Paul Parker: Spain can learn from Germany
Our analyst tells GARY LIM the defending champions should revert to the 'false No. 9' system that served them well at the last World Cup
Despite missing Lars Bender, Marco Reus and Marcel Schmelzer (injured), and Bastian Schweinsteiger (unused substitute), Germany still beat Portugal effortlessly, didn't they?
PARKER: The first thing you notice about Germany when you look at their squad is their strength in depth.
Despite missing several good players, they controlled the game from the get-go.
They didn't rely on one player, the way Portugal pinned all their hopes on Cristiano Ronaldo.
They kept the ball well and almost never gave it away unnecessarily.
They played as a unit.
Portugal simply gave the ball to Ronaldo every time they could.
This was a very good performance by the Germans, although they had some decisions from the referee going their way, too.
But, overall, they fully deserved their win over Portugal.
Germany played without an out-and-out striker, and yet Thomas Mueller, playing in a "false No. 9" role, scored a hat-trick. Is there something that the Spaniards can learn from the Germans?
Germany didn't operate with a No. 9, and that didn't stop them from playing extremely well against Portugal.
Spain have played with a false No. 9 before too, and it worked well for them.
I thought Vicente del Bosque's decision to play Diego Costa against Holland was ludicrous.
He was carrying an injury and struggled to finish Atletico Madrid's league season, so why did he think that he can play well in this World Cup?
He's not the Spanish type of player, and the role that del Bosque gave him didn't suit the team's style.
I wasn't shocked by how poorly he fared against Holland, and even less surprised when he was substituted early in the second half.
Costa is like an old British centre forward such as Steve Bull, who played for England more than 20 years ago.
Spain are all about technique and skills. Costa is more about bravery and strength. He's not the man Spain need.
Were you appalled by Pepe's head butt on Mueller, resulting in his sending-off?
Pepe had a good season with Real Madrid, but this morning left his international teammates in the lurch.
From the start, he was getting into the referee's face and questioning his every decision.
As for the red-card incident, Mueller made a meal out of it but, when you shove your hand into an opponent's face like that, you make it easy for the referee.
Maybe the game was not over at that point, because Portugal certainly have the players to score a goal to get back into the game.
But, once Portugal went down to 10 men, they didn't stand a chance because they were never defensively solid to begin with.
The question now is, will the coach retain his trust in Pepe and play him when he returns from suspension?
In previous major tournaments, Germany always seemed to start well but couldn't go all the way. Do you reckon they can last the distance this time around?
Mueller gives them the cutting edge, and they have got the great start that they've dreamed of.
Everyone is now waiting to see if they can really pull it off this time.
You expect them to go into the second round now, and then the Round of 16 and the quarter-finals.
It's the semis and final that they have to learn how to negotiate, and you would think that the coach, Joachim Loew, will have a problem if he doesn't lead them to victory at this World Cup.
They certainly look very impressive and they have a real chance.
- Paul Parker is a former England and Manchester United defender who won two EPL titles and earned 19 caps for his country.
It’s the semis and the final that (Germany) have to learn how to negotiate... They certainly look very impressive and they have a real chance (of winning).
— Paul Parker