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We're better than Germany

Someone needs to be told to put gags on the England players and make sure that they never say anything remotely confident or controversial in the immediate run-up to a game, so they don't end up being bitten on the arse in the immediate aftermath. They would be able to stop people like David James from making rash predictions for difficult games, especially against Germany. Make him stop, someone!

'I'm genuinely confident with the team that penalties won't be an issue,' he said, alerting the karma Gods. 'Why? Because I think we're a better team than Germany. We played them in Berlin and beat them 2-1 in a game which we should have won more comfortably. They're a strong side, ranked sixth in the world, but we are not fearful of them at all. We are confident we can beat them. We have got through the qualifiers, the group stage, into the knockout, and we are confident we can make the British happy by beating Germany. We will respect them, but they are beatable.

'The manager picked a squad of 23 based not just on footballing ability but also on their mental capabilities. As a group of players we're not sitting around bringing up the romantic side of things, saying: 'Look what happened this time we played Germany, or what about this time?' The one comment that has been made is: 'What about Berlin? We beat them 2-1.' So there was an achievement that a large nucleus of this group of players have been involved in. We're talking about our achievement.'

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