Jose Pekerman and Jurgen Klinsmann cut very distinct figures as they fulfilled their obligations to the waiting media following the 2-2 draw that ensured Germany topped group A on goal difference.
Having come up with the brainwave of seeing the hosts in unfamiliar red, a confident Klinsmann only rarely betrayed any impatience with a questionner with the tightest of smiles. Yet his serene authority was as evident as that of Pekerman, despite the age gap.
Bastian Deisler, whose Klaus Allofs tribute – taking the form of hairstyle and facial hair – has coincided with his regaining, besides adding to, all the attributes that saw him hailed as a prodigy before a battle with depression almost derailed his career, stood out.
Klinsmann though reluctant to single out individuals, could hardly help it in this case, and after praising Deisler’s formidable rhythm, continued: “When he plays like this I give the other players instructions simply to feed him!” In the absence of fellow midfielder Ballack, Deissler had two surges from deep that required smart saves from Argentina’s Lux.
The coach, whose record so far bears comparison with the best of his managerial predecessors, characterised Germany’s progress thus: “In five years they say we have not beaten a ‘big’ team, but I would remind you that in five year a ‘big’ team has not beaten us!
“We have a very young set of players, but they are witnessing their own development. had they won they would not have been conceited, but realistic.
“Unfortunately Argentina have a team that you can never be sure will not score, and we were not awake for their second goal. Inexperience requires time, but my boys still showed everyone we can perform without Ballack, who is their leader.”
Pekerman’s demeanour, on this occasion at least, could only be …