International friendlies - Paper Round: England improve, Germany still far better

Steve Gerrard was right - England have improved since 2010 - but today's newspapers point out that Germany have also progressed since then.

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International friendlies - Paper Round: England improve, Germany still far better
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Oliver Holt in the Daily Mirror: "This England, Steven Gerrard said, is a better team than the one that lost 4-1 to Germany three years ago. He is right about that. The England side that was humiliated in that World Cup second round tie in Bloemfontein was a miserable, dishevelled mess. They had been demoralised and mishandled by Fabio Capello and had stumbled from one shambles to another in South Africa. So, yes, we’re better than that now. The problem is, so are the Germans. In fact, the evidence suggests they have improved more than us."

Matt Barlow in the Daily Mail: "Apart from the traffic, the Germans simply adore it in London — and who can blame them? They have taken to travelling around on the Tube and have not lost in the city for nearly four decades. Neither have their reserves. They will be applying for Oyster cards next. Sadly for England there is little consolation in this defeat. They have been humbled again by their old rivals and failed to score a goal in 180 minutes at Wembley. They escaped the sort of embarrassment suffered in Bloemfontein but were beaten by a team which would be flattered to be considered Germany’s second string."

Daniel Taylor in The Guardian: "Again, England suffered the ignominy of being booed inside their own stadium. They had lost for the second time in five days and when the shortcomings are this obvious, with the World Cup draw just round the corner, the only possible consolation can be that nobody surely will be foolish enough to heap unrealistic expectations on this team. Germany, like Chile, simply reminded everyone about the standard of opposition in England's qualifying programme. Joachim Löw's team did not even have to play particularly well, with their manager acknowledging afterwards he was not fully satisfied. Yet Germany could lope through the match and still expose some old failings in their opponents."

Matt Dickinson in The Times: "As if we have not tortured ourselves enough about German excellence, and our endless, despairing game of catch-up with the old enemy, this was another occasion to wonder when we will ever close the gap. Steven Gerrard had said on the eve of the game that England had improved since the defensive collapse of Fabio Capello’s team at the World Cup finals in South Africa, yet the evidence of last night, and all other available signs, is that any gains made by the Three Lions have been more than matched by the Mannschaft."

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Paul Hayward in the Daily Telegraph: "Germany’s green shirts were the colour of English envy. Their B-team were too good for England’s A-side in this “time-honoured place,” as the victorious coach, Joachim Löw, called Wembley, before leaving London annoyed that their win had not been more emphatic. Unfailingly diplomatic in public, the Nationalmannschaft must punch the air in their hotel rooms to see their enemy so envious of the German system, which features triple-strength in every position and the humility to take the Tube to Wembley for training."

Sam Wallace in The Independent: "While Europe came alive with Cristiano Ronaldo's heroics in Stockholm and France's great comeback in Paris, so Wembley muttered and grumbled as a familiar plot-line unfolded involving England and those obdurate chaps they call Die Nationalmannschaft. The Germany squad had shown a laid-back, more easy-going side by taking the tube to Wembley for their training session there on Monday evening. Tonight they were back in character. Well-organised, defensively-sound and capable of scoring the crucial goal, albeit without the spark they have shown in recent years. They had lots of players missing but, well, they got the job done."

Paul Joyce in the Daily Express: For the first time in 36 years Wembley has witnessed successive English defeats though, as Roy Hodgson had argued, it is not the results which have mattered over the past five days. That he could not find too much comfort in this performance, coming so soon after the dispiriting defeat to Chile on Friday, will be far more worrying for the national coach in what was the penultimate friendly before he selects his provisional World Cup squad."

Paul Brown in the Daily Star: "England slumped to a 1-0 defeat against old rivals Germany and in the process lost successive home games at Wembley for the first time in 36 years. The defeat was not as comprehensive as Friday’s 2-0 loss to Chile, but it shows just how far the Three Lions have got to progress to make any sort of impact at the World Cup in Brazil next summer."

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