Bayern call time on Klinsmann experiment
So the thousands of fans chanting “Klinsmann out!” at the end of Bayern’s 1-0 defeat at home to Schalke on Saturday have got their way.
Bayern announced on Monday that Klinsmann was being relieved of his post with immediate effect. The man to replace him, at least until the end of the season, is Jupp Heynckes (officially the unluckiest coach in European football).
For Bayern to sack Klinsmann now, with the team just three points behind leaders Wolfsburg and with five games left to make up the difference, serves as a reminder of just how ruthless Bayern can be. Other clubs might have hung on until the chance of the championship was gone … but not the Bavarians, who probably had the right to expect more from the new training regimes, the army of backroom staff, the philosophising and the supposed new commitment to attack (see this Spiegel article in English for a feel of what Klinsmann’s coming was like) .
I read over the weekend that the heavy defeat against Barcelona in the Champions League was making the coach’s position uncomfortable but I suspect it was the club’s domestic form that was really causing the board consternation. Anyone can lose heavily to this Barcelona team, but Bayern should not be looking so sheer bloody ordinary in the Bundesliga.
So what next for Klinsmann? Will he try his luck at another big European club (I’m sure there’ll be plenty willing to take a chance) or will he return to California and steer clear of coaching? I certainly hope that’s not the last we see of him … even if his teams haven’t always lived up to their promise, football’s more interesting with him around.
PHOTO: Juergen Klinsmann runs ahead of Italian forward Luca Toni and French midfielder Franck Ribery during his final training session as Bayern Munich coach, April 26, 2009. REUTERS/Alexandra Beier