Jurgen Klinsmann resigned Tuesday after a very brief stint as manager of Hertha Berlin. Is this the end of his time being taken seriously as a coach in Europe?
Former Germany and U.S. men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann resigned Tuesday as Hertha Berlin’s manager, following a short 10-game, 76-day stint.
In the aftermath of his abrupt resignation it may be time to wonder whether we’ll ever see Klinsmann, who previously managed Bayern Munich, at the helm in any of the five major European Leagues.
Citing a lack of “trust…solidarity and concentration” Klinsmann handed in his resignation as manager of Hertha Berlin on Tuesday after less than three months in charge.
To the outside observer it is very difficult to pinpoint what exactly constitutes a lack of trust and solidarity, given that Hertha’s board signed off on an impressive $80 million winter transfer-window haul.
Klinsmann was able to secure the services of marquee names such as Polish striker Krzysztof Piatek, French midfielder Loucas Tousart and Brazilian winger Matheus Cunha. This is the kind of mid-season haul worthy of a top European club, not just by the amount of cash spent, but by the quality of the players brought on, all young players full of potential who have shined for major European clubs and their national sides.
To cite “lack of trust and solidarity” under these circumstances is puzzling at best, insulting at worst.
Despite all this, Klinsmann will apparently remain a member of the board, although you wonder what type of trust and confidence the rest of Hertha’s board will have in the man who quit on them.
During his 10-game spell Klinsmann managed to improve the club’s standing from relegation zone to six points above relegation zone, lingering in 14th place, 16 points and a world away from a Champions League spot.
Clearly a rebuild effort was necessary in order to bring the club back into Champions League contention next season. With his actions Klinsmann made it evident that he is not up to this type of task, despite the clear financial backing of the club.
The question that looms large is Klinsmann’s future as a club team manager. Unless something is missing to this story, there should be serious questions regarding the former USMNT’s manager commitment to the profession on a daily basis, to the grind of club coaching as opposed to the more lax lifestyle of a national team manager.
Even before this most recent episode there were questions regarding Klinsmann’s brilliance as a soccer tactician. This latest resignation shines a bright light on his level of commitment to the process of coaching itself. It is hard to imagine any team in the five major European Leagues willing to give him another shot, not with so many other more youthful, hungrier alternatives and not after this latest fiasco at Hertha Berlin.
The more plausible scenario is that we see Klinsmann back on this side of the Atlantic.
Given his affinity for Southern California, maybe he’ll be watching the heat of Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s seat as manager of the LA Galaxy. He certainly can’t go to new USL side San Diego Loyal, where his former player Landon Donovan is co-owner, executive VP of soccer operations and manager. The two have some history, and Donovan is one of the only people less likely to trust Klinsmann than the Hertha board right now.
For now, Klinsmann will get to head back into the nebulous world of coaching rumor fodder, where he can be the next savior of Ecuador or anyone else without having to deliver “concentration” on a day-to-day basis.