My match page for the last international of 2012 can be found here:
Netherlands 0 – 0 Germany.
Much was made of these November friendlies being ‘meaningless’. Clubs, with heavy schedules of domestic and Champions League games were naturally worried about possible injuries to stars, in matches that it was suggested meant little to the countries themselves, and the players’ motivation for such matches, often involving overseas travel, was questioned (except, obviously, in the case of Zlatan Ibrahimovic!).
Germany themselves lost several players with injuries ranging from the clearly genuine to the questionable. When certain ‘ill’ players are seen back in training even before the game has taken place, you wonder if a flu remedy product placement isn’t in the pipeline!
It is certainly good for any international set-up when such games can be used to give a chance to players who may not be selected in the do-or-die of an international tournament. Ultimately however the decision whether or not to experiment with line-ups must always and only be the choice of the international management teams themselves. As such coaches will have the results of such games discussed for months or even years to come, anything else can only be regarded as totally unfair.