Pete Barrow column: They make good strikers those Germans

Miroslav Klose calls time on a superb international career

Action Images / Lee Smith Brazil's David Luiz (L) in action with Germany's Miroslav Klose
Brazil's David Luiz (L) in action with Germany's Miroslav Klose

There is an old Dad’s Army programme where a German parachutist gets stuck on the Walmington-on-Sea Town Hall clock.

The episode, called Time On My Hands, features a character called Mr Blewitt, who keeps pointing out how well made German machinery, clocks, etc are – to everyone’s annoyance.

If only we could wheel out actor Harold Bennett – young Mr Grace in Are You Being Served? – who played Mr Blewiit to do exactly the same with the list of great German post-war strikers.

While there are many reasons why the German national football team has been more successful than England’s – with the obvious exception of one July afternoon in 1966 – the decision of Miroslav Klose to call time on his international career throws one of the major factors under the spotlight.

Klose, who ended the 2014 World Cup tournament in Brazil as the top scorer in finals with 16, departs as Germany’s top scorer with a stunning return of 71 goals in 137 appearances.

However, he had only just pipped Gerd Muller who had netted 68, and Der Bomber’s record is arguably the more impressive as he won just 62 caps for the then West Germany – including one rather important one against Holland in Munich’s Olympiastadion in 1974.

So between the two of them that is a fairly substantial return of 139 international goals.

In comparison England’s top three all-time scorers have accrued a total of 141 international goals between with Sir Bobby Charlton on 49, Gary Lineker on 48 and Jimmy Greaves on 44.

Gerd Muller (Germany) beats Krol (12) and Haan to score the winning goal in the 1974 World Cup Final
Gerd Muller (Germany) beats Krol (12) and Haan to score the winning goal in the 1974 World Cup Final
 

One player more to notch a similar amount of goals, so you could argue that while it is essentially ‘advantage Germany’, it is not such a big deal.

Until of course you then add in the player who is third in the German rankings.

Sorry, make that the players who are joint third in the lists from Germany – take a bow Rudi Voller, Jurgen Klinsmann and Lukas Podolski, who have all netted 47 times for their country.

It is at this point you can forget quoting Michael Owen because Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (45), Uwe Seeler (43) and Michael Ballack (42) have all done better than his return of 40.

And there you have it, Germany have outscored England by a country mile in terms of strikers and taken the rewards.

So a note to Roy Hodgson – find a genuine goalscorer or start checking which Bundesliga striking starlets had a grandmother from Heckmondwike.

 
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