Müller puts Germany critics in their place

Bayern Munich forward says Algeria were no ‘Mickey Mouse team’

Germany’s forward Thomas Müller tired of the criticism. Photograph: Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images

Germany’s forward Thomas Müller tired of the criticism. Photograph: Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images

Thu, Jul 3, 2014, 17:32

Thomas Müller believes criticism of Germany’s performance against Algeria is exaggerated.

The Bayern Munich forward says the main thing is they made it through to set up a World Cup quarter-final clash against France on Friday.

Germany needed extra-time to see off a strong Algerian side on Monday and had it not been for the performance of goalkeeper-turned-sweeper Manuel Neuer, they may well have already returned home.

They are still in Brazil, though, and Müller believes they deserve a bit more credit than they are receiving from the German media.

“The way things have been interpreted and transmitted is wrong,” he told reporters in Brazil. “We have won what was a tight game. Even if we had to go through extra-time to get it, we deserved to go through.

“We know ourselves that we want to play differently to the way we played, and we take the constructive criticism on board, but we did run our socks off for 120 minutes.”

Immediately after Monday’s victory, Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker claimed Algeria had not been shown enough respect by the German media.

“Like Per said, we weren’t up against a Mickey Mouse team,” Müller added, according to sport1.de. “That’s the truth. He said what he felt and he was spot on. The criticism is caused by the great level of expectation.

“Things don’t work all the time and we should not be here feeling we ought to apologise.

“I don’t want to win the World Cup and have to say afterwards ‘sorry that we only won by one goal’. Criticism is good, but without losing perspective.”

Müller nevertheless knows improvements will have to be forthcoming against France on Friday if they are to avoid even heftier criticism over the weekend.

“Ideally, we will impose our game, like we have done so often before,” Müller said. “My hope is that we come up against a side who attack us deeper, but that we can release ourselves from the slight pressure the French might put us under and then we will find more room up front than we did against the USA and Algeria.

“We’re heading in the right direction. We’re in the quarter-finals and we are a tournament team. As soon as the pressure is on, we are fully ready. I just hope that we can all be celebrating in the end.”

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