England V Germany: English Media Cranks Up War Machine

Paul Sorene

25th, June 2010


Paul Sorene

TWO days to go until the Germans call on England in the World Cup und ve are gearing ups furhrer die contest… Gawd. It’s contagious. But before we strafe the passersby with imaginary ack-ack fire and sing about ten German bombers with arms outstretched, the Sun announces on its front page:


Inside and:

“Das boots is on the other foot”

News is that during practice England have a higher success rate in scoring penalties than the Germans:

England: 80.6% scored
Germans: 79.3% scored

The Sun says:

“It means fans should not be too nervous” should the match go to penalties.

The Sun has lost its mind. And to further put English minds at rest, Jermaine Defoe says he is ready to take a spot kick. This is the same Defoe who has missed six out his least 11 penalties for Spurs. And, no, none of those were in the white heat of a World Cup match with Germany.

World Cup: Germany Face England And Her Media War Machine – News Round-Up

Take a pill, In-ger-landers. But look out. Das Ist Var! The Star says Franz Beckenbauer “declares war” on England. Der Kaiser says Germans have nothing to fear from “our friends from the island”.

The Star has more:

“Ze Hun are big on fun”

The paper says that Germans “really are fun”.

England V Germany In Pictures: A History Of World Cup Rivals

And at time are they are no more fun than when the British tabloid press is cranking up the jingoism ahead of a football match. Should there be any afters, the tabloid press will talk of England’s shame. But for now, let’s get at zat master race.

The Mirror employs Professor Pete Beck to say:

“Whenever England and Germany meet in sporting clashes, it’s built up as a re-enactment of the world wars – mixed in with a replay of the 1966 World Cup final.”

Prescient stuff from the professor of football-ology, readers.

But wait a moment. The Germans aren‘t really Germans. They might even be less German than the English team. The Mail says:

To long-suffering England fans, Germany’s footballers are an all-too familiar foe. But the side that the Three Lions will face in Sunday’s World Cup clash is anything but representative of the old Germany.

In fact, many of them wouldn’t have even been able to play for the three-times World Cup winners, until a recent change in the country’s strict citizenship laws.

A pox on those laws! What is the world coming to when you can’t even rely on the Germans to be xenophobic?!

To help Englanders and neo–Nazis best understand who the real Germans are the Mail highlights the arrivals:

Under strict citizenship laws dating back to 1913 and the reign of Kaiser Wilhelm II, only children born in Germany to parents who were both Germans themselves could be considered German.

At the time Germany was in a frenzy of nationalism as it armed in preparation for the First World War.

They were not repealed until 1999 as Germany – mindful of having the most dramatically declining birthrate in the world – finally made it easier to become a citizen of the Fatherland.

Which means a tolerant and free Germany can now field:

Serdar Tasci (Turkish parents), Mario Gomez (Spanish dad), Boateng (Ghanain dad), Aogo (Nigerian dad), Klose (born in Poland), Podolski (born in Poland), Trochowski (born in Poland), Marin (born in bosnia) and Cacau (born in Brazil).

Sheesh! Those Germans. What with them being enlightened and, well, nice, where does England look to for arcane, stereotypical images of Teutonic superiority? Meanwhile, in the tabloids.

England V Germany In Pictures: A History Of World Cup Rivals


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Not England's finest hour and a half - 1938 and all that

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  1. […] Tackle looks at how the English press are keeping the match against Germany in proper proportion. Spread The Spurs […]

  2. Nick says:

    Great article, really enjoyed it

  3. Chimpo says:

    i think you’ll find the headline is “Germans wurst at penalties”. You missed the all-important Sun Pun

    But agree, I read that article and almost wept.

  4. Addick Simmo says:

    Typical of the gutter press……And how many England players are descended from these shores ?….I think any Neo-Nazi should think before engaging in anti foreign crap.

  5. arseman says:

    Reminds me of this gem in the Guardian during the 2006 tournament “Frings goes from Baden-Baden to Wurst”

  6. kritter says:

    Funny how the civilized English often end up looking more banal and intolerant than the “Nazis” they choose to poke fun at.

    The English press is truly a wonder.

  7. ma77 says:

    Tabloids might speculate with the fact that:
    A German referee (Stark) will blow the URU – KOR and the day after a uruguayan one (Larrionda) will do the ENG-GER…sounds dirty to me….

  8. Montesquieu says:

    Ah the Sun, embarrassing Brits for the last thirty years.

  9. anna says:

    That Daily Mail article about German citizenship laws must be one of the worst researched articles I’ve read in the last 10 years or so. Now, I don’t know about 1913, but you most certainly did NOT have to have two German parents to be considered German back in, say, 1990. Neither did you need to have been born in Germany. Gomez, Boateng, Aogo and Khedira have all been German citizens from birth and Klose and Podolski got their German passports once they moved to Germany with their families (they’re “Spätaussiedler”, ethnic Germans). Trochowski, Özil, Tasci and Marin would have been awarded German citizenship before the law change as well, the procedure might just have been a little more complicated. Same goes for Cacau, though his case obviously is a bit different, since he’s the only one who didn’t grow up in Germany.

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