I have said there was a massive overreaction to the way Germany started this tournament and I still stand by that.
They beat a poor Australia side, who had a man sent off, they slipped up against Serbia and although they won their last game - and Ghana are a tricky side - I didn't see anything to fear.
Yes, you would rather England had won their group and had a slightly easier game, but if you want to win the World Cup, you have to beat these sides sooner or later - and it might as well be sooner.
And if England can't get up for this one, then there is something very wrong. This is Germany, the old enemy, as it were. That has to bring something extra out of everyone and I really do expect us to go up a gear and raise our performance a level.
Against Slovenia, it was better. Much better. You have to accept that they weren't the toughest of opponents and to an extent they did suit us because they play a more Premier League-like style. That meant getting it forward quicker, playing for knockdowns and picking up second balls. That is what our players are used to, which was a help.
I liked what I saw from - and heard about - Fabio Capello. It's not so much the fact that he had a beer with the players, more his body language after the game; to see him hugging his players and smiling like that was different class. He is a manager that rules with an iron fist, but I don't always think that's the right way to go - especially with English footballers.
Quotes of the week
But there were also some big plusses from an English perspective. We kept a clean sheet and John Terry and Matthew Upson once again looked a decent defensive partnership, I thought Steven Gerrard was magnificent again and James Milner and Jermain Defoe came in and combined for the goal.
I would still prefer to see those same players used in a 4-5-1 but I think we're all going to have to accept now that it's 4-4-2 all the way; that's how Fabio Capello wants to do it.
And while we've all been clamouring for Joe Cole to start, Capello is the one that sees him in training every day, not us. Maybe Joe and Peter Crouch have been off the pace all week; Capello is the one that has to make those decisions.
That said, I don't think there is a decision to make against Germany and barring any accidents in training, that same XI will start in Bloemfontein. That would be my choice and I can't see any reason to change it.
Finally we have a number one goalkeeper in David James - who I think is perfect for a penalty shoot-out - the full-backs pick themselves and Terry and Upson have played together plenty of times now. I am a big Jamie Carragher fan but he got himself booked and banned and lost his place; that's how it is with England, especially in tournament football. Upson looked a little nervous to start with, as did England as a whole, but settled down well.
You can't change the three established midfielders and you have to say Milner did more than enough to get another go. He actually deserves a lot of credit and I actually thought we saw him become a man against Slovenia.
Imagine how he must have been feeling after the USA game; as a professional footballer the World Cup is the pinnacle of your dreams, all you work towards and then all of a sudden you're hauled off after half-an-hour? He must have wondered what the hell was going on. But once he put that ball in for Defoe's goal he seemed to grow in confidence and belief. A bit like England as a team, I guess.
I also liked what I saw from and heard about Capello. It's not so much the fact that he had a beer with the players, more his body language after the game; to see him hugging his players and smiling like that was different class. He is a manager that rules with an iron fist, but I don't always think that's the right way to go - especially with English footballers.
We don't mind getting a rollicking if we mess up and will accept it, but there has to be a flipside as well, a pat on the back, words of encouragement. You can't keep hammering players and to see him hugging them after the final whistle was different class. Maybe this week, being with them 24/7, he has learned that and maybe he has learned something new as a manager.
England certainly played with more freedom and I hope that is the case again on Sunday afternoon. Sometimes it helps when you know there are no second chances, it's do-or-die and as funny as it might sound I think our lads will feel less pressure in the knockout stages.
Don't get me wrong, I expect this to be a very cagey game and of course no-one wants to make that all-important mistake, but against Algeria they knew they could put it right, that's not the case here and I think it will move us up another notch.
But we have to keep the ball better. That is the one area where England really need to improve. That is why we made Algeria look so good, because they kept the ball and there is nothing worse, nothing more tiring as a player than chasing the ball around because invariably you give it away as soon as you get it again.
England did it a bit better against Slovenia, but these players can do it because they do it for their clubs - most of them in the Champions League. The margins are so fine when you get to the knockout stages of a World Cup that even something as basic as ball retention could be decisive.
I also think experience will play a big factor. Look down that England teamsheet and half-a-dozen of them have more than 50 caps, something Germany just don't have. This is not the Germany of old with some steady heads that have been there, seen it, done it; this is a young side that play with freedom, but also are not as used to big knockout games as ours.
And as I keep saying about our opponents, they will be looking down that England teamsheet and they will be nervous of coming up against such big-name players in such a big game. Anyone would be.
But it's never that simple. In Mesut Ozil England are up against one of the stars of the show so far. I think only Lionel Messi has impressed me more, he's been that good. I remember seeing him for Werder Bremen in the Uefa Cup final, telling my dad he should take a look at him, then getting a call back a few months later saying he'd done nothing! But he is a lovely player and one Gareth Barry will have to keep an eye on.
Ozil does drift deeper which can cause sides problems and he does love to thread balls through to Miroslav Klose, who is back and despite his poor form for Bayern Munich this year, a real worry when it comes to World Cups. If there is one concern about Terry and Upson it is they are not the most mobile and with Klose sniffing around and Lukas Podolski drifting in from the left, they will need to be on their game.
So will the Germans, though. I keep saying it, but sooner or later Wayne Rooney is going to spark into life and I do think that German defence is a little bit suspect down the middle. Ghana are no great shakes but got through on more than one occasion.
Also, we will have wide players up against both their full-backs which is something they have not had to contend with so far. And just how good is Bastian Schweinsteiger at the defensive side of things in central midfield? Even if he is fully fit?
There are questions against both sides, both sides will be nervous, both sides have match-winners and both sides have plenty to fear - and that's without even mentioning the dreaded word... penalties!
England win - I really do think there is nothing to fear from this Germany side and I really do think we will see an even better England display. But at the same time there is so little to choose between the two sides that I like the draw at 11/5. I can see it being nervy of course and as always you'd think a moment of brilliance - and in Gerrard, Lampard, Rooney and Defoe we have players more than capable of that - or a blunder might settle it. But I can see this ending 1-1 and then well, it's extra-time where any winner is 12/1 it'll probably be down to penalties. That's where I think big Jamo will come in handy because I've played with and against him and he doesn't half fill that goal! Then look at Rooney, Gerrard, Lampard, Milner, Barry, they all take penalties for their clubs. And even with our record and Germany's, England on penalties at 10/1 has got to be worth a punt.
Steven Gerrard - One match-up I'm really looking forward is Gerrard against Philipp Lahm; the two captains and two of the best in the world. Lahm is probably the best full-back out there but he loves to get forward and Stevie is England's driving force. We're all quick to remember the players that disappointed when we don't play well as a team, but the captain has been excellent in every game. People think he is distant and dour just because he doesn't go round shouting but that couldn't be further from the truth. He is the one that gets on the ball, drives his side forward and he is a real inspiration - I wish I could've played in the same side as him, I really do.
To see Jamie's latest Red Hot Tips, click here
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Trevor Gordon (Middlesbrough fan) says...
i'm amazed at how ignorant people are about football.i love england but they're are not a top tier team.we have won the world cup once in 1966.the reason why we won was because it was played on english soil.before or since wev'e not gotten to a final of a world cup or a european final.we don't belong with brazil,argentina,italy,germany.these 4 teams have talent, trophies,etc....england are a 2nd tier power at best.along with portugal,holland,and maybe czeck republic.a top tier team would not fail to make the world cup in 1974,1978,1994 and miss 2008 euroes.a top tier team would have wiped up the floor with the u.s.a.,algeria,and slovania.let's not kid ourselves.were really not that good at international level.
Posted 06:01 27th June 2010
Simon Varley (Preston North End fan) says...
I think any talk of past world cups or previous meetings is ludicrous as both teams are far far different now than previous incarnations. Germany look slick going forward with numerous goal scorers throughout the midfield and up front. However they do look shaky in goal and in defence so there is a chance we can score against them. We need to score early and twice. If we dont, the longer it goes on the less chance we will have as I am 140% sure Germany will score at least 1 goal. Rooney needs to play well. Lampard needs to pass not shoot and Barry needs to stay sharp.
Posted 23:20 26th June 2010
Tim Becki (Arsenal fan) says...
England are gonna win the world cup. I can feel it in my bones. We have world class players. we played excellent football against slovenia who are a good team. I think it was a great idea to bring Beckham along, just his presence will add to the team. Germany have no chance against us on sunday, we are a better team by far.. even beckenbauer is sorry he opened his mouth, who looks stupid now kaiser, COME ON ENGLAND
Posted 17:38 26th June 2010
Chris Thomas (Everton fan) says...
On paper, this match shouldn't be a contest. England are superior. Still, team sheets do not decide matches. And what would worry me is that this England team, which has looked psychologically fragile for the better part of its first three matches, will go wobbly-legged from the weight of history and expectation. Relatedly, I think the Germans will draw confidence from the fact that they've always, somehow or another, found a way to beat England when it matters most, '66 excluded. If England discovers its qualification form, it's a win. If not, the Germans steal this one.
Posted 13:14 26th June 2010
James Andrews (Liverpool fan) says...
I mostly agree with Redknapp - which doesn't often happen! Has anyone else noticed though, that SkySports News banners are in Red, black & yellow? You'd think they're supporting the Germans!
Posted 12:46 26th June 2010
Hussein Houdroge (Liverpool fan) says...
We can beat Germany if every English player plays with the same hunger he plays for his club. If Rooney gets back his magic, and if we had no errors at the back. I loved the way Redknapp wrote his detailed article, and i agree with everything he said. I think Stevie G is the best English player so far in the world cup, he is having a great tournament I'm sure lots of English fan will agree on that point. Good Luck England, hopefully we will be celebrating tomorrow afternoon in Bloemfontein.
Posted 12:40 26th June 2010
Grant Barker (Manchester United fan) says...
Rooney is better than Klose,and when on form Rooney can be the best striker in the world, Gerrard is better than Podolski, Lampard is better than Ozil, Barry is better than Schweinsteiger as a holding midfielder, Ashley Cole is the best left back in the world, and we have more strength in depth with Terry,Milner,Defoe,Joe Cole, and Lennon! We are better than them and should beat them easy! COME ON ENGLAND!!!!
Posted 11:15 26th June 2010
Dougie Cartledge (Manchester United fan) says...
England will beat Germany on Sunday I'm confident of that. The simple fact is that our players are individually better than Germany all over the park. Also, I feel we are starting to gell as a team again. And to David O'Shaugnessy, remind me, are Scotland in the World Cup? ! If anyone has an inferiority complex it's Scotland mate! Terrible team since the days of Archie Gemmel!
Posted 10:54 26th June 2010
Scott Campbell (Manchester United fan) says...
To say that the germans are arrogant is silly they are simply trying to throw the English of there guard and hit them were it hurts, the chances of penalties could be very high so i hope England have been practising. Don't start Lampard and Gerrard in the centre of the pitch together 4-4-1-1 with Gerrard just in behind Rooney. England can certainly win this fixture but it remains to be seen what Fabio's thoughts have been. Will he stick with Upson, will he stick with Defoe all this still remains to be seen but Good Luck England!
Posted 09:27 26th June 2010
Jock Rog (Borussia Monchengladbach fan) says...
I'm a german and live in the uk since 1991 and just wonder why some english fans call this young inexperienced german nationalteam arrogant?I find this getting a bit boaring everywhere I go I hear (remember 1966)This is all nonsense as you can not live from the past.England has big star players but to many of them are near retirement age and also to many starplayers can spoil a team after all who is going to do the running? Maybe england will win but this young german team has a future ,but I can't see why england things they win the worldcup they won 1 game against slovenia a team with many second and third division club players(what a great win) wake up england you may win the next round but the worldcup you won't win and what if you loose against germany? Who or what you blame next am sick and tired of englands excuses.little hint the premier league is packed with foreign stars and this is a downfall for young talented british players and subsequently for the english national team this explains why england team is stocked with players with the ages of thirty and over how long can those players run and fight? Once more wake up england get for real!!!!
Posted 07:58 26th June 2010
Larry Jacobs (Manchester United fan) says...
Here we go again; England barely qualified and all of a sudden they are going all the way? Jamie Rednapp, which world are you living in? This is always England problem; you flex your muscles amd boast and, when the boys fail, you satrt looking for scape goats. Gimme a break.
Posted 02:36 26th June 2010
Andrew Dunne (Liverpool fan) says...
Last time North Korea was in the world cup england won it.
Posted 00:34 26th June 2010
Oracle Spectacular (Manchester United fan) says...
I'd be happier if England were truly a team unit where the egos are kept in check and devoted to the cause. We have quite a lot of that but there are several players who just aren't quite fitting in with the ethos and whose ego threatens team success - they are most notably, Lampard, Terry and Rooney. Lampard keeps insisting on long shots which go miles over the bar, a complete waste of buildup play and just a bit of an ongoing embarrassment, since it happens so very regularly. We actually would have progressed at the last World Cup if he hadn't' wasted so many chances (Beckham publicly got the 'blame' for us not progressing and therefore dropped, but Becks scored and set up great chances in the games he played and Lampard, as much of the crowd knew - thus him getting booed at subsequent England games - was the actual problem). Here he is making the same old mistakes. Needs badly to be reigned in' and it's amazing that no-one has told him to cut it out already. He's going for personal glory against all team spirit and it's routinely dumping our decent chances out of the game. Terry, well what can you say? The outburst the other day said it all; a bit of a wild card, full of himself and even fighting with the manager to try and salvage his own selfish little reputation in the middle of a World Cup! Good player but has damaged the England cause (fortunately Capello was able to restore order this time) and it might happen again at a crucial moment. Rebellion under the surface just doesn't help and it's the opposite of what we need in the team camp. Rooney - now here we have someone obviously who's serially got himself sent off at crucial points in games in the past. But that's not the real likeilhood any more; the problem is he just plays too deep, ignoring what Capello tells him to do! We all know how great he can be when the going is right, but he destructs team tactics by going a-wandering from his position - Alas.
Posted 21:48 25th June 2010
David O'shaugnessy (Celtic fan) says...
the fact is,this England team is muck. Germany would have been far more convincing against Serbia had Klose not been sent - off. Before Slovenia, England fans accepted that this was a poor England side and that expectations were too high. Why blow them up now after one win? England's record against Germany is so poor, Germany's track record in World cups so good, I would be amazed if England won. England have 1966. Germany have 1974,1990 and 1996 as well as the other final appearances. All this jigoistic nonesense about England - Germany being a 'rivalry' is rubbish. For England, is simply a chance to get over their inferiority complex against the Germans.
Posted 17:19 25th June 2010
Patrick Smalley (Leicester City fan) says...
Living in Germany I am desperate for us to get a victory. All this talk about arrogance is way of the mark as far as their players and staff are concerned they are a bright cheeky team not to be underestimated but beatable. Sorry Jamie but you are not critical enough. I did not see a brilliant Gerrard and he ca't take corners to save his life. Barry caused mayhem in the second half by losing the ball and setting up Slovenia twice. We got a dodgy goal and have now managed 2 in 3 games. One goal will not beat Germany. Come on be honest or find a new job
Posted 16:45 25th June 2010
Kelly Robinson (Middlesbrough fan) says...
If England make the tempo like a premier league game and bully the german midfield then we can win. If we sit back then we could be in trouble.
Posted 15:22 25th June 2010
Chintu Bari (Manchester United fan) says...
England's World Cup campaign got off to an edgy start with the draw to the USA and the Algerians. There was a lot of pressure on the players and the manager going into the Slovenia game and England new what they were required to do in order to progress and I feel that they did exactly that. With Germany as our next opponents on Sunday with a place in the quarter-finals up for grabs, I feel that England will not disappoint and I strongly with what Alan Shearer said about the Germans and how they will bring the best out of England. Despite the historical background of this fixture - with England being eliminated from the 1996 and 2002 World Cup on penalties to the Germans - I think that this Sunday will be the day that those memories are avenged and the team will usher aside the Germans. England have more than enough ability than is required to triumph against Germany without needing a penalty shootout. Keeping in mind that the current German side is much younger than most of the England starting XI and is not as experienced at this stager. The Germans are a team that is undergoing improvement but may not be good enough to beat the English. As mentioned already by many pundits, in order to win the World Cup you have to beat the best teams in the world. With Argentina, Spain and Brazil both possible opponents for England if they are to win on Sunday, this shows how we can win the competition but only if we defeat the best on the way and I think that the game against Germany on Sunday will be the beginning of that route to glory for England.
Posted 14:09 25th June 2010
Lynton The iceni (Liverpool fan) says...
We will fight to the end! We will be tireless. We will be ruthless... England must devour this arrogant, inexperienced German squad. Three Lions, Two stars, one team... 1966 & 2010 Champions!
Posted 12:38 25th June 2010
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