There is a Gott!
After the travesty of the Germans' World Cup final appearance in 2002, it might have seemed that normal service - which is to say, the perverse inequities of a Sadeian Real - was restored.
Not so. The Germans' implacable, inevitable advance through international tournaments - a triumph of the will, to coin a phrase, over limited technical ability, over inspiration, over opposition superior in every way - has for three decades appeared like a force of nature, interrupted only by their glorious humbling at the hands of Bulgaria in 94 and their humiliation at Euro 2000. A force of a cruelly unjust, appropriately Nietzschean nature.
this year, Germany have got exactly what they deserved. Which is nothing. Improbably, a moral order has been restored to the footballing cosmos.
The Germans, clearly inferior to the Dutch, looked like they might sneak through to the quarter finals - again - simply because they had the fortune to meet the Czechs when they were already through. But the Czech reserves had a hunger that swept them past the lackadaisacal Germans, who, for the first half at least, seemed to make the fatal error of waiting for Destiny to carry them through, rather than recognising that they must be the agents of that Destiny.
'Auuffff Wiedersen', as Jon Champion put it in the commentary.