First off, a question: do you know who Berti Vogts is? For those of you who don’t know, he is a former German player who has coached Germany, Scotland, and Nigeria in the past. Nowadays, he is the head coach of the Azerbaijan National Team. Today I came across his interview in which he talks about many things, including Lahm. Naturally, the reporter could not omit the question of leadership.
The interview itself is quite extensive, and there is so much being discussed. Out of all those things, the one that was made into the title is the fact that Vogts likes Lahm’s style of leadership. On the one hand, it is clear this must be a topic that will attract readers. On the other hand, I thought, “I can’t believe that the whole interview came down to whether he likes Lahm’s leadership or not.”
So, Vogts was asked about Philipp in relation to the following:
What’s your take on the “fullback” problem in the National Team?
Vogts: Philipp Lahm is a world-class player; whether Marcel Schmelzer accomplishes that, it remains to be seen. When our team believes in itself again, we won’t have any problems at any position.
Uhm… Something tells me it is not only about believing in oneself. It is true, though, that we all reach our potential at different times.
Here comes the question that people cannot put to rest:
Is Lahm, as captain, too calm?
Vogts: Instead, he is very dominant on the pitch. Günter Netzer also was calm, but he was a leader through the passes he made. It suits the team well. I find his style [of leadership] very positive. He addresses things calmly yet very directly.
At last! Thank you for pointing that out, Mr. Vogts. The last sentence is golden.
Recently, Mats Hummels has openly criticized Lahm. Is that a problem for the team?
Vogts: One is no longer satisfied when he wins 2:1 against Austria and 3:0 against the Faroe Islands. It shakes things up a bit. That’s important. It has become a bit more aggressive, but I consider that positive.
Well, in that case, one has to re-evaluate his expectations. You cannot win 6:0 all the time! Moreover, will they stop saying that Hummels criticized Lahm? He did not. I mean, even the fans did not think so. Why continue mentioning this nonsense? Shaking things up that way does not do the team any good, in my opinion. It just creates rumors. Frankly, I am not a fan of the idea that aggressiveness was manufactured by the media. Besides, Vogts also points out that “the leading players hold back a bit because they know that any false word is going to make the media explode. It was different before.” Exactly. I would also add that the media can create “a false word” if there is none. Hummels’ statement is an excellent example of the principle.
It is nice to see that Vogts is not fixated on the idea of a screaming captain.