Vogts’ Comments On Lahm

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.

(my translation)

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.



  1. Korean fan · · Reply

    Are You live in Germany?
    I have a question .
    Do German people doubt the leadership of Lahm?
    There are too many of these interviews.
    What is the suspected reason for the leadership of Lahm?
    And Thank you for interview translation. ^^

    1. ~Thanks for the comment :)

      No, I don’t live in Germany, and I’m not even German. To answer your question, yes, it appears that some people still doubt his leadership skills. One of the German readers here has pointed to the same problem. Some people say he became captain just because there was no one better. They think he is the lesser of two evils. In other words, Lahm is not a good captain, but others would be worse, so alright, let’s give him the captain’s armband. Some people say that he is a brown noser (I’m not sure if you’re familiar with this term), and that’s why he got the captaincy. Some say he’s not emotional enough to wear the captain’s armband and can’t encourage the team because they, i.e. people, are not used to his way of doing things. The list goes on and on.

      And there are people like me who think he’s just the right person for the job :)

      1. Korean fan · · Reply

        Thank you for the detailed answer.
        I read a lot Philipp Lahm’s interview, and I felt he resolutely ambitious.
        I do not think he is a weak man. And he also is not a brown noser(Thanks to getting to know the new English expressions.).
        Philipp Lahm is also sometimes make mistakes.
        He is not a perfect person.
        But I think some people blame too exaggerated.

    2. Oh, he is ambitious, I agree with you. I don’t think it’s possible to achieve something great in this life if a person isn’t ambitious.

      As to people, yep, some of them exaggerate too much :) Nothing pleases them. When something is good, they still think it’s bad.

  2. Ah, I come across your site every so often(as a fellow Lahm lover), but I have to say this interview you translated really hits home for me what I’ve been saying since he was made captain. After every tournament,etc. loss, people on the boards question his leadership abilities. Which is very frustrating and I make the same point as Vogt’s did, although not as eloquently. If anyone actually looks at the stats for each game, he usually has one of the players, if not the top player, with the highest number of passes completed. That’s a lot of the on field direction. Thanks for all the work you do so that the less-German literate among us can also enjoy some of the press on our favorite little Lahm XD

    1. ~ Thank you for leaving a comment! I appreciate it.

      Not only is it nice to hear your opinion because it is similar to mine, but your comment actually brings me back to the reason why I started this blog in the first place. I completely understand your point of view pertaining to the forums. I felt the same way. At the time, I didn’t feel I could speak freely on forums because of, as you’ve mentioned, people doubting him all the time without being interested in looking at it from a different perspective. So, I thought my voice would be simply consumed by all that nonsense. I felt I would lose a fight. In addition, I wanted to say so much but couldn’t comment on articles in newspapers because there wasn’t enough space in the comment section, and I knew no one would care to read something like that in English. Finally, when enough was enough, I started writing this, giving myself an outlet for expressing what I believed to be important; an outlet for making people see, or at least, trying to make them see what else was out there if they were willing to do so; an outlet for those who shared my point of view but had no place to go to, so to speak.

      Hence, thank you again for your comment.

      1. I see the comments often enough, but people usually leave it alone after I stick up for him on the one site I am active on. It probably helps that my avatar is of him. Now, if I was trying to stick up for Gomez, that might actually be a protracted argument. XD
        There actually used to be a posse of us who liked Lahm a lot and stuck up for him on a different site(before the guy in charge up and disappeared, leaving the site to die off in a natural internet death). Funnily though, we were all girls.

    2. Your arguments must have been really good if you were able to convince people.

      1. Haha….Not so much convinced I think as gave up. Also, if they don’t accept my very logical arguments, and still try to put the blame on Lahm, I point out at least 3 other players who underperformed or just straight-up missed chances. And they can never claim lack of effort because I always point out that when Bayern/NT are in need of a goal, he usually pushes up the sideline sometimes even breaking into the box and taking shots.

    3. “I always point out that when Bayern/NT are in need of a goal, he usually pushes up the sideline sometimes even breaking into the box and taking shots.”

      ~ That’s a great point, by the way. Usually, when I see him doing that, my first reaction is, “It’s clear things aren’t going well for the team ’cause Lahm, himself, is attacking and trying to score.” :D

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