So… It has been a while since my last post. Bayern has already played two matches in the Bundesliga, and the result makes me happy. I hope they will keep on marching through this season with their heads held high, although I wish commentators would stop reminding everyone of the last season. We all know how Bayern did and so on and so forth. I think it is time to move on. Surely, none of us will ever forget how difficult it was, but I am getting tired of hearing about it during every match that Bayern plays.
In the post-match critique, SZ wrote the following on Lahm’s performance against Stuttgart:
Philipp Lahm: must have smiled when he heard that Arjen Robben would also like to wear a captain’s armband. Soon [he] will probably explain to Robben that he [Lahm] is a leader for his time as a professional at Bayern or something along those lines. [He] could also suggest to the announcer to introduce him, once in a while, without mentioning the first name. “And the number 21, the captain..,” would work out just fine. Prior to the match, [he] read the appeal for the fairness in the stadiums. Accomplished that just as flawlessly as his job as a right-back. (my translation)
“Clearly, it is a reference,” I thought to myself, looking at the first line, but had not been able to figure out what they were referring to until I read this article:
In the future, Arjen Robben would like to take on more responsibility at Bayern. “We need five, six players who lead, and I am in that category,” the Dutchman said on Sunday in the interview to “Welt”. The 28-year-old added that, in his career, it would “be also appealing” to “be captain at some point”. At Bayern, Philipp Lahm and his deputy, Bastian Schweinsteiger, do their job well, “I don’t want to challenge them for it.” If both aren’t available, “I would gladly wear the armband.” (my translation)
I cannot describe myself as Robben’s fan, but I have to give him props in this case. Some time ago, when the K-Frage was especially popular, Lahm said in one of the interviews, “Wer behauptet, dass er die Kapitänsbinde nicht gerne haben will, der lügt. Jeder will doch gern Anführer einer starken Mannschaft sein.” (Trsln: Anyone, who claims that he wouldn’t like to wear a captain’s armband, is lying. Everyone wants to be the leader of a strong team.) I still think that it was a bold statement to make not because of the actual words – they are true, I believe – but because of what was going on. To some, it came as a surprise to hear a player stating that he likes his status. I felt like people expected some sort of false modesty that would have been more acceptable. (Please forgive me, but I do consider Bastian’s words on the subject an example of false modesty to some extent.) Now, Robben’s point of view. I give him props for actually saying it out loud, as well as for the manner in which he said it. I, of course, would not want him to be captain – that is as certain as the sun rising in the East – but I have some sort of admiration for him in this case.
On a side note, the European Championship just ended two months ago, but the qualification for the World Cup 2014 is well under way. The German National Team will play two matches, on the 7th and 11th of September respectively. It seems so far away, and I cannot even imagine how big of a commitment that is, a commitment that may or may not be rewarded. I am looking forward to both games and am eager to see what kind of performance the team will demonstrate. Apparently, one thing that is going to be different this time around is the fact that Lahm will play at right-back. (As a reminder, he played at left-back during the EURO 2012.) I wonder if Löw has finally decided to leave him on that side for good. The decision was made based on Löw’s intention of giving Schmelzer a chance. (Not that he has not had it before, of course.) I am curious to see how it will work out. Auf geht’s, die Jungs!