Now, that the German National Team has made history by winning all ten matches, I look back at the qualification road and am rather proud to be a part of it, as I have seen all of them, even if it meant watching only last 20 minutes of a game. When people were taking about making history, I was excited but calm at the same time: I just wanted die Jungs to do the best they could because, regardless of ‘making’ or ‘not making’ history, they were already amazing. It is only now that I think of it and say to myself, “Wow…”
In the first half-hour, the whole team looked confused and nervous, and Belgium had come there to win, thus they were pressuring and constantly moving forward. The Germans were a bit taken aback, it seemed. But things started to fall into place after that, and Germany got a 3 to 1 win. As to Lahm, I liked his performance. I thought he was good, and I especially liked little things that he did. For example, I really liked his way of getting the ball away from his opponent by kicking it with his heel while the ball was still in the air. A very nice touch. Lahm often does some little things that, perhaps, go unnoticed by commentators and/or the TV audience, but they are so cool and indispensable.
The media, too, did not hold back on their commentaries, and here is what we ended up with:
Westdeutsche Zeitung wrote after the game,
When he stands next to Neuer during the national anthem, he is one head shorter. Yesterday he wasn’t at the eye level with his goalkeeper, as there was a lot going on his flank and behind him. (my translation)
So, basically what it says is that Philipp was not that great. He did not secure the left flank. As my previous comments show, I do not agree with this assessment. (Not to mention the fact that the height allegory is… well, let’s just say they could have come up with a better one.)
Apparently, I am not the only one who thought that Philipp was just fine. Sport.de pointed out,
The captain secured his flank, played rock-solid. After 883 qualification minutes out of possible 900, the long runner of the players had to leave the pitch. (my translation)
That makes me wonder if journalists of the Westdeutsche Zeitung watched the same match as I did. *grin*
Yahoo!Sport gave Philipp 2.5 and concluded,
[He] had Dembele well under control on the left flank. Had to adjust to Hazard who repeatedly changed flanks. [Lahm] was willing to participate in the attack and was confident in the defense. By replacing him, Gündogan made his international debut just before the end. (my translation)
To be fair, though, there was a right-back to defend against Hazard on the right. So…
Last but not least, Süddeutsche Zeitung responded with,
In the beginning, the captain of FC Bayern seemed confused: the opponent’s team is putting pressure on his team! He hasn’t experienced that in a long time. In the process, [he] accomplished a sliced shot with the shin in the direction of his penalty area, which made the head coach’s hair stand on end. But then remembered his qualities in simple defending, and thus, contributed to calming the situation. Acted towards leading his team as the usual Lahm-like clockwork. (my translation)
The SZ analysis made me laugh a bit. Despite some problems they have mentioned, their critique is far from that of the WZ. (It really makes me think that the WZ must have watched another game. *laugh*) With regard to the sliced shot, I know what moment they are referring to. However, it did not have the same effect on me. Even though I saw that the situation was somewhat risky, unstable, I was not afraid while waiting for an outcome. I did not have the impression that it was that destabilizing. But, in all honesty, I am not sure why they decided to specify that he is the captain of Bayern in the article pertaining to the National Team. Oh, well… *smile*
During the match, one of the commentators said, “Philipp Lahm… Doesn’t always have nice things to say, does he?” And then both of them started talking about Philipp’s book. The other commentator concluded that Lahm does not like (did not like) his coaches. The latter left me speechless.
First, is it me or is it really weird hearing that Lahm does not always have nice things to say? Second, they have not even read the book, and yet they talk about it like they have read it. While doing so, they were on air. They had to realize that, by saying what they were saying, they created a certain image of Lahm. Obviously, I have heard about the book. Many of you have heard about it, too. But those, who were not aware of it at the moment, heard the commentary and got a certain impression. Finally, saying “I like this part of your approach, but I do not like that part of your approach” is not the same as saying “I do not like you”. Where did the whole “not liking coaches” thing come from?
Oh, I forgot to mention: they also called Lahm “Schürrle” at some point. Nice. No comments.
However, I still enjoyed the game despite the lack of professionalism on the commentators’ part. Thus, congrats to the coach, his staff, The Captain and his team! Woohoo!