“One of the things we look for is how a team starts their attacks,” explained Nopp. “For England, the ball went very often through the centre of midfield to Lampard, Barry or Gerrard, who had moved in from the left. Gerrard had a lot of action in the centre although he should be the left midfielder. “This was very, very significant for us as we could predict what would happen when England had the ball. From this, we could also predict how Wayne Rooney would attack a defender so we could find a way to stop him.” The students also noted the way in which the United States, Algeria and Slovenia had got success by playing an unusually high percentage of long balls at England. It prompted Germany to significantly adapt their tactics. “This was also very important,” said Nopp. “In the group matches, less than 10 per cent of Germany’s passes were what we would call long or uncontrolled. Against Australia, it was just two per cent. However, we upped that ratio to 30 per cent against England.” England’s susceptibility to the long ball — and the suspicion that John Terry and Matthew Upson could get pulled out of position — was highlighted with Germany’s first goal when Miroslav Klose scored direct from goalkeeper Manuel Neuer’s clearance.