Here it is… The article that convinced me that I should say something back. To the emptiness, yes, but at least say something.
The article points out that Lahm did a “surprising backing out” with regard to his wish to stay Germany’s captain. I have to admit that I got scared for a minute there. I wouldn’t want Philipp to back out, as I absolutely love his honesty and straightforwardness.
The issue started at the press conference in the summer of 2010, when Philipp, being himself, said that he wouldn’t want to voluntary give up the captain’s armband, that he liked being captain, and, here comes the important part, he would surely give it back if the coach said so. If Michael Ballack came back to the team, that is. As the journalists seemed to not get his answer (sarcasm intended), he repeated it several times, over and over again. In September of 2010, Jogi Löw, the head coach of die Mannschaft, said that Michael would stay captain, but, for as long as he doesn’t play due to the lack of practice/fitness, Philipp will perform the captain’s duties, i.e. he will lead the team. Philipp accepted the decision.Why wouldn’t he? That was the exact thing he had talked about.
This morning, however, the article (link above) appeared, citing Philipp, “When Michael Ballack comes back, he is the captain, and I’m his deputy.” (my translation) This statement of his gets labeled as “backing out” and, allegedly, surprises everyone. Looks like Philipp has changed his mind, admitting his mistake. Wait, what? How is that “backing down”? Isn’t that the exact same thing that he has talked about before? That was what surprised me the most: how could one not remember what Lahm said at that press conference? If you don’t remember, watch it again. YouTube does a great job of providing videos of it. But do not pretend like Lahm has not been saying that same thing all along. The power of journalism! Twisting words, presenting events in a different light, wishing to achieve something… Even the head coach understood Lahm’s answer. Not the media. Then, the article cites Philipp on how he relishes in his responsibilities as a leader, but he can’t be an autocrat. And why would he want to be an autocrat? That would’ve been against his character and personality, which, by the way, aren’t there, according to some people. (There is also a constant reminder of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Lahm’s teammate, being a “chief on the pitch”; well, he’s a vice-captain, so can we move on now?)
Finally, the “comments” section is full of mean-spirited messages that aren’t derogatory enough to call them “spam” but that do leave a very unpleasant impression. In addition to the typical “he’s too short”s and “he has no charisma”s, there are also “he is good but not a leader”s and “finally, he understood what the coach meant.” First off, what is leadership? Why can’t its definition differ from person to person? And if it can, as the comments demonstrate, then why can’t we just be civil about it? The last comment is especially ridiculous, considering the fact that Philipp knew very well what the coach meant and how the things were.
I believe it’s very common to say that one shouldn’t pay attention to the articles like this one, but the thing is… Thousands of people read it, and the “mob mentality” is a scary thing. That was upsets me.