Until last night's defeat by Spain, Germany seemed to have achieved some kind of tactical innovation which allowed them to take apart teams which were player-for-player more skilful - more or less the precise opposite to England which continues to squander its resource. My feeling is that this was Germany's World Cup to win, because four years from now other teams will have processed whatever it is the Germans are doing, and adapted to it. I certainly haven't figured it out; some kind of speed chess with athleticism.
I am not sure what Spain did to neutralise that tactic: of course the individual brilliance of certain players, but this hasn't been enough for other countries. I think Spain have been less nervous than other teams. Germany seemed on edge to me. In fact there has been a great sense of nervousness over this tournament. I think international interest is greater than ever, with new expanding audiences in the developing world, and resistant nations such as the USA. Perhaps this is freaking people out?
Anyway, surely the story of the Tournament is the unimpeachable record of Paul the Psychic Octopus. This Weymouth-born mollusc has correctly predicted the result of every German game. Apparently several German TV stations interrupted their broadcasts to bring live coverage of Paul's predictions to a nation on tenterhooks. To their dismay he predicted Spain would win.
In fact, perhaps that's what went wrong for the German team last night - as they played they felt the weight of a psychic octopus on their backs.