Germany lack a footballing identity, admits Sammer


Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer has claimed that Germany lack a true footballing identity.

Die Mannschaft have not won a major trophy since Euro 1996 campaign, and the former sweeper is struggling to characterise German football when compared to fellow contemporaries such as Spain and Italy.

“Do Germany actually have a footballing identity at the moment? Apart from saying we’ve got some good lads coming through? I don’t see one. Right now, I can’t really define our football,” Sammer told reporters.

“You can define Spain, Italy and some other nations, but I’m having problems with Germany. What do we stand for?

“At the moment it’s for good young players, but overall, we could restart work on our footballing identity, because we should always look reality straight in the eye.

“I think we’re heading in a very good direction, but we still need the courage to keep working on what it means.

“Obviously, we have to take note of a couple of facts. With the exception of youth teams, it’s a while since we’ve won an international trophy.”

Germany were beaten 3-1 by Argentina in Wednesday’s international friendly.

Martinez set for record-breaking move to Bayern Munich


Javi Martinez is set to complete a €40m move to Bayern Munich, Goal.com can confirm.

The Spain international has long been linked with a move to the Allianz Arena, with the Bavarians looking to bolster their midfield options ahead of the start of the new season.

The transfer was triggered after Bayern activated a €40m buy-out clause in Martinez’s contract, despite Die Roten apparently being reluctant to meet the fee – a German transfer record.

It appears that Martinez was keen on the move being finalised however, as under the terms of the deal he will allegedly give up €2m of his annual salary.

The versatile 23 year-old, who can play either as a central midfielder or defender, will sign a five-year contract, meaning he stands to lose €10m overall.

Bayern have already added Claudio Pizarro, Mario Mandzukic and Xherdan Shaqiri to their ranks this summer, as they look to wrestle the Bundesliga title from Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern were also hoping to sign Bayer Leverkusen midfieler Lars Bender during the summer transfer window, only for both player and club to rebuff their advances.

Staudt accuses Hoeness of 'throwing the hammer' at Mario Gomez


Erwin Staudt has slammed Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness’ criticism of Germany striker Mario Gomez,

Hoeness had earlier questioned the 27-year-old’s ability, claiming that if he was as good as his reputation suggested, Jupp Hyenckes men would have already succeeded in lifting the Champions League.

Former Stuttgart chairman Staudt, whom Gomez had previously won the Bundesliga with in 2006-07, insisted such hardline methods of motivation were unnecessary.

“We all know Gomez’s potential,” blasted Staudt to TZ. “Throwing the hammer at him is needless and unnecessary, to say the least.”

“Yes, it admittedly might be a newer form of motivation aimed at spurring him on, but Mario is a really good guy who knows what he’s got.”

Gomez suffered a recurrence of an ankle injury in the Liga Total! Cup against Werder Bremen and is expected to be out for up to eight weeks.

Vogts: Germany were the best team at Euro 2012


Berti Vogts has leaped forward in defence of beleaguered Germany manager Joachim Low, after the latter was criticised following his failure to guide the vaunted Die Mannschaft beyond the semi-finals of Euro 2012.

The current Azerbaijan national team coach led his country in a fruitful eight-year period that lasted from 1990 to 1998, which culminated in a Jurgen Klinsmann-inspired Germany clinching the 1996 European Finals.

And Vogts, 65, has praised the courage of both his former charge and current manager Low in their efforts to pioneer a new era for Germany, although admitting work still needs to be done.

“Even after he [Low] walks on water, his critics always find a way to remind him he can’t swim,” sighed the former Borussia Monchengladbach defender to German publication WAZ. “Thanks to him, we have a generation of players that plays very elegantly.”

“Everything both he and Klinsmann have done should be honoured. Discussions about his suitability for the Germany job should never have arisen. We were the best team of Euro 2012 until the last hurdle.

“We should have made it to the final, but we made things too easy for the Italians. Approaching the World Cup in Brazil, I’d put us at only about 80 percent readiness, but our players would already have learnt something from this competition.”

Bundesliga runners-up Bayern Munich defeated champions Borussia Dortmund on Sunday during the German Supercup, and Vogts has tipped a close fight for this season’s title.

“Jupp Heynckes and Matthias Sammer at Bayern make for a great pairing, while Jurgen Klopp is the father of Dortmund’s success, helped along by general manager [Hans-Joachim] Watzke’s presence.

“Both will battle it out for the championship, though it will no longer be so easy for Dortmund. Don’t expect it to be anymore the case when Dortmund beat Bayern three times in one season.”

Klopp overcame counterpart Heynckes twice in the league the previous season, before ousting the Bavarian giants further in the DFB-Pokal final.

Dortmund will make life difficult for Bayern, says Hitzfeld


Ottmar Hitzfeld has voiced his opinion that Borussia Dortmund will prove to be Bayern Munich‘s biggest rival in the 2012-13 campaign.

The Bavarians are desperate to secure the Bundesliga title this season after being beaten by Dortmund to top spot in the past two years, but the legendary trainer has insisted that it will not be easy for die Roten to dominate again.

“The race for the Bundesliga title will go between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund again. These two teams have the most potential and have very strong teams,” Hitzfeld stated to Sky Sport News.

“Dortmund’s squad has not changed much. They brought in [Marco] Reus for [Shinji] Kagawa, and Lucas Barrios left the club.

“I believe that the signing of Reus was a great deal, though. And that is one of the reasons why Dortmund will make life difficult for Bayern once more this season.”

Bayern beat Dortmund 2-1 in the DFL-Supercup at the weekend to end their five-match losing streak against Jurgen Klopp’s men.