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14.03.1956: Germany v Netherlands 1-2 (in Düsseldorf) (F)

Referee: Leafe (England), attendance: 65,000

The lack of success after the World Cup induced Herberger to arrange more test games against strong club sides. On 22.02.1956 they beat Hamburger SV 4-1 and the Saarland with the same score on 07.03.1956. After these test games Herberger called up 17 players for the next official friendly, this time against the Netherlands in Düsseldorf. The great surprise was that Liebrich, Mai, Rahn, Morlock and Ottmar Walter were all not called up. What looked like a new and fresh selection because these seasoned world cup winners were not on board was actually not that fresh as their replacements were yet again older and seasoned players like Jupp Röhrig, Erich Retter and Robert Schlienz. The only fresh faces were Laumann and Neuschäfer.

German roster:
GK: Herkenrath, Kwiatkowski
DF: Posipal, Schlienz, Retter, Juskowiak
HB: Eckel, Rudolf Hoffmann, Karl Schmidt
FW: Klodt, Waldner, Seeler, Fritz Walter, Neuschäfer, Laumann, Röhrig, Hans Schäfer 

Germany: 1 Herkenrath – 2 Posipal, 5 Schlienz, 3 Juskowiak – 4 Eckel, 6 K.Schmidt – 8 F.Walter (c), 10 Röhrig – 7 Klodt, 9 Seeler (73. Waldner), 11 Schäfer

Netherlands: 1 De Munck – 2 Wiersma, 5 van der Hart, 3 Kuijs – 4 Notemans, 6 Klaassens – 8 Bosselaar, 10 Leenstra – 7 Appel, 9 Koopal, 11 Timmermans (55. Clavan)

Scorers: 0-1 Leenstra (52.), 0-2 Leenstra (74.), 1-2 van der Hart (77., o.g.)


26.05.1956: Germany v England 1-3 (in Berlin) (F)

Referee: Zsolt (Hungary), attendance: 95,000

After the embarrassing home defeat to the Dutch the criticism levelled against Herberger was mounting. Not without reason his critics claimed that he held on too long to old players, neglecting young players. Herberger, however, known as a pighead, did not mind that criticism. For the next game he again called up the usual older players. Not one newcomer and of the younger players only Waldner was used on the field.

German roster:
GK: Herkenrath, Kubsch
DF: Posipal, Juskowiak, Wewers, Karl Schmidt, Retter, Liebrich
HB: Schlienz, Mai, Erhardt
FW: Rahn, Morlock, Ottmar Walter, Fritz Walter, Hans Schäfer, Pfaff, Waldner, Schröder

Germany: 1 Herkenrath – 2 Retter, 5 Wewers, 3 Juskowiak – 4 Schlienz, 6 Mai – 8 Morlock (40. Pfaff), 10 F.Walter (c) – 7 Waldner, 9 O.Walter, 11 Schäfer

England: 1 R.Matthews – 2 Hall, 5 Wright, 3 Byrne – 4 Clayton, 6 Edwards – 8 Haynes, 10 Wilshaw – 7 Astall, 9 T.Taylor, 11 Grainger

Scorers: 0-1 Edwards (26.), 0-2 Grainger (63.), 0-3 Haynes (69.), 1-3 F.Walter (85.)

13.06.1956: Norway v Germany 1-3 (in Oslo) (F)

Referee: van der Meer (Netherlands), attendance: 35,000

While there were some good aspects about the performance against England there now finally was no doubt remaining that the time of the world cup winning players was definitely over. Although it was hard for Herberger to recognize that no player gets younger and better and that most “Heroes of Berne” were past their peak for some time, fewer and fewer “Heroes” were called up by Herberger. The slow decline of VfB Stuttgart and Kaiserslautern was a strong sign, too. Röhrig had made his last game against the Netherlands and Retter, Ottmar Walter and Schlienz were dropped for good after the England game. Soon they were followed by Liebrich, Posipal, Pfaff and Fritz Walter (for a long time). Hence for the next friendly in Oslo against Norway Herberger had to introduce some newcomers, also because at the same time the final stage of the German championship was played. The roster featured nine newcomers, of which Sawitzki, Dörner, Bäumler and Schönhöft all debuted against Norway and Szymaniak would debut later in the year. Of the new players Posinski, Görtz, Höfer and Rudolph would remain uncapped.

German roster:
GK: Sawitzki, Posinski, Görtz
DF: Erhardt, Wewers, Juskowiak, Rudolph, Höfer
HB: Dörner, Szymaniak, Mai, Harpers
FW: Bäumler, Waldner, Schröder, Biesinger, Pfaff, Hans Schäfer, Schönhöft

Norway: 1 A.Hansen – 2 Bakker, 5 Svenssen, 3 Falch – 4 Legernes, 6 Hernes – 8 Dybwad, 10 Kristiansen – 7 Kotte, 9 Sandengen, 11 T.Nilsen

Germany: 1 Sawitzki – 2 Erhardt, 5 Wewers, 3 Juskowiak – 4 Dörner, 6 Mai – 8 Schröder, 10 Pfaff (c) – 7 Bäumler, 9 Biesinger, 11 Schönhöft

Scorers: 1-0 Dybwad (7.), 1-1 Schönhöft (28.), 1-2 Bäumler (46.), 1-3 Biesinger (55.)


30.06.1956: Sweden v Germany 2-2 (in Stockholm) (F)

Referee: Schippers (Netherland), attendance: 31,000

Although not everything was gold that glittered in Oslo, the new, younger and experimental team that Herberger had selected gave reason for hope. For the hard game against Sweden in Stockholm, Herberger two weeks after Oslo relied on the backbone of the team that beat Norway, which was still quite a surprise. With Vollmar one newcomer was in the team, although he had already been capped four times by Saarland (scoring 4 goals). Although the seasoned Posipal and Fritz Walter were part of the squad that travelled to Sweden, Herberger opted to keep both on the bench, which was a really big surprise to everyone. Herberger had decided to use the backbone of the b-team which had showed a great performance against Spain. That team had proved itself in Oslo already. From now on the old players had to really fight for a starting place in Herberger’s team.

German roster:
GK: Sawitzki, Görtz
DF: Erhardt, Wewers, Juskowiak, Posipal, Höfer
HB: Dörner, Mai, Eckel
FW: Klodt, Schröder, Biesinger, Pfaff, Vollmar, Fritz Walter, Bäumler, Waldner

Sweden: 1 Arvidsson – 2 Ä.Johansson, 5 B.Gustavsson, 3 Axbom – 4 S.Svensson, 6 Parling – 8 Löfgren, 10 Tillberg – 7 Berndtsson, 9 S.Bengtsson, 11 G.Sandberg

Germany: 1 Sawitzki – 2 Erhardt, 5 Wewers, 3 Juskowiak – 4 Eckel, 6 Dörner – 8 Schröder, 10 Pfaff (c) – 7 Klodt, 9 Biesinger, 11 Vollmar

Scorers: 1-0 G.Sandberg (7.), 2-0 S.Bengtsson (11.), 2-1 Schröder (51.), 2-2 Biesinger (62.)


15.09.1956: Germany v Soviet Union 1-2 (in Hanover) (F)

Referee: Ellis (England), attendance: 86,000

At the start of the new season Herberger tested various selections in test games against club teams (4-1 vs Nürnberg/Fürth, 2-3 vs Köln, 1-2 vs Kaiserslautern). These test games brought many new insights. The most important being that Eckel, Fritz Walter and Rahn were in good form again and Georg Stollenwerk convinced as a full back. Plus the insight that the team of Oslo and Stockholm was still lacking in some aspects to be fully relied upon in international competitions. Still, for the next game the players that beat Norway and drew in Sweden made up most of the roster. With Posipal, Fritz Walter and Hans Schäfer again four “Heroes of Berne” were on board. The only newcomer was Wilhelm (no caps).

German roster:
GK: Herkenrath, Wilhelm
DF: Juskowiak, Posipal, Karl Schmidt, Wewers
HB: Eckel, Erhardt, Szymaniak
FW: Fritz Walter, Waldner, Schröder, Biesinger, Pfaff, Vollmar, Hans Schäfer

Germany: 1 Herkenrath – 2 K.Schmidt, 5 Posipal, 3 Juskowiak – 4 Eckel, 6 Erhardt – 8 Schröder, 10 F.Walter (c) – 7 Waldner, 9 Biesinger (52. Schäfer), 11 Vollmar

Soviet Union: 1 Yashin – 2 Tishchenko, 5 Bashashkin, 3 Ogonkov – 4 Maslonkin, 6 Netto – 8 Ivanov, 10 Salnikov – 7 Tatushin, 9 Streltsov, 11 Ilyin (64. Moser)

Scorers: 0-1 Streltsov (3.), 1-1 Schröder (5.), 1-2 Ivanov (36.)


21.11.1956: Germany v Switzerland 1-3 (in Frankfurt) (F)

Referee: Seipelt (Austria), attendance: 80,000

The 86,000 in Hanover had seen a dramatic and good game against the Soviets. The German team had proven that it was on a good path to fielding a strong side again. Both the old and the young players had played convincingly. For the twin games against Switzerland and the Republic of Ireland, Herberger surprisingly called up five “Heroes of Berne”. If Posipal had not been injured it would even have been six. Neuschäfer and Szymaniak made their debuts in the first team. With Horst Szymaniak the international career of one of the finest German players of his era began.

German roster:
GK: Herkenrath, Kubsch
DF: Erhardt, Karl Schmidt, Liebrich, Juskowiak
HB: Eckel, Szymaniak, Mai
FW: Vollmar, Fritz Walter, Schröder, Pfaff, Hans Schäfer, Neuschäfer

Germany: 1 Kubsch – 2 K.Schmidt, 5 Liebrich, 3 Juskowiak – 4 Eckel, 6 Szymaniak (65. Mai) – 8 F.Walter (c), 10 Pfaff – 7 Vollmar, 9 Neuschäfer, 11 Schäfer

Switzerland: 1 Parlier – 5 Frosio – 4 Thüler, 2 Kernen, 3 Koch, 6 D.Müller – 8 R.Ballamann, 10 E.Meier – 7 Antenen, 9 Hügi II, 11 Riva

Scorers: 0-1 Riva (21.), 0-2 Hügi II (25.), 1-2 Neuschäfer (34.), 1-3 R.Ballamann (62.)


25.11.1956: Eire v Germany 3-0 (in Dublin) (F)

Referee: Murdock (England), attendance: 40,000

After an utterly disappointing performance against the Swiss the German team was dismissed by the crowd with shouts and whistles. Another huge setback had been suffered. Herberger’s drawing on old players once more had proven to be fatal. What was he about to do now? Waldner, Bäumler, Neuschäfer, Biesinger and Szymaniak had all picked up injuries or had to leave due to club commitments. For the Dublin game Herberger had to improvise and again he called up a number of old players, yet this time not the same as against Switzerland but some from the b-team, which had won its game against Switzerland’s b-team. The only newcomer was Schlebrowski who would make his debut in Dublin.

German roster:
GK: Kwiatkowski, Kubsch
DF: Wewers, Erhardt, Juskowiak, Karl Schmidt
HB: Stollenwerk, Mai, Schlebrowski
FW: Morlock, Rahn, Miltz, Hans Schäfer, Vollmar, Eckel

Eire: 1 Kelly – 2 S.Dunne, 5 Mackey, 3 Cantwell – 4 T.Dunne, 6 Nolan – 8 Payton, 10 Fitzsimmons – 7 McCann, 9 Curtis, 11 Haverty

Germany: 1 Kwiatkowski – 2 Erhardt, 5 Wewers, 3 Juskowiak – 4 Schlebrowski, 6 Mai – 8 Morlock (c), 10 Schäfer (10. Eckel) – 7 Rahn, 9 Miltz, 11 Vollmar

Scorers: 1-0 Cantwell (63., pen.), 2-0 Haverty (87.), 3-0 McCann (89.)

23.12.1956: Germany v Belgium 4-1 (in Cologne) (F)

Referee: Bronkhorst (Netherland), attendance: 65,000

Although Germany had dominated possession in Dublin they still suffered another heavy defeat. The disappointment in the German football community was severe. Since beating Hungary in the 1954 World Cup final Germany had failed to play convincingly in a single game. A number of lacklustre performances that spanned a period of 2,5 years. While all other European countries had introduced professionalism the German FA still stuck to its non-professional ways. German players had to work in a “real” profession and had to think about their future. But in the mid-1950s, professional football was still a long way to come in Germany. The mindset was still not there to accept such a drastic change. In view of the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, Herberger finally had no other option than to drop the 1954 World Cup winners from his team because as they aged, they had no real chance to keep their form as they couldn’t keep in shape like professional players at a higher age could. Thus for the last game of 1956 for the first time there was no World Cup winner called up by Herberger.

German roster:
GK: Tilkowski, Kwiatkowski
DF: Wewers, Juskowiak, Erhardt, Köchling
HB: Schlebrowski, Graetsch, Szymaniak
FW: Waldner, Peters, Schröder, Geiger, Vollmar, Kelbassa, Semmelmann

Germany: 1 Kwiatkowski – 2 Juskowiak (c), 5 Wewers, 3 Köchling – 4 Schlebrowski, 6 Szymaniak – 8 Geiger, 10 Schröder – 7 Waldner, 9 Kelbassa, 11 Vollmar

Belgium: 1 Dresen – 2 Diricx, 5 van Kerkhoven, 3 Dries – 4 Mees, 6 Maertens – 8 Vanderwilt, 10 Houf – 7 Orlans, 9 Coppens, 11 Moyson

Scorers: 1-0 Schröder (28.), 1-1 Moyson (38.), 2-1 Vollmar (42.), 3-1 Kelbassa (60.), 4-1 Wewers (82.)


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