The online journal (magazine?) Sportal.de cited Uli Hoeneß today, who had given an interview to Sportbild, the title of which is “Lahm is a good captain.”
Hoeneß gave his opinion on Lahm’s leadership qualities, explaining:
I believe that a captain, from time to time, expresses himself boldly. With regard to this, I notice that Philipp has become more daring in public in the past weeks. (Namely), with statements that were somewhat provocative. […] These rough edges make up a leader. You have to show yourself as a captain to be perceived as such. (my translation)
The original can be found here: http://www.sportal.de/sportal/generated/article/tnt_fussball/2011/07/06/20151000000.html
I have an impression that Herr Hoeneß has not been paying attention to Lahm in the past two or three years. Or perhaps, he just does not want to remember that one of Lahm’s bold statements was made in 2009, when he criticized the transfer policy of his club (the policy which, as one may recall, has been suffered up to this point). Please, do not get me wrong, as I am not complaining. But I have to say that I do not agree with Herr Hoeneß. Lahm became “provocative” a long time ago. In fact, it might as well be in his nature. Who knows? (The definition of “provocative” remains to be established.) Lahm has always had “eine Meinung” (one can translate it as “opinion” or “mind”), and I am not the first to point that out.
What I am saying is that Lahm did not become “provocative” in the past weeks. He just could not because he was on vacation =) Joking aside, I understand what Herr Hoeneß means, but I would like to point out that the process is far from being recent. Besides, Lahm called for a change in tactics some time in March when Louis van Gaal was still in charge. It happened more than two months ago, not “in the past weeks”. Not to mention (again) 2009. Herr Hoeneß should know better.
Some users have commented on the article, and, among the painfully typical ‘he is not good enough because he is not X’, there were two comments that, surprisingly, were positive. I would like to quote here one of those:
[Lahm] hat im Vergleich zu den anderen Kapitänen auch etwas im Kopf. Er muss durch seine Körpersprache nicht unbedingt jemandem Angst einjagen, um den nötigen Respekt zu kriegen.
[Lahm] is, in comparison to other captains, smart. He does not have to use his body language to scare somebody so he can get some respect. (my translation)
Precisely my point, my dear readers. Precisely.