Monday, May 22, 2006

Jens Lehmann already giving excuses for Germany's failure

The World Cup is still a few weeks away, yet Germany's new number one keeper Jens Lehman is already blaming the new Adidas ball for making him look bad.

Okay, I'm just having some fun, Lehman is not just saying it will make him specifically look bad, instead he thinks it will make all goaltenders in general look bad.

It's a ball for the outfield players and the crowd - not for the goalkeepers.

When it rains it's not going to be very comfortable for us. It gets very slippery. It also moves a lot in the air.

He compared the ball to a rival ball made by Nike saying the Adidas ball was more like plastic while the Nike was more like leather. Although he add, "When it comes down to it, both of them make the goalkeepers look bad."

Adidas spent a great deal of time and money to make this ball be as smooth in the air as it is. This gives the advantage to the attackers and should result in a few extra goals. This could cause problems for teams who like to get a goal early then grind out the rest of the game.

So Lehmann is not trying to give excuses, but he is trying to relax his team by urging them to forget the pressures and enjoy being the home team.

His mates might take him up on this, but his country will be a harder sell. Only 7% of Germans think their team will win the World Cup. Another 6% think they will make it to the final and lose (as they did in 2002). A strong 37% think they will reach the semifinals, but 31% think they will not even make it that far.

I wonder how many of these people feel so negative because of the new Adidas ball?


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