(Klinsmann, shown with his front-runner for new USMNT Fitness Guru, Emu, formerly of “Rod Hull & Emu” infamy)
With apologies to David Allan Coe for the above headline, Jurgen Klinsmann was named head coach of the US Men’s National Team earlier today, following the termination of Bob Bradley. Klinsmann, pursued on prior occasions by USSF president Sunil Gulati, brings considerable star power to the job…and not much else in the estimation of SB Nation’s Ryan Rosenblatt, who calls the hiring, “all too predictable and disappointing
A close inspection of Klinsmann’s tenure as Germany manager chips away at some of Klinsmann’s shine. A match-by-match look at Germany’s 2006 World Cup doesn’t show anything overly impressive. They finished atop of a group comprised of Costa Rica, Poland and Ecuador. Impressive? He beat Sweden in the round of 16, hardly a win of epic proportions. Taking out Argentina in the quarterfinals was a nice win, but that was one of the more average Argentine teams in recent years and it took penalty kicks to get by them. When Germany was really tested was in the semifinals and that’s where their run came to an end as Italy disposed of them.
Klinsmann has had one other managerial job and he was a downright terrible. He took over a Bayern Munich team that won the Bundesliga the previous year and drove them down the table, saw them get knocked out in the cup quarterfinals and with the dressing room is pieces, was fired before the season ended. In his partial season Klinsmann’s tactical naivete was exposed, his scouting abilities were questioned and the club found itself several steps back from where they were when he took over.
Those who liked to question Bradley tactics, and there were instances that deserved plenty of questioning, conveniently forget that there were times where Bradley was tactically brilliant. He was the first manager to pressure high up the field against Argentina and make it difficult for Lionel Messi to get service instead of dropping deeper to double mark the Argentine wonder. He narrowed the field against Spain in the 2009 Confederations Cup semifinal and was still able to stretch them vertically with Charlie Davies up top. Bradley has shown to be much more tactically adept than Klinsmann so if tactics were an issue for Bradley, what will they be for the German?