Wow… That is all I have to say. Some people are very seriously annoyed. I have read comments like “You have betrayed your colleagues.” Hold your horses, ladies and gentlemen! What betrayal are we talking about? What did he betray exactly? Whom did he betray? Look up the definition of betrayal. If I were to say that people’s reaction does not scare me, I would be lying. It does make me feel slightly uncomfortable. There is some serious Lahm-bashing going on right now. While reading about it in the morning, I was freaked out, to say the least. But I have to admit that one of the comments made me laugh. A user wrote on Lahm’s Facebook page, complaining about the following: Lahm has said that he does not really care what any former player writes in his blog, and now he writes a book. What’s up with that? the user asked. Hence, here is my letter to him/her.
Dear online user, whose name I cannot remember,
I realize that you do not read this blog, since obviously you are not too fond of Lahm. But let me tell you that your question is completely irrelevant. Why? Let me put it his way: Lahm is not interested in what Kahn has said about him. It is his right. Writing a book does not have anything to do with whether or not Lahm is interested in Kahn’s thoughts. If Kahn is not interested in what Lahm writes, that is totally fine! I do not mind. I am sure Lahm does not mind either. There are people who are interested in Lahm’s book, and that is enough. If you are not one of them, why is that Lahm’s problem? Thus, think about that.
Anyhow… I am continuing with writing about Lahm’s book because Bild keeps publishing the excerpts. (Ok, fine, it is not their fault that I cannot stop reading bits of that book.) If I am not mistaken, yesterday Bild promised to quote Lahm’s thoughts on getting lectured by Rummenigge. But, instead, they present us with some excerpts about Rudolf ‘Rudi’ Völler (note: former head coach). Well, let’s see…
JUST A FRIENDLY REMINDER: I do not know in what context the following excerpts appear in the book. And we all know that the context matters.
I feel like, in this case, I must not summarize what Lahm says. (Let’s face it, the idea have crossed my mind because it would be so much easier for me.) Hence, here we go.
[on his first nomination to the National Team] “If I believed someone would take care of me, especially as a newbie, I was wrong. The senior national players, who have already experienced many such meetings – arrival, check into a hotel, two, three training sessions, going to the venue, an international game, return flight, going back to clubs – stay together and make their stay as comfortable as possible. There is a lot of laughter. I hold back from joking. We young players – Hinkel, Hildebrand, Friedrich, Kurányi, and I – perch together and are simply there, don’t say much, do what we are told. “
[on training] “We run one or two laps on the field, warming up, do a bit of stretching, play in circle, on the flanks, practice shots on goal, and afterward start a little game. This is to me as if two buddies went on vacation and played football together. After training, no one says anything. The senior players don’t take care of the young ones anyway, the (trainer) staff is nonexistent, and the coach obviously finds that everything is okay the way it is.”
“Still, the training sessions with the National Team are the most relaxed days of my professional existence. The relaxation, at which I have marveled before my first game against Croatia, is the rule. We don’t work on anything specific, except, perhaps, crosses from the sides to the center, from where somebody takes the ball unchallenged and shoots on goal. Fun, yes, but totally unsystematic.”
“From today’s perspective, it sounds like a different era of football, and probably that is true. I don’t know any national team from 2004 that would have prepared differently, more professionally than we did. How much professional, overall, a work with players of the National Team can be, I experience after the disaster at the European Championship 2004 in Portugal.”
[when Klinsmann came] “Everything that will be dealt with during practice suddenly makes sense.”
“Jogi Löw proves himself already during the first training as a shrewd tactician. It is interesting what he has to say about every position, especially for a player to whom no trainer has given any suggestions as to how he could interpret the position of a left full-back.”
(my translation, (c) unavis)
I know I said I would not summarize, but nevertheless… When writing about Völler, Lahm points out they did not watch any videos of other teams and so on.
I am going to leave it at that. I did not translate another bit referring to Völler’s training methods, which basically amounts to the same thing.
Interesting, very interesting…
EDIT (August 2012): I have started translating the book. The first part of the 1st chapter has already been posted here.