Philipp Lahm’s Next Changeover

I do not think anyone could have imagined a better result against FC Basel than what Bayern achieved on Tuesday. It was magnificent! The speed, the creativity, the attitude, the skills… Everything was how it is supposed to be!

Philipp, too, had a great game. According to SZ, he “accelerated the game like a bow that shoots an arrow in the direction of an apple. More or less the Wilhelm Tell of the German right-backs.” Personally, I loved the metaphor. (Those of you who are not familiar with the tale should check it out.) I believe it perfectly describes what Lahm’s way of playing is all about. Now it looks like he will continue to play on the right. I do admit that the constant change of position worries me a bit, but at the same time, there isn’t much to be done about it. He is needed on the right, so let it be so! And it looks like I am not the only one who is interested in this change. SZ’s reporter Andreas Burkert shares his thoughts on the matter.

Philipp Lahm’s Next Changeover

By Andreas Burkert

This season at FC Bayern, neither Rafinha nor Jérôme Boateng could give a convincing performance as right-backs. Now Jupp Heynckes relocated his captain Philipp Lahm back [to the right], and that’s how it will be remain at Bayern.

Since his arrival in Munich, the Brazilian Rafinha has not received very good reviews. Even the coach has expressed his disappointment at the contribution made by the five-million-player. But perhaps the inhabitants of Munich will be again grateful to him, as it is presumably believed that they haven’t thanked him personally.

It is not known where Rafinha has caught a cold, but it is possible that his recent infection was a decisive turn for Bayern this season. Due to Rafinha’s germs, Philipp Lahm plays again on the right in the back four instead of the left. And it will remain this way. At Bayern, and perhaps, in the National Team at the European Championship.

Since Willy Sagnol’s departure, Bayern has been looking for a right-back. For some time, a certain Christian Lell filled the void. Lahm, who actually preferred to play on the right, was told to play on the left and didn’t oppose the decision. Under Louis van Gaal, he played on the right; this season Jupp Heynckes decided to put him on the left because of the club buying Rafinha. But neither Rafinha nor Jérôme Boateng proved to be suitable partners for Arjen Robben, especially when it came to attacking, they could never flank.

Heynckes had Lahm in mind.

He tried it recently in Freiburg (0:0). At halftime, Rafinha was out, Lahm on the right, and Alaba on the left. Due to Rafinha not playing against Hoffenheim, Lahm and Alaba played again at their respective positions. After 7:1 and 7:0 against Basel, a change is prohibited. Since Lahm harmonized ideally with Robben, he was unusually dangerous in the attack.

And with his speed, the all-around Alaba, 19, whom already van Gaal viewed as a left-back (up until his mistake in Frankfurt), isn’t a bad fit for Frank Ribéry. Lahm understood it, he says, “The way it looks now, it will stay like that for a while.” He added that “it was fine” with him.

(translation © unavis)

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