Germany News: One puzzle solved as Lahm is named Germany captain

28th May 2010 | World Cup Betting category: Football World Cup News
Football World Cup News

When the news rang out that inspirational Germany skipper Michael Ballack would miss the entirety of next months’ show-piece in South Africa, a huge groan from the Germans could have been heard from the other side of the world, way down in Kiwi land even. Some were then speculating that the Germans were now out of the running in terms of securing their fourth World Cup title, although only fools would write off a country which has appeared in no less than seven World Cup finals, and a further four semi-final appearances.

The million dollar question was who would replace Ballack, both in a positional sense and as the German leader. Well, Joachim Low hinted what the first answer was, or who, and that was VFB Stuttgart’s Sami Khedira. At 23 years-old, Khedira already has a German Bundesliga title under his belt with Stuttgart –  winning the 2007 championship – but has racked up a mere two caps with the Germany senior team, so we’ll believe Joachim Low’s suggestive hint that Khedira is Ballack’s ready-made replacement when we see it on June 13th when Germany take on Australia in their World Cup opener.

Then we have the debate, or at least we did, surrounding the next German leader. Three experienced Bayern Munich Bavarians were included in the contenders list: Philipp Lahm, Bastian Scweinsteiger and Miroslav Klose, while Werder Bremen’s Tim Weiss and Hertha Berlin’s Anna Friedrich were also mentioned. In our minds, there was no doubt as to who would replace Michael Ballack as the German captain, with the majority of those mentioned were laughable. And we were right, when on Friday afternoon coach Joachim Low confirmed that Philip Lahm, arguably the most experienced, honest and professional player in the German set up, would take up the captains armband in South Africa. At 26 year-old, Lahm has already accumulated a more than healthy 64 caps with the German fold scoring three times. It will also be his second spell in the finals of a World Cup after playing a part in Germany’s success on home soil, reaching the semi-finals against all odds.

We doubt there will be too many who will disagree with Low’s appointment of captain, although Ballack’s positional void remains unfilled as of now. We really do doubt Khedira will fill Ballack’s shoes, with Mesut Ozil or Thomas Muller two of the more viable and likely options. Although, with the form of the Brazilian born Cacua, Low might consider dropping Lukas Podolski back into midfield, into the Ballack role which does allow for some attacking freedom as well as requiring some defensive responsibility, the latter perhaps a problem for a player deemed lazy by the German press.  It’s a dilemma, and not a positive one for Low no matter what spin he puts on the situation, but it’s a riddle he needs to figure out soon before the start of their World Cup on June 13th.

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