicts a belief system.

"A playing style like Musiala's is often regarded as too risky, but it's immensely valuable to break down compact defenses, especially to do that quickly and frequently without the need of being extremely patient," Rafelt explains. For decades, Germany's style of football has revolved around passing. The World Cup-winning teams of 1974, 1990 and 2014 all relied heavily on precise and intelligent passes, while dribbles were much less prominent. Musiala embodies a more provocative style in that he purposely moves into heavily covered areas and takes on one or even two opponents.

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