2018 Is The Year Germany And England National Teams Swapped Places
2018 has been a weird year for international football none more so than where England and Germany are involved with the two European rivals seemings changing places.
In Summer 2017 Germany's second team won the Confederations Cup, aided by some under 21s, they impressed everyone a year out from the World Cup in Russia's warm up tournament.
On top of the win for their senior team the under 21s, with some of their usual squad missing, won the Under 21 Euros, doing the usual of beating England on penalties along the way.
At that time they were still world champions too and many people expected that we were about to head into a period of German dominance, akin to the one Spain enjoyed between 2008 and 2012.
The same summer saw England's senior team draw to Scotland in a World Cup qualifier and lose to France with Ousmane Dembele ripping their defence apart. As previously mentioned the under 21s lost to Germany.
Cycle just over a year on and the fortunes of the two countries senior sides seems to have swapped.
At the World Cup Germany finished bottom of their group following losses to Mexico and South Korea and were home by the time England lost their dead rubber against Belgium. The Three Lions went on to reach the semi-finals.
Joachim Low had the chance to rectify things in the UEFA Nations League but Netherlands win against France on Friday night saw the four times World Cup winners get relegated.
The idea of relegation in international football is a new one admittedly but no one ever expected to be writing that Germany had been relegated.
England on the other hand just went from strength to strength. Gareth Southgate dropped their cautious 3-5-2 from the World Cup, went for a more adventurous 4-3-3, beat Spain in Spain and then came back with 13 minutes to go to beat Croatia 2-1 and get to the last four of the Nations League.
The win on Sunday afternoon really showed the leaps and bounds Southgate's side have come on as they exercised their demons of the World Cup.
It's not just the results either. Only four years ago at the World Cup England went into the tournament with Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney still members of the squad. Roy Hodgson struggled to get rid of the old guard and bring new players forward.
Those issues seemed to blight Germany in Russia with Thomas Muller, Sami Khedira, Jerome Boateng and Mesut Ozil among those who won in Brazil but struggled four years later.
England have brought younger players through with brilliant effect in recent times and Jadon Sancho now looks like he could be a regular feature in the senior team going forward, thanks strangely to German football.
For 'Freaky Friday' read Freaky Football, the story of 2018 and how England and Germany swapped places- long may it continue.