Football: Vogts reads riot act to lifeless Germans

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BERTI VOGTS, the German coach, has warned his players that if they continue playing 'lifeless football' they have no chance of retaining the World Cup. Vogts made the attack during a stormy team talk to discuss the disappointing performances in a 1-0 victory over Bolivia and a 1-1 draw with Spain.

Vogts said he had raised his voice at the meeting to stop the dissent which has emerged in the German camp. 'I got loud. We need more from every player, from the goalkeeper to the No 22 in the squad,' he said.

'I told the players not to point their fingers at others, and to look at their own mistakes. We need to get the right attitude. There was a good discussion. It was all like a thunderstorm. If we go on playing lifeless football we have no chance of winning the World Cup.'

After the draw with Spain, Thomas Berthold caused a storm when he said his team's performances had been 'terrible'. Rather than being annoyed, Vogts said he hoped the defender's comments would wake up the team.

'If he is not happy, there is nothing wrong with him saying it. It hasn't threatened my authority, quite the opposite,' Vogts said. 'I think it is good what he said.'

Berthold had also said that Lothar Matthaus was 'wasted' as a libero and should be returned to midfield to bring some fire back into the team. Vogts said that Matthaus would remain in his libero role but said he needed to get forward more.

Matthaus said: 'I told the trainer two or three weeks ago that if there is a problem in midfield I am happy to talk to him about it. But I don't see a problem when all the midfielders produce what they can do.'