Tomorrow sees two of Europe’s biggest footballing nations collide in an epic showdown that is sure to be heavy on drama and light on compassion. Yet, while Portugal plays Sweden, another footballing kerfuffle will be occurring hundreds of miles from Sweden’s Friends Arena. A small meeting between England and Germany awaits at Wembley on Tuesday. It is the first time these two teams have played each other since I moved to Germany and to be honest, I’m not particularly looking forward to it. I have no problem seeing my team lose, but I’m certainly no masochist. Last time this fixture was played, in 2010, England suffered one of the heaviest defeats at an international tournament. I’m not sure my fragile psyche can take another pummelling. Of equal worry is the inevitable crowing, should Germany win, of the German fair weather football fan who always seems to appear at times like this. These men and women don’t fully understand football, but seem to like painting their faces in the teams colours and parading around as if they had scored all the goals themselves. Luckily for me, most of the Bayern fans will be in Munich on Tuesday, so hopefully I won’t meet any.
However, knowing that the current Germany team is packed to the rafters with world-class talent and will be odds on favourites to win on Tuesday night, I have decided to resort to one of England’s and Britain’s most trusted tactics. When in doubt, cheat. From inflatable munitions, to fire boats or simply sneaking up behind our enemies and pushing them over, Britain has always relied heavily on the sneaky as opposed to the honourable. So, with this in mind, I present a three point point plan to beat the Germans.
Point 1: Hide the bread
In these times of healthy eating, nutritionists and sports science, what a sports-person ingests before an event can have a dramatic impact on performance. Although bread might seem the wrong choice of the elite athlete, I know Germans will not travel without access to a range of baked goods. Just as a British person is shocked and saddened to find no kettle or biscuit selection in a hotel room, so the German is distressed to learn that some countries don’t even eat pretzels. This is why both nationalities will journey with travel sized equivalents. British people have small kettles, Germans have carefully baked miniature loaves about their person. In order for point 1 of my dastardly plan to succeed, we will need the help of the hotel staff at Germany’s five star hotel in London. Simply, the plan is to steal all the bread, or at least the German bread. Once robbed of their Volkorn Brot or whatever else, the German national team will have no choice but to resort to eating the British replacements to feed their bready addiction. A breakfast of white bread and perhaps some carefully placed tea cakes and Germany will no longer be the well oiled machine we have come to fear. Instead they will be sluggish and lethargic and possibly delirious from so many E numbers.
Point 2: Fashion Disaster
For those of you from Munich or others who don’t quite understand football, Germany is managed by one Joachim “Jogi” Löw. Although not renowned for his glittering footballing career, Löw has found the top job in Germany a rather comfortable experience. Although he is yet to win a title, he does often walk away with many football fan’s best dressed awards. His sartorial perfection is often spoken about, as he strides along the touchline in a variety of swanky looking outfits. Having observed this for many years, I have come to the conclusion that Löw gains some super secret power from his fine garments. Sure you might say its years of patient hard work, but I’m more inclined to say it’s his shoes. The next step of my plan is fairly straight forward. While the Germany squad is reeling form the terrible news about the bread, someone sneaks upstairs and steals all Löw swish clobber. This will force him into a mad dash to the local Primark to purchase replacements. In turn, without the undeniable power of fashion, Löw will cut a forlorn figure as he mumbles his way through this team talk, while attempting to adjust to the oversized acid wash jeans he has been forced to wear.
Point 3: Sleep Deprivation
As many England fans know, there are a number of factors that make watching our international team slightly unbearable; The potential for some kind of terrible mistake that sees us go 1-0 down within the first five minutes and Andy Townsend’s constant yammering areobviously odorous. However,neither equal the horror of hearing the England supporters brass band parping its way through ‘God Save the Queen’ every two and a half minutes. As monstrous as they are, it is perhaps time to use them to our advantage. What I suggest as point 3 is perhaps complex, but worthy of consideration. We surreptitiously deposit the overweight lads with trombones in the ceiling cavity of the Germans hotel. At a prearranged time, they begin to play whatever drawl they choose on a loop for the next sixteen hours. When the team inevitably complain to the hotel management about the incessant rasp of brass, everyone claims not to hear anything. Like the musical equivalent of Chinese water torture, the Germany team will be slowly driven mad through lack of sleep and continuous renditions of ‘The Great Escape’ theme tune.
I’ve mailed this off to the English FA, so don’t be too surprised to see a dishevelled Löw take to the field in an ill fitting and badly judged collaboration of cheap clothes. The sight of bloated German players, yawing and lazily attempting challenges will also not come as a surprise. Finally, when the England band strike up a rousing rendition of ‘Come on England’, don’t be shocked when several German players curl up in the fetal position and begin to cry. With this plan in place, I’m more than sure we will only lose by two or three goals.