Sometimes one “accuses” Lahm of not being aggressive enough. There are different types of aggression. Verbal and non-verbal, to name a few. I have come to realize that Lahm is quite proactive with regard to his team(s). He tries to make a change if he has an opportunity of doing so. That being said, I have come across the article, written in the French newspaper Express on June 7, 2010, during the World Cup 2010 in South Africa, that points out to that very tendency.
The original can be found here (In French)
In particular, the article explains,
“Far from being a choice by default, Philipp Lahm, with 64 international appearances, has accepted the task without apprehension. The boy next door who knows how to make people respect him, Lahm (26 years old) has all the characteristics of a perfect captain. The versatile defender of FC Bayern Munich, renowned for his professionalism, rarely shows his claws (steps out of line). When he does, it is for the good of his team, like when he critisized the transfer policy of his club in November 2009.” (my translation)
I found this article interesting because it was written for a foreign public. (I refer to the public outside of Germany as “foreign”. ) Somebody else had observed this trait of Lahm’s character and then wrote an article. May I say that it’s one of his famous assets? :) It brings me back to the “offensives” that the German newspaper Spiegel has talked about (see the previous post). It’s not an offensive without a purpose, and it’s not an offensive for the sake of being such. Those instances demonstrate, like nothing else in my opinion, that he cares about his club and his team(s). Isn’t that a great quality to have?
Yesterday Philipp asnwered one of the questions about FC Bayern’s situation at the moment. After the defeat in Munich in the match against Borussia Dortmund, it seems that the club/team has an urgent meeting in order to discuss, among other things, tactics. Lahm expressed his dissatisfaction with team’s defensive work, calling for stability. (I can sense an offensive coming up and the claws!)
The original can be found here (In German)
The author of the article, written on February 28, 2011, points out,
“Philipp lahm didn’t sleep well on Sunday night. One does have his thoughts, he says. The day after the game van Gaal [the head coach of FC Bayern Munich, my explanation] scheduled a meeting. Only after it was over, the captain got back his sleep to some extent. They have analyzed the “1:3″ loss in great detail, Lahm explains, even though he doesn’t elaborate on that subject – it’s a state secret – but he is confident that the team is now well prepared for the next task […] ‘We often make our life difficult,’ finds Lahm, ‘being in possession of the ball, we have too many turnovers and are punished by strong opponents at once.’ […] ‘The question is how much can we risk in our present situation?’ Lahm outlined the matter at hand. ” (my translation)
Yet, another article from Bild.de (Ferbruary 28th, 2011) elaborates on Lahm’s point of view. The original can be found here (in German).
It mentions the following,
” […] Philipp Lahm, 27 years old, demands a reconsideration of the tactics after the loss to Borussia Dortmund, ‘We have to rethink our game. By making mistake in building up our game, we have already lost too many points and conceded too many goals in the Bundesliga.’ The captain explains, ‘We cannot always play the ball back. But the team must sometimes clear it out correctly and then fight for the ball in midfield.’ Lahm analyzes critically because he openly says, ‘We are not yet as consistent as to play and be the best in all three major competitions every year.’ “ (my translation)
Now this may not seem extraordinary, but it is a rather good analysis of the present situation. Whether or not this critique had been previously approved by FCB’s management, Lahm showed his claws. To those who might say that this is something so simple that one could find it in football manuals, I’m going to say this:
1. The critique that Lahm offered is much more specific than anything that van Gaal could say whose words are usually limited to “I cannot believe the team lost” and ” They took advantage of our mistakes”. That does not help.
2. Somebody has to say something, and Lahm is doing his job here. Besides, he has the right to be upset, since in the match against Borussia he was trying tirelessly to generate attacks and defend.
3. Of course, he cannot reveal all the details of their meeting with the team! That would have been… dumb.
To sum up, Lahm is being as specific as he is allowed to be in this situation, while still expressing his discontent at what is going on with the club. All I have to say is this, “Lead us, Lahm, and we will follow!” :) Tomorrow is the second semi-final in the DFB-Pokal (the German Cup). Good luck to Bayern, to the captain and his team!