Before Euro 2012 I had heard a lot about this defender from Bourssia Dortmund, Mats Hummels. He had been praised in various media outlets as a classy defender who marshaled the defense well for the German champions. Now, having seen him perform for Die Mannschaft all I can say is he is worth the hype. He has looked composed on the ball, he can pick out a pass, reads the game well and times his tackles well. I haven’t seen him have to make a last ditched tackle as his reading of the game has been superb. I’ve been so impressed I even bought a new Germany jersey with his name on the back.
When I compare the way he plays to someone like John Terry, they are just miles apart. Terry doesn’t look that comfortable on the ball and there’s something very stiff about him when he does dribble with the ball. He is a defender you notice more because he is often throwing his body in the way of shoots or making last-ditch tackles. But Hummels is a defender who could sometimes fail to notice in a match as he breaks up passes and picks the ball of attackers feet instead of dragging them to the ground. His partnership with Holdger Bastuber has been the bed-rock of Germany’s undefeated start to the Euros. So far they have played three and won three and take on Greece in the quarter-finals.
Greece can be guilty of being a very defensive side and may stifle the attacking threat that many of Germany’s players process. With some much attention being given to Gomez, Ozil, Muller and co, Hummels could play a vital role. He has shown he can travel forward with the ball confidently and against Holland almost scored after being allowed to run with the ball all the way from deep with-in his own half.
Below is a clip of his performance against Portugal in the opening Group B match.
and against the Netherlands