Right off the bat, congratulations to everyone on Bayern‘s win over Bremen yesterday! Somewhere in the second half I remembered Jafar’s words, those of a character from Disney’s Aladdin, “Things are unraveling fast now, boy!” Bremen and Bayern got down to business, so much so that I became nervous, and that was not the case with during the first half. Just to put things into perspective: I was doing anything but watching it. I wrote emails, googled things, and did something else completely unrelated to the game that was going on, although I woke up early to watch it, having slept only three hours or so. The only time when I actually switched between the tabs during the first half was when I heard the crowd’s screams growing louder and louder. In that case, my only question was, “What’s up with all those weird tackles?” And that’s when I finally paid attention to what they were doing on the pitch. Lahm did let the opponent through a couple of times but then stabilized his game, and things became steadier.
On a side not, was I the only one embarrassed by this?
Have you ever noticed that Lahm has different facial expressions with regard to referees’ decisions? There are times when he just walks away without protesting, and there are times – quite rare, I might add – when his whole body says, “Are you kidding me?! Yeah, whatevs.” Through my observations, I have come to realize he usually does so when something is really wrong with a ref’s point of view; when he knows, or at least 99% sure, he is right. Yesterday he managed two tackles that were far from perfect. I watch the video in slow motion, and frankly, I am almost convinced that Lahm did play the ball the first time. When I was watching it live, I agreed more with the ref. Besides, the commentator was saying the same thing, “A foul.” Now that I have seen it in slow motion, – even slower than the one shown on TV, – I am not sure that was the right call. (I have to admit, though, that my knowledge of all the technicalities is very limited, so I might not be the right person to pass a judgment in this situation.) Taking into account the ball’s trajectory, someone did push it, and I think that was Lahm, which would mean he was right. Again. Unfortunately, I can only post the .gif here that does not make it easy to see what I am talking about. It is impossible to notice it. Nevertheless, I must confess I feel some kind of relief after taking a closer look at this episode. He made contact with the ball before touching the opponent, and that is usually means a player is in the clear. I believe he was, indeed, in the clear. (Lahm would agree, it seems.) The only way, in my opinion, to consider it a foul is to classify Lahm’s action as “careless”. It was neither reckless, nor excessive in terms of force. Of that I am sure.
But the second “tackle” was not even a tackle, hence the quotation marks. It does not look to me like the ref was right. When he blew the whistle, Lahm raised his hands in a oh-c’mon gesture and chuckled. He “tackled” slightly with his knee. I am even having a hard time calling it a tackle, and the guy went down too easily. In other words, Bremen‘s player didn’t exactly fall with a thud.
Anyhow, this whole post comes down to this: Lahm’s you-gotta-be-kidding-me expression has a 99% accuracy rate.