My Commentary On Lahm

“People write what they know” ~ one of my professors.

Do they? They probably do, when, in reality, they do not know that much. (I, myself, am included.) Every newspaper, every person seems to write a comment on Lahm’s book and the feedback it has received. I do not claim to know a lot, but I think that I could write a dissertation about Lahm, based on all the material out there. While listening to me going on and on about Lahm’s book and all the hype, my mom said, “That emphasizes once again the fact that he is very well-known and that people are not indifferent about him, otherwise his words would not have mattered so much.” I guess that is some sort of a silver lining in all of this, isn’t it? And we do not want indifference, do we? Thus, the ambitious title of my post. (Do I not have the same right as everyone else to throw in my two cents?)

To a certain extent, this is going to be an answer to some of the things I have read so far on the subject. And let me tell you that I was overwhelmed. I think I still am. There is already so much written that I cannot even decide where to begin. I am going to begin by quoting Lahm’s release that, thanks to Fips4Ever, is now also in the comments section.

“I certainly did not want to personally insult or in any way slander Rudi Völler, Jürgen Klinsmann, and other people. I rather wanted, as it becomes clear from reading my book, to give my honest opinion and describe working under various coaches at different times, and highlight reasons for such progression. In the current discussion, to me that seems to be shortened and having come across as exorbitant. I apologize. For misunderstandings that have arisen in this way, I, hereby, apologize to all those involved.”

(my translation, (c) unavis)

Once again, I am totally fine with this press release. It had to be done because… well, because that is how things are done. I do not see a reason for dwelling on it. One thing is clear: he does not apologize for his opinion. It suffices to look at the wording in order to notice that. Thus, everyone, who is not happy because Lahm, allegedly, does not stand by his words, should think it over. There was an interview with him soon after his 2009 interview, and the reporter asked him a question about it. Lahm answered that his opinion was still the same. Same here.

When reading a comment from Fips4Ever, my first thought was to disagree with regard to what Lahm is actually sorry about. But now, that I look at it, I, too, am beginning to think that, perhaps, he is sorry for publishing it with Bild. Although frankly, I doubt that. I have a hard time imagining that Lahm did not know how the excerpts would be published. I mean, he did not expect the excerpts and their context, did he?

From Fips4Ever: “He just wrote about the bad spirit of the team of 2008, which Lehmann and Enke have already exposed in their own biography.”

Are you serious?.. Do people know about it? Have they read those books? If they have read them, then the whole bashing is even less cooler than it has been before.

Several things that seem interesting to me:

1. People are surprised that Philipp is so ambitious and is not the boy-next-door. That makes me laugh. One of the newspapers has already called him a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Apparently, they have not noticed it before. People, themselves, have created an image of him without actually looking. And now they are in shock.

He has never struck me as the boy-next-door. He really is ambitious. In a good way. One cannot be without ambitions if he wants to achieve something in any sport and/or domain. Lahm has a personality that I, myself, would not mind having. I hear it in what he says, in the way he behaves; I can see it in him, and – yes, I know that it might seem a bit strange – I can feel it in him. To me, it has always been obvious. He would not have been where he is right now if he had been the boy-next-door. That is why I always say that Lahm will be able to kick somebody’s butt if he so desires. We all have different traits in our character, and what we show depends on the circumstances. Lahm has never been quiet in the sense that people so often mean. I do not think he wants to publish this book because he is so desperate for making his image sharper. Nope.

2. Breaking the code: if you think about it, the team of 2004 or 2008 is not really the same team. I mean, those are two different (independent) national teams, so technically it is not about his team. It is in the past. (Not to mention the fact that he does not name any names, he does not reveal any secrets.)

3. People say it is rude. Where exactly is rudeness in there? It is written without any insults.

4. Not so long ago Oliver Kahn said that a leader should sometimes speak uncomfortable truths. Well..?

5. The point of the book is not revealing scandals and whatnot. It is about revealing how difficult and demanding this profession can be, as Lahm perceives it. But then again, each can interpret it differently.

As a closing remark, it is interesting how Lahm shook the world of German football with only what people have already observed themselves. 



  1. Actually, I didn’t know Lehmann and Enke had said it in their books…
    [to give my honest opinion and describe working under various coaches at different times, and highlight reasons for such progression.] —- I think that is where the whole problem came from. Because of this he wrote some comments about fomer coaches. Then BILD garbled some lines out of context. And the whole thing has gone so far…. It’s terrible. People are just misguided into another way, which Philipp didn’t expect to.

    1. Hi =)

      You see, the question is whether or not Lahm, himself, gave passages to Bild, or they had a right to choose and publish whatever. I also don’t know if he really thinks it’s been a misunderstanding.

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