GDANSK, Poland, June 11 – Germany’s hot-shot striker Mario Gomez has brushed off harsh criticsm and insisted he plans to repay coach Joachim Loew’s faith in him against Holland on Wednesday at Euro 2012.
Germany play the Dutch in Kharkiv, Ukraine, in Group B after Gomez got the Germans off to a winning start at Euro 2012 with the second-half header which sealed Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Portugal in Lviv.
“It was an important goal for me as neither Euro 2008 nor the 2010 World Cup were my tournaments, so I was very happy to repay the confidence the coach has put in me,” said Gomez after arguably his most important goal for Germany.
But during half-time against Portugal, the Bayern Munich star came in for fierce criticism from ex-Germany midfielder and pundit Mehmet Scholl, Bayern’s reserve team coach, on live German television with the match scoreless.
Scholl slammed Gomez’s first-half display saying he had “rarely seen him run less” and joked that he “feared (Gomez) would get bed sores” from his lack of movement on the pitch.
Despite netting 41 goals for Bayern last season, including four in one Champions League game, Gomez is a much-maligned figure in the German media and has only shone for Germany on rare occasions.
With 23 goals in 53 appearances for his country, Gomez was extremely diplomatic when asked about Scholl’s comments and said he can only learn from the views of the Bayern coach.
“Bayern is a big family and each family member is entitled to his views,” said Gomez.
“Mehmet and I have a bit of a love-hate relationship.
“He once told me that he knows I have plenty of potential and that he just wants to coax the best performance out of me.
“I didn’t think it was an attack. He is on Bayern’s coaching staff now so I will try to learn from what he says and adapt my style of play.
“There is no real need to change how I play, in the last two years I played modern football in the Champions League and scored a lot of goals, so why should I change?”
Gomez is battling with veteran Miroslav Klose for the single striker berth up front against Holland and said the competition with the 34-year-old veteran demands he keeps producing good performances.
After losing their first game to Denmark, Holland must beat Germany to keep alive their hopes of qualifying from Group B and Gomez said they are ready for a battle royal.
“It is always going to be difficult, no matter what the result from their first game was, Holland are under pressure they can’t lose so that has an added edge,” said Gomez.