By Oliver Trust
BERLIN June, 14 (Xinhua) -- Things have changed in Germany's "Nationalmannschaft". Some say the changes made are dramatic. Prior to their opening Group G match against Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal (CR7) on Monday, less and less seems like it was in bygone days.
German coach Joachim Loew has not only installed new tactics and radically changed their style - less open - but he is also emphasizing the fact that some of his stars may well have to stay patient "lying on ambush" on the substitutes' bench.
GERMAN STARS ON THE BENCH?
Stars like Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Goetze (both Bayern Munich) or Andre Schuerrle (Chelsea) and even Miroslav Klose (Lazio Rom), the only recognized striker, might be effected by Loew's new rotation policy and feel the pain of being left out.
"To make it clear, we have 23 highly skilled squad members. Ok, put another way, we've got a starting 14. But what counts is that we need them on high alert at all times. They have to be ready for action every minute and every second," Loew said.
"Luckily enough we'll have some possibilities during the game and it's vital if we are to win matches at the World Cup in Brazil," pointed out the head coach, who continued, "If matches are all-square, the players have to come on, make all the difference and turn the game around. Call them "Special-Forces".
Loew additionally has dealt with flood of injuries to his players that have disrupted his preparations, "You don't win the World Cup with your starting eleven."
MORE HARD-NOSED STYLE
Loew has said that he finds "it difficult to understand the discussions going on about tactics and the false nine."
In today's football you need to be flexible. But there is a whole lot more on Loew's mind. Playing in Brazil and playing such a brilliant counter-attacking side like Portugal, the 53-year-old German wants to have a greater control of the game.
Loew abandoned the care-free offensive style after the disastrous Euro 2012 defeat in the semifinal against Italy after recognizing that he had chosen the wrong tactics. Germany's play in Brazil is therefore expected to be less artistic but more effective and hard-nosed.
Against Portugal, he will start with four specialist central defenders. "For any goalie that's a dream," said former world-class keeper Oliver Kahn.
Loew's move helps to shut all the doors at the back. After conceding ten goals, the Germans had the worst statistics of all the group winners in qualifying. It has forced Loew to rethink his defensive strategy. In front of keeper Manuel Neuer will be Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund) and Benedikt Hoewedes (Schalke 04). Boateng will focus on Ronaldo but has already asked for help: "I can't stop him alone."