It's especially that, but we generally can't handle tight defence – we don't know how, as it was put today, "tear holes" in it to get to the net. The way we play, we need space to pass; we don't really have players that can get through. I would argue that our only really good dribbler is Marko Marin.
Did you see the game against Bosnia-Herzegovina? They let us pass to our hearts' content in the middle area, and kept back in front of the net. We couldn't get through.
'Die Mannschaft' is a nickname in Germany – the word for 'national team', 'Nationalmannschaft', is a bit of a mouthful, so it's generally shortened to 'Mannschaft'.
It also gives the team more personality online; how lame would it be if Spain, France, Italy etc. all have nicknames but we're just 'Germany'?
Ballack will be joining the Mannschaft in South Africa for the knockout round!
It will be difficult to miss my first World Cup since France 98 as I know I should be out there, but I love football and will watch as many matches as possible. It helps that I’m planning to join up with the Germany squad in the knockout stages, similar to David Beckham with England. I’m having the cast removed from my ankle next week, which will make it easier to travel.
I’ve heard criticism of Beckham’s involvement in England, which I don’t understand, because I firmly believe that experienced players have a role to play, even if they’re injured. I’ve been speaking to the German players frequently from my holiday in America and Joachim Löw, the coach, has reassured me that he wants me to join them. In the past when I’ve been injured or suspended I’ve always stayed in the dressing room and it will be the same in South Africa.
I’m the captain and have an influence when I’m there, so why shouldn’t I be in the dressing room? It doesn’t matter if you have a shirt or not, you can still motivate other players. I will do what I can to help them, but they have to learn to cope without me on the pitch.