This is a couple of days old, but it still needs to be mentioned. Stuttgart keeper Jens Lehmann apparently couldn’t hold it and had to take a leak during a match against Unirea Urziceni.
All things considered, I’m impressed that he finished and got back into position in time. I’m sure it would be hell trying to stop the flow and jump over the boards in a crisis.
German keeper Robert Enke died yesterday at the age of 32 after he was hit by a train. Word comes down today that he has been depressed and that his death might have been a suicide. I wish he had sought out help rather than resorting to that, if it was a suicide.
My condolences to his wife and 8-month-old daughter.
UPDATE: 12 November 2009
Robert Enke will be laid to rest this Sunday in a private ceremony in Hannover after a memorial service at Hannover’s stadium. The entire German national team will be there.
His widow, Teresa, is encouraging soccer teams to be more open about problems like depression since hiding it is what drove Robert Enke to suicide.
RIP, Robert Enke.
Talking to a German newspaper, Franz Beckenbauer said, “These sums of money are ridiculous. But there is always some lunatic who walks around throwing money away.” He’s talking, of course, about the gigantic sums of money Real Madrid spent on Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaká, and Franck Ribéry. To a degree, Der Kaiser is right: Real Madrid has inflated the transfer market.
But it must be noted that they didn’t start this; they’re simply the latest in a long line of teams that have upped the ante. Sure, there was the original Galáctico era but that didn’t really affect anyone except the Galácticos. The trouble really started when billionaires desiring instant gratification emerged: Abramovich in Chelsea and now the Sheik at Man City. To a lesser degree, I could include Inter Milan and AC Milan in this. And despite Beckenbauer’s protests, Bayern Munich is hardly a small club.
But I digress. That development – billionaires desiring instant gratification – led to the “Chelsea price” or the “Man City price” for players. That is, one price for “normal” clubs and one price for them. It’s like Football Manager where the human user has to pay twice the player’s stated value in order to secure a transfer while the computer users pay prices closer to the listed value. I don’t blame rival clubs for doing that; it’s just good business.
But Beckenbauer has a point. His team is considered big yet it must exist within a budget. It can afford to spend €15 million on Ribéry but not €80 million on anyone in any summer. Not that UEFA or FIFA can do anything about it; neither organization can tell a club how to go about its business, unless the club is in receivership. Beckenbauer himself concedes that he doesn’t think “a salary cap would work. But [he is] sure something will happen soon.” Something will happen: nothing counts as something, right?
I view Bayern Munich’s sacking of Jürgen Klinsmann in light of my previous post on stability. I don’t see how giving a new manager – and a first-time manager, at that – less than a season to prove he knows what he’s doing is fair to the manager or the fans. If the Bayern board were so unsure of Klinsmann’s managerial skill, why give him the job? I know the answer of course: he guided Germany to the semi-finals in the 2006 World Cup and people believed he was the next big thing, in terms of managers. Again, though, why sack him now?
To me, the decision smacks of impulsiveness and childishness.