Now – finally – he seems to have got his wish: Juergen Klinsman is the new coach of the US men’s national soccer team. And he seems to have granted the far-reaching powers that he has always wanted and that the management up to now had refused to grant him, which let to the collapse of previous negoatiations to hire him as the national coach. It’ll be very interesting to watch how things will develop under him.
To my mind – and let me first state here that I really like him as a person – he was absolutely great at inspiring the German national soccer team when he was the head coach. But – as far as I know – he’s not that great a tactician. That part of the job seems to have been the responsibility of his then second-in-command, Jogi Loew, who followed Klinsmann as the German national team’s head coach and so far has had a very impressive record. And another negative item on Klinsmann’s record: as Bayern Munich‘s coach – a job that got him a lot of advance praise – he never lived up to the expectations. In spite of – or maybe because of – bringing his very own and extended coaching staff and changing nearly everything, even the outward appearance of the training facilities by placing Buddha statues there, he was dismissed before he could fulfill his contract as Bayern Munich went down in the league tables too far. That is why I think the praise he got from Sunil Gulati, the U.S. Soccer president, who said, “He is a highly accomplished player and coach with the experience and knowledge to advance the program. Jürgen has had success in many different areas of the game, and we look forward to the leadership he will provide on and off the field” is not entirely correct. Definitely, Klinsmann is a highly accomplished player, but his record as a coach – and that with having had only two coaching jobs so far – is really a mixed one. One cannot really say that he has had success in that area.
What he can do for American soccer remains to be seen. I’m really curious.
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P.S.: If the news can be trusted, Jose Mourinho is already getting in line for the job.
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