Jens Lehmann flummoxed by English idioms
7 June 2006, BERLIN - Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann was left baffled when asked by a British journalist Wednesday why he thought England had a chip on its shoulder about the host team.
7 June 2006
BERLIN - Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann was left baffled when asked by a British journalist Wednesday why he thought England had a chip on its shoulder about the host team.
He was even more lost for words when told that was he how had been quoted by the official interpreter at the Germany team press conference in Berlin.
"I never said anything about that - what does it mean?" asked the Arsenal goalkeeper responding in English to a journalist from the British Broadcasting Corporation.
The BBC man offered "monkey on their backs" as a possible alternative idiom, which seemed to leave the goalkeeper - who speaks excellent English - just as confused.
Lehmann had been asked what qualities the England team could envy about the Germany team and vice versa.
In fact, he was much more diplomatic than the words suggested by the official interpreter. Germany, said Lehmann, could call on "outstanding team spirit", "physical presence" and "home advantage". England meanwhile "have a very good team this time" although it remained to be seen whether their two main forwards (Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney) would be fully fit.
The difference, he suggested, was that "the English know that Germany were always more successful in tournaments then they were and that will be a little bit in the back of their minds".
Not quite the chip on their shoulders, but a good quote nonetheless.
Subject: German news