The KFA confirmed just now that the next manager is indeed going to be Klinsmann. Rumors about JK have been swirling for the past week alongside the other (apparent) forerunner Robert Moreno, but the decision has now been finalized. The arrangement is that JK will bring in 4 coaches and the KFA will introduce 2 Korean coaches similar to what we had with Bento. One of those Korean coaches will almost certainly be Cha Du Ri.
Over the past two months many names have come and gone in the media regarding the KNT job. At one point Vladimir Petković and Son’s old boss Thorsten Fink was entertained. About a week ago there was a report that Rafa Benitez had turned down the KFA offer. Well before Rafa’s name was involved we heard that Tite turned it down as well. Now these two cases I wasn’t too surprised by as we probably can’t attract that level of talent. Last week, news broke that Herve Renard was not going to renew his Saudi Arabia contract – now here was a decent manager who had just proved himself on the world stage – someone exciting, someone realistic. Maybe a bit too volatile for us, but still someone who appears to be on par with PB and would prob love to coach world class dudes like Son Heung Min or Kim Min Jae. It seemed like things were looking up for us. At least if not Herve Renard we could get Moreno, I thought. Then Klinsmann started popping up in Korean media over the past 4 days, and I was thinking… surely the KFA learned from our mistakes with Uli Stielike and would listen to the players? Nope. In typical fashion the KFA pulls the most KFA move possible.
Let’s review Klinsmann’s track record thus far. His most recent stint at Hertha prompted articles like this:
“Jurgen Klinsmann is a grifter. This should be well-known by now. He once made a World Cup semifinal thanks to the meticulous planning of assistant Jogi Löw and the heroic efforts of Michael Ballack, and he’s been stealing paychecks because of it ever since. Klinsmann has been heavily criticized for his poor management of Bayern Munich and the United States Men’s National Team, and on Monday, he quit his job at Hertha Berlin after less than three months in charge… As a first team head coach, he is a scam artist of the highest order. It took Hertha’s board 76 days too long, but they figured out they were being scammed before it was too late. After this ordeal, it seems unlikely that another team of Hertha’s stature will fall for Klinsmann’s grift anytime soon.”https://www.sbnation.com/soccer/2020/2/13/21135125/jurgen-klinsmann-hertha-berlin-usmnt-traveling-grifter
What exactly happened at Hertha anyway? Despite spending 77 mil (a lot of money for Bundesliga standards) in one transfer window, he left in 2.5 months in a surprisingly unprofessional way. He posted on Facebook that he was resigning, then explained later on FB Live that he couldn’t work with the Hertha board and sporting director. There were also reports that he caused major discord within the squad, dropping senior established players and having a weird rating system where he would take every player and decide if they should have their contract renewed or sold. Player selection for him was apparently controversial with the USMNT as well, where he clearly favored the German-American players over everyone else.
In a Facebook Live Q&A with fans, Klinsmann said that he doesn’t like the model of German football in general. Contrary to the existing system in which decision making is divided up among several roles and is often collaborative, Klinsmann prefers a system in which the manager has final say on all big decisions. He simply wasn’t willing to work under Preetz.https://www.sbnation.com/soccer/2020/2/13/21135125/jurgen-klinsmann-hertha-berlin-usmnt-traveling-grifter
Knowing the KFA, he WILL butt heads with our directors too. Paulo Bento did, Shin Tae Yong did, as did Hong Myung Bo and Stielike before them.
Everywhere he went it sounds like players were left disgruntled. Philip Lahm wrote in his autobiography that Klinsmann never once had ANY tactical discussions with the team at Bayern, so the players had to come together on their own to discuss strategy.
We practically only practiced fitness under Klinsmann. There was very little technical instruction and the players had to get together independently before the game to discuss how we wanted to play. All the players knew after about eight weeks that it was not going to work out with Klinsmann. The remainder of that campaign was nothing but limiting the damage.
This makes sense – Klinsmann has stated before that tactics have developed to the point where they can’t progress much further, so the most important aspect of modern football is physical fitness and strength. He even appointed an NFL (yes you read that right – American football coach) as a physical coach during his time with Germany and the USMNT. Speaking of which, I remember being somewhat impressed with the USMNT’s run in 2014, but it seems there were lots of issues behind the scenes. USMNT veteran Carlos Bocanegra wrote in 2013:
— Klinsmann and chief assistant Martin Vasquez either lack the tactical acumen and game-day chops to successfully lead the team or fail to communicate their wishes effectively.
— Too much time and too many resources are spent on initiatives that don’t translate to the field.
— Constant lineup changes and building resentment over the perceived importance and attitude of the German-born players are harming team chemistry.https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1574679-usmnt-is-jurgen-klinsmanns-us-soccer-team-in-crisis-poll
The MLS commissioner wasn’t happy with Klinsmann either, especially for his consistent pattern of alienating MLS players and speaking negatively of the MLS. He famously shut out Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, and Landon Donovan the moment they came back to the MLS from Europe, publicly stating that their performance will decline due to playing for a lower league.
Jurgen’s comments are very, very detrimental to our league. They are detrimental to the sport of soccer in America. I think his comments send the wrong message to young players in the United States… I think it’s going to send the wrong message to players we are trying to sign from overseasMLS Commissioner Don Garber
“During his time at the club, Klinsmann had “no footballing idea,” Steffen Rohr writes in Kicker. “The noise has increased, but the quality of play has not.””sbnation regarding Klinsmann’s time at Hertha
All of this sounds JUST like a certain crappy German manager we had recently doesn’t it?
Paulo Bento on the other hand stuck to his guns and had a philosophy. He had his flaws but he had something important Stielike and seemingly JK does not. Our players loved him for it and stuck by all of his decisions. They VOCALLY protested to the media that we NEED our new manager to be like Bento – someone who has ideas and a system. Lee Jae Sung, Hwang In Beom, Kim Min Jae, Son Heung Min, and probably more that I can’t remember this late at night all came forward to ask the KFA to get it right for once. A lot of KNT fans wanted Paulo to stay and so did pretty much the entire Korea squad. Will any players come forward to voice discontent? We will find out…
At a time when we need someone to get the most out of Son, integrate Lee Kang In, and identify a replacement for Jung Woo Young senior… this happens to us.
Props to Tavern writer Tim Lee – he previewed JK back in 2018 and came to pretty much the same conclusions as this post. Whereas I did not know about any of this until after I included Klinsmann in my next manager post December and everyone pointed out that I was out of the loop on this one. “Inevitably disappointing” – I am so sad I was right on that.
Obviously I hope JK proves us wrong but with a consistent pattern of players calling him out, it seems unlikely. It’s funny how Michael Muller specifically said he wouldn’t be biased towards German managers. He put forward a generic list of characteristics that the KFA is looking for but fans will certainly question if Klinsmann meets even those. This is almost certainly going to evolve into another Uli Stielike situation and I bet the Korean media will have a field day with this. I have no doubt that my fellow Koreans and KNT fans feel the same way as I do: in the end, this is just too typical of the KFA. One step forward, 10 steps backward. This is our reality. I guess some things never change.