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Euro 2012: Joachim Loew wary of resurgent England

GDANSK: Fresh from victory in the Euro 2012quarterfinal, Germany coach Joachim Loewwarned that England could be a tough nut to crack if the old rivals meet in the semifinals.

Loew’s attractive attacking side, who beatGreece 4-2 here in Friday’s quarterfinal, will play their semifinal on June 28 in the Polish capital Warsaw against the winners of Sunday’s clash between England and Italy.

In their last meeting, in the round of 16 at the 2010 World Cup, Germany crushed England 4-1.

But Loew warned that they are no longer the same team.

“England is much better under Roy Hodgson than in 2010. They are much better organised. They counter-attack fast,” he said.

“Back then, England were motivated. England are now much more organised. In a short space of time – and he’s known for this – Roy Hodgson has built a really good, compact team, and a team ready for their opponents.”

“They’re not so open any more, they’re not so divided as they were in 2010. Now they really play as a team.

“They’re tactically much better than in 2010,” he added.

Italy are likewise no longer the same team that tumbled out of the 2010 World Cup group stage – the first time a defending world champion had exited so early – Loew underlined.

“They are very good at the back, they can play very well. They are very organised, they have very, very fast, dangerous players up front, very dangerous on the counter-attack,” he said.

While Germany are seen as strong candidates to win Euro 2012, Loew insisted there were no such things as favourites once a tournament reached the last four.

“All the teams who will be in the semifinal will have a chance for the title,” he said.

“There will be four teams in the semifinals that will be at a very, very high level, all about the same level.

“We know that in games like this, just small, small little things can decide a game, so you can’t really allow yourselves to make any mistakes.”

Germany are the second nation to claim a berth in the last four, after Portugal beat the Czech Republic 1-0 on Thursday in Warsaw.

“Portugal are now in the semifinals, they’ve got much better. I think Spain have a good chance, although of course France also has a lot of quality, and then we’ll have to see whether it’s England or Italy,” Loew.

“There’s a lot of nations with a lot of experience. You can’t really differentiate between the teams at this level.”

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Posted by on Jun 23 2012. Filed under Sports News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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