Lahm: A Press Conference In Istanbul

Every time I start a new post, it feels like meeting an old friend. *grin* One of my readers, Andi, has asked me about whether or not I would be commenting on Bayern‘s match against Manchester City, the one that took place on September 27th. And I am planning on doing that, even though it has been a while since the match was played. But for now, I just could not pass on an opportunity to comment on yesterday’s press conference in Istanbul, which was attended by Löw and Lahm.

When Jogi was leaving to make way for Philipp, the former had forgotten his jacket. It was interesting looking at Philipp who tried to get Löw’s attention, standing behind the chair, waiting for Löw to come back, saying, “Coach! Coach!” The PR agent joined in, and Lahm got Löw’s jacket back to his owner.

Here are the points that I found either interesting or amusing, or both (keep in mind that the video does not show you how much time has passed; instead, it shows you how much time is left till the end, thus the “-” sign. The link is near the end of this post):

 –  -13:22 If I am not mistaken, the question consists of two parts. The first is about whether or not a potential win of the Turkish National Team would be a surprise, while the second is about motivation for the upcoming match. In response to the first part of the question, Philipp says that die Mannschaft is the favorite, yes, but they know Turkey has a very good team, and so on. That is when the fun stuff happens. Around the -12:41 mark. Lahm takes a pause because he has forgotten  the second part of the question. (I found it a bit weird since he usually remembers every bit of a long question, but you know, it happens to the best of us. *laugh* Not to mention that questions should not be that long anyway.) He says, “As to the second question… ” Turns to the PR agent, smiles, and says, “… which was?”I am having trouble describing the change that happens in Lahm at that moment, but it is rather heartwarming. Or perhaps, that is not the right word. However, it is so apparent. It made me smile, that is for sure.

The PR agent starts saying, “The second question was…” The interpreter joins in, suggesting that the second question has to deal with a potential Turkish win, and Lahm turns to him. In the meantime, the PR agent disagrees, pointing out that, according to him, that was the first question, but still cannot remember the second. The interpreter repeats the first question. All this time, Lahm is sitting there, looking like he does not trust either of the two men. *laugh* Then, judging by his look, somebody in the audience says something. (Probably, one of the journalists has written down the question. *laugh*) However, it is hard to hear, not to mention the fact that precisely at that moment Lahm says with a smile, “The motivation was the second question.” The PR agent thanks the person in the audience (I suppose), and Lahm says to thim something like, “I just wanted to know if you were paying attention.” (my note: if I am mistaken, please do correct me.) Then he smiles, laughs, and notice the number of camera flashes when that happens!  Notice the difference. And it is not the first time there is a reaction like that. *laugh*

Also, I have to say this again: I love Lahm’s wit. (Oh, and the answer to the second question is that the motivation is great.)

-9:54 The question about motivation, in particular what Lahm is going to do to motivate his teammates for the upcoming two matches (something that, perhaps, Kahn or Ballack have done before him). Philipp says that the team does not need a motivation bigger than their desire to win the games. Everyone wants to show the coach that he can do his best, so the players do not really need somebody else pushing them to deliver a good performance.

-8:46 Pay attention to Lahm around this mark. He has a pen, and I feel like he is doodling at the moment. *laugh* Something that I have not seen so much of. He also looks at the PR agent’s notes, then surveys everyone in the audience, and looks at the interpreter’s notes. I found it hilarious!

-8:03 The question about his book and whether he thinks that what he has written is false, or he stands by his words. (I mean, really? It has already been two months since it came out.) Lahm points out that he already said what he thought on this subject a month ago, and the team is ready to take on Turkey, so everyone might as well talk about something else. (Oh, the brilliance of Lahm.) And Lahm starts doodling again. The interpreter’s subtle smile makes me think he appreciated Lahm’s answer.

-3:46 The question is about Sami (Khedira) and whether or not it is right for him to be on the team. It is also about recent speculations in the media about Arjen Robben being isolated from the team, being called “ALLEINikov”, which basically alludes to his individualistic qualities. The journalist wants to know how Lahm views it. Lahm says that it is only a public discussion, whereas internally “here it does not play any role for the coach or the players.” He says they know what Sami can do, so that is what matters. He also believes there is nothing special about these discussions since that is what happens in the football world. 

Notice what Lahm does here, which I find brilliant. First, he basically tells the media that nobody cares what they think, but he says it in a very elegant way. Second, he makes a great use of the double-barreled question. For those of you who are not familiar with this term, it is a question, which is considered a fallacy of some sort, that touches upon more than one topic. Yet, it is asked in a way that does not clearly separate those topics. An interviewer who asks a question like that expects only one answer, but it, i.e. the question, actually gives an interviewee an option of choosing what part s/he wants to answer. Hence, an interviewee can answer a question without  saying what s/he does not want to say. This is not what the interviewer desires, therefore it is better to keep away from posing questions in that manner. But it happens. In fact, that is exactly what happens here. In his turn, Lahm jumps on this opportunity, answering the question as he pleases. In particular, he talks about Sami but leaves Robben and Bayern completely out of it, as the conference does not have anything to do with Bayern. Good one, Philipp!

 – -1:15 While the interpreter is translating, Lahm takes a look at the PR agent’s notes. The latter seems to go through his schedule, turns to Lahm, says something, which nobody can hear, and Lahm laughs. I wish I knew what he said. Later on, if I am not mistaken, it becomes clear that the journalists’ passes have not been printed, so they cannot really go to the open training. But the PR guy assures they will correct the mistake. Philipp gives him a pat on the back! *laugh* I have never seen that one before. When Lahm gets up, the interpreter asks him to take a picture. Look for that at the very end. Lahm agrees, waits for a picture to be taken, and then stays around to see if the picture has turned out good! Whatever others may say, I think that is very endearing. No less endearing than that find I the interpreter’s behavior. It is so touching. He will probably show it to everyone. I would do the same. The video stops, but it looks to me like they were going to take the photo again.

And here is the link.

Obviously, the media was not exactly entertained. *laugh* Abendzeitung remarks:

With 83 international caps, Lahm ranks among the unconditional leaders, even when in Istanbul he did not want to answer the tough questions about the internal status of Arjen Robben (“Only a public discussion”) or personal lessons from publishing his book (“I have already said enough about it”). (my translation)

So, let me partially disagree with this statement. I cannot say that he did not answer the questions. Sure, he did not say what they wanted him to say, but does that mean he did not give an answer? I mean, let’s look at it: with regard to the speculations about Robben, he basically indicated that nobody cares because it is just a rumor, a public discussion. This part of his answer definitely referred to both Robben and Sami. So, he did answer the question. As to his book, he is absolutely right in saying that he has already talked about it. That is true. We all have witnessed that. So, why repeat the same thing over and over? That is the point he got across. Thus, I do not think one can say he did not answer the question. Yes, he did not reopened the topic, but why should he? He has already discussed it multiple times. In my opinion, he did great. It is, in fact, a matter of whether or not the media got what they wanted. They did not.

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4 comments

  1. ahahaha~~~ I really like Philipp’s behavior at the press conference! It’s friendly and relaxed. How I wish to understand every word from him! I have to learn German harder:-p

    1. Rui~

      Thanks for the comment! Yeah, me too, I liked it. As to learning German, you should! ahaha I’m sure you will not regret it :D

  2. opfaith · · Reply

    I really like this PK! Philipp looked in a good mood, he lahghed very much!:-)
    He’s interaction with the PR was so cute!
    I also noticed that he probably doodled on paper, I think he felt a little boring when the interpreter
    was translating.XDD

    1. Hi!

      Thanks for commenting =) You know, I have never really liked the PR guy because he always seemed mean. But after yesterday’s press conference, I am starting to warm up to him =)

      I would not say Philipp was bored :D :D :D It seems to me he was simply thinking of something else but paying attention to the interpreter at the same time. I noticed how, with certain curiosity, he was listening to him translate his words, even though he didn’t understand the language.
      But it certainly did look like he was doodling ahaha Not once =))

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