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Netzer: Gundogan could replace Schweinsteiger

Gunter Netzer has warned Bastian Schweinsteiger that Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Guendogan could replace him in the Germany team.

The 22-year-old played 90 minutes in his country’s 2-1 win over France on Wednesday, setting up Thomas Mueller’s equaliser, and the 1974 World Cup winner was impressed with his showing.

“Guendogan was responsible for the rhythm of the game and recognised when he needed to go at high speed directly towards the opponent’s goal,” the 68-year-old wrote in his column for Bild am Sonntag.

“With his capabilities and consistent performances, I see Schweinsteiger’s place at risk, despite his great contribution to the national team.

“Schweinsteiger’s game has for some time unfortunately mostly seen him create from his own half, with many, sometimes unnecessary, cross-field passes and not so many vertical passes and individual initiative, which are the quickest ways to launch an attack.”

The Stade de France clash saw Mesut Oezil play as a ‘false number nine’ for a period in the second half, which Netzer thought was a great idea.

“The philosophy is to be more flexible and unpredictable and confuse the opponent’s defence with quick and agile players,” he said.

“Since there is currently only a small number of German strikers with the appropriate level, (Joachim) Loew should try this system out.

“If specialists are not available, has can legitimately use a striker-free system.”

Sun 10 Feb, 2013
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