Especially for those who play Football Manager, Raumdeuter is not a foreign term. Even though at the beginning of its appearance, not many people understood what Raumdeuter was. Despite all the things that made him more widely known today, Raumdeuter remains synonymous with one name: Thomas Mueller. Raumdeuter is Mueller, and Mueller is Raumdeuter. He’s the original. He’s the best.
The term Raumdeuter came out of Mueller’s own mouth. In January 2011 Mueller interviewed Andre Burker. The results of the interview were published in the German newspaper, Suddeutsche Zeitung, under the title “Ich bin ein Raumdeuter”. In Indonesian it means “I am a Spatial Interpreter”. Not always, indeed, Raumdeuter means interpreter of space. Apart from space interpreter, Raumdeuter can also mean space investigator. However, considering that in German there is the word Traumdeuter which means “interpreter of dreams”, the phrase space interpreter is more suitable for Raumdeuter than space investigator.
According to Zen RS in his writing entitled “Thomas Mueller, The Interpreter of Space”, Raumdeuter in German nomenclature is a common term in the field of interior design. In his writings, Zen equates modern football tactics with modern life in urban areas. Not much space is available in both. Therefore the ability to interpret space, to maximize all space limitations, becomes very important. Mueller became one of the best in the world through his ability to interpret space which in turn increased his chances of scoring goals.
“Thomas is a very unorthodox player and we can’t really predict where he will run, but he has one goal and that is how can I score?” said Joachim Low, head coach of the German National Team.
Mueller doesn’t look like a first-rate footballer. His legs are so skinny that it is not uncommon for his socks to sag in matches. His dribbling ability is not as great as Lionel Messi and his passes are not as accurate as Andrea Pirlo. But that doesn’t mean he’s not included in the group of great players. “To be great is to be misunderstood,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson. Not many understand why Mueller was great.
Even Bayern Munich did not understand Mueller’s greatness so he intended to let him go. Mueller was fortunate enough that Louis van Gaal understood what abilities were hidden within him. Therefore, there is no need to be discouraged if you do not understand Mueller. Bayern did not understand Mueller and we are not Van Gaal. After all, it was impossible to fall in love with Mueller at first sight; so according to Barney Ronay in his article entitled “Bayern Munich`s Thomas Mueller conquers space, football`s final frontier”.
“An extraordinary player indeed this Mueller,” wrote Ronay. “Even though he’s a slow to develop interest, love-at-fourth-sighter, it’s important to watch him a few times just to understand what … yes what exactly he is doing on the pitch. It’s worth remembering that the Bayern inside-outside forward is now touted as possessing a certain kind of personal superpower. Not a playmaker, less accurately called a striker, and not endowed with extraordinary qualities or powers or technique, Mueller instead became the world’s first Raumdeuter, a German word meaning interpreter of space.”
Simply put, Raumdeuter’s way of working is like this: he sees and observes the available space and thinks hard about how to make the most of it. To borrow Ronay’s thoughts: Raumdeuter sniffs out the smallest opportunities and shortcuts, tiny pockets of untapped possibilities. And it’s worth remembering that Raumdeuter is a role, not a position.
Mueller the Raumderuter can sprint past the last defender without being caught offside or pulling himself up to be in the best place to receive a cut-back and turn it into a goal with just one touch. It is also possible for Mueller to stand only standing; legally and does not violate any football rules to open up space and opportunities for other players; ask this to Arjen Robben freed from Jordi Alba.
Mueller told Burker that his ability to interpret space is not a trained ability, but an instinctive natural ability. I myself prefer to accept it as Mueller’s ability to think quickly, because it is the ability to think quickly that distinguishes great players from ordinary players. “One second for a great player lasts longer than one second for an average player,” said Dennis Bergkamp.
Mueller doesn’t just look at the space (which includes the presence and absence of other players) and considers everything he can to maximize the space for the best results. He does it faster than any other player on the pitch.
All great players think fast however the application on the field might be different. Lionel Messi dribbles the ball. Andres Iniesta and Andrea Pirlo passes the ball. Manuel Neuer clears chances. Thomas Mueller, meanwhile, interprets space.