Bastian Schweinsteiger injury and 'mole' in the camp mar German advance at Euro 2012

 

A nagging ankle problem for Bastian Schweinsteiger and the continuing issue of a mole in the camp have cast a small shadow over Germany's preparations for their Euro 2012 semi-final in Warsaw on Thursday.

Experienced holding midfielder Schweinsteiger has missed some training sessions in the past few days due to an ankle injury picked up earlier in the year and his performance in the tournament has so far been below expectations.

"He has a problem and obviously it is best when no player has a problem," the Germany captain Philipp Lahm said. "It is OK when you miss a training session but when you need to sit out several then it is not that easy."

"But I am not too concerned. Bastian knows his body inside out, he is experienced and he will be able to deliver on Thursday."

"We need fit players, so much is clear," said Lahm when asked whether Schweinsteiger would play even if not fully fit. "We cannot have three or four per cent missing. We have depth in the squad and that gives you peace of mind. But clearly it would be good if Bastian Schweinsteiger could play on Thursday."

Germany made four changes to their line-up for their 4-2 quarter-final win over Greece on Friday from the side that started their final group game against Denmark but looked even sharper.

Preparations for their fourth straight semi-final in a major tournament have also been hit by revelations that a mole has been leaking the line-ups for group games and their quarter-final match against Greece to the media hours before the start.

The Germany coach, Joachim Löw, has said it was none of his players but did not rule out the possibility that the "Deep Throat" could be someone they talked to, from friends and wives to maybe agents.

Lahm said the issue had again been raised with the players and that the culprit was causing some damage.

"Everyone should be aware that it is normal for a player to tell his wife, girlfriend or agent whether they will play once they find out but you cannot reveal the line-up."

"It is sad when this thing comes out. The whole nation is behind us and it is not an advantage when it is leaked hours before. The one who released it has a problem. He has not understood how this works.

"But we will not deploy a spy," he said. "There is a lot of quality in our squad. We have a lot of depth and that is a calming feeling ahead of the semi-finals.

"All 23 players are important. It's good to know that even those who have not played for a while are able to come in and show their international class in a quarterfinal."

After failing to come out of the group stage at the 2004 European Championship in Portugal, the Germans have made impressive progress, first under Jürgen Klinsmann and then former assistant and successor Löw.

Germany were third at the 2006 World Cup at home, lost the Euro 2008 final to Spain and finished third again at the 2010 World Cup, when they lost to Spain again in the semi-finals. Since then, Germany have won all 15 competitive matches they have played. Their seventh semi-final of a European Championship is a record.

"The team has evolved very well. No team here has won four games. We want to go to Kiev [for final]," Lahm said.

For all its consistency, the Germans have not won a title since Euro 1996, which was their third continental trophy.

"We worked hard in the past weeks and we want to go to the final and win the title. That was our aim before the tournament and it hasn't changed," Lahm said.

Löw changed his entire three-man forward line in the quarter-final against Greece, bucking the "never change a winning team" wisdom. It worked like a dream, with two of the new men, Miroslav Klose and Marco Reus, scoring in the 4-2 win in Gdansk.

"We have a top squad but every player has to prove himself anew all the time and the coach then has all options open. It's normal that those who did not play are disappointed not to have been in a quarterfinal, it would be bad if that were not the case," Lahm said.

"But they know that on Thursday things could be very different again. The important thing that is the coach can rely on all players and that is the case now. The internal competition for a place in the starting line-up is great. But all of those who play must produce a good performance, that is important."

 

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried