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OLIVER HOLT: It could be arduous to simply accept that Germany are also-rans, however the proof is mounting


OLIVER HOLT: Antonio Rudiger stood frozen in SHOCK having been showboating not lengthy earlier than… it could be arduous to simply accept that Germany have turn into also-rans, however the proof is mounting

When the ultimate whistle went, Antonio Rudiger, the defender many people have come to affiliate with fashionable German indomitability, stood rooted to the spot contained in the Japan space.

The Japan gamers celebrated throughout him and nonetheless Rudiger stayed there, frozen by the shock of what had occurred. Not lengthy earlier than, he had been galloping down the wing, showboating as he shepherded a ball out, making a play of how simple he had discovered it to outpace his Japanese opponent. Now, he was not feeling fairly so assured. Now, Germany had turn into the second giantkilling sufferer in as many days.

Perhaps the shock of their defeat by this completed Japan aspect didn’t carry fairly the seismic really feel of Argentina’s loss to Saudi Arabia the day earlier than. Even when the introduction of Mario Gotze as a second-half substitute was a reminder of previous glories, Germany will not be what they was once. They didn’t come right here as one of many favourites, and after they departed for Doha final week, it was in opposition to a background of indifference.

Germany had been surprised on Wednesday as Japan got here from behind to beat them 2-1

Antonio Rudiger looked shocked as the Japan players celebrated their late winner

Antonio Rudiger seemed shocked because the Japan gamers celebrated their late winner

The Real Madrid defender had been showboating just minutes before his side imploded

The Actual Madrid defender had been showboating simply minutes earlier than his aspect imploded

This, remember, is a Germany aspect who had been dismissed with relative ease by England within the Euros final 12 months.

On the final World Cup, Germany had been eradicated within the opening stage for the primary time since 1938. They misplaced their first recreation 4 years in the past, too, to Mexico, earlier than falling to South Korea.

These of us introduced up on the success of West Germany and Germany, typically at England’s expense, could also be discovering it arduous to simply accept they’re now also-rans, however the proof is mounting. For a lot of this match, they seemed uninteresting, flat and drained. They had been over-reliant on the short ft and sensible mind of Jamal Musiala, however when his improvisation dried up, they provided little or no.

The result leaves Germany's chances of reaching the knockout stages hanging by a thread

The outcome leaves Germany’s possibilities of reaching the knockout levels hanging by a thread

They are a team in decline,  struggling to move on from their 2014 World Cup success

They’re a staff in decline,  struggling to maneuver on from their 2014 World Cup success

Germany dominated possession however ran out of concepts the longer the sport went on. It’s a signal, maybe, of how they’re struggling to maneuver on from previous greatness that Thomas Muller continues to be a stalwart of the aspect aged 33 and Gotze, who has by no means recaptured the shape he confirmed on the 2014 World Cup, continues to be hanging across the fringes.

A minimum of Germany received one victory, even when it was earlier than kick-off.

In distinction to England’s weak response to being threatened with sporting penalties by Fifa if Harry Kane wore a OneLove armband, the Germany gamers posed for a photograph earlier than the sport with palms over their mouths to suggest they’d been gagged.

Their protest could have embarrassed the petty tyrants at FIFA, who pay lip-service to variety however have accomplished all the pieces they’ll to stifle it at this event.

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