EXCLUSIVE: Markus Neumayr On Germany And Switzerland

Markus Neumayr spent some time talking to us about his native country and the chances of that whose league he currently plays in, in the World Cup.

Germany have managed to get through the group without any major scares, do you think they can progress in the tournament and justify their tag as one of the favourites?

Germany had great problems in the pre-season of the World Cup but they managed to have a great start against Portugal. This result was very important to get in a positive flow that can bring you far in this tournament. At the moment they look very solid and strong. The next opponent Algeria should not be a major threat for the team of Jogi Löw, even though it will not be an easy game as they play with a big passion and dedication for their country.

Thomas Muller has proved to be an important player so far scoring four goals do you think that he could beat the likes of Messi and Neymar to the Golden Boot?

He is definetely one of the contenders with James Rodrigues,Neymar and Messi. All four of them have great abilities and shown it in this tournament. Will be interesting to see who can manage to reach the finals of these 4 top scorers.

The USA game saw Jurgen Klinsmann come up against his old assistant Joachim Low, how highly is Klinsmann rated in Germany and how do you think he would have felt coming up against his home nation on as big a stage as the World Cup?

He is still very highly rated as he had a great impact in the World Cup 2006 in Germany.
For Jürgen it must have been very strange playing against a team that he influenced with his kind of football.

He also brought in the spiriti that is still a main factor for the national team since 2006.
In that campaign he created an atmosphere which is still alive today because Jogi was his assistant back then and continued to work with his attitude of approaching a game/an opponent.

What have you made of Germany’s style of play so far during the tournament?

Germany looks very well organised and structured.Also they can manage keep their passing game to a very high level and force the speed of the game when needed.
At the moment they look like the favourite team together with France.

You said in your last column that if the team made a good start to the tournament they could go all the way, having watched the group games, do you still believe this?

Of course. The Portugal game was the key for this World Cup. You saw teams like England, and of course Portugal struggling because they lost the first game. If you can manage to get the three points, that brings you confidence as a team and as an individual player. If you watch the statistics then you will see that every team who won the first game in this World Cup, made the last 16.

Germany seem to have good depth in their squad, with players like Khedira and Draxler not featuring against the USA, do you think that this could help them later on in the tournament?

It can be an important factor.Also if you regard the variety in tactics. Substitute players have never been so important as in this tournament in Brazil. In the group stages there have been a lot of goals been scored of players who came of the bench.

A convincing win over Honduras on Wednesday saw Switzerland qualify for the next round, what have you made of their performance in the group stage?

They had a very good game against Honduras.This was by far their best perfomance in this group stage. If they can continue to show these qualitites against Argentina then there is a serious possibility to reach the quarter finals.

Xherdan Shaqiri scored a hat trick against Honduras and his performances have caught the eye of several Premier League clubs including Liverpool, how do you think he would do in England and is this the sort of player United should be going after?

Shaqiri had a great game against Honduras. But his peromances in the first two games were very poor.I think he is lacking consistency on this high level. I do not think that Shaqiri is yet ready to play a major part in a team like United. For me a transfer to a smaller club would help him to gain this consistency.

Switzerland face Argentina in the next round, how do you think their defence will fare against the Argentines world class forward line?

That will be the big issue.The biggest problem of Switzerland is the defence. Already in the group stages they were struggling. Especially against France you could see that that they have problems against quality players like Benzema,Giroud or Valbuena.

What do you make of the team’s chances for this game?

If they can manage to show a solid defensive perfomance then there is a serious possibility that Argentina can struggle. But if Messi/di Maria/Lavezzi have a great day then it will be very difficult even with a good perfomance of the Swiss team.

Considering more established European nations have struggled in this tournament, how big an achievement is it for Switzerland to qualify for the knockout stages?

It is a great achievement.But you also have to consider that Switzerland played in a far easier group than England for example. For me, Switzerland would not have reached the last 16 if they would have played in England’s position.

What is the atmosphere like in the country at the moment? Do you think that the team could pull off a shock and go on to win the tournament?

The atmosphere is very enthusiastic but not realistic. For me Switzerland do not have enough quality, especially in defence, to have a major say in this World Cup.

On to yourself, how is pre-season going, and when is your first game?

We are already 3 weeks in pre-season and we will be playing in the first qualifying round for the Europa League against FC College Europe (Gibraltar), next Thursday the 3rd of July. Our first game in the Super League will be middle of July.

Thanks to Markus for his time.

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