Bayern call time on Klinsmann experiment

April 27, 2009

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


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When I first read that Bild’s website broke the news, I initially did not want to believe it. But when it was confirmed on Bayern Munich’s website, I was just…angry.

It is not like Bayern have no chance in the title race at all after the loss to Schalke on Saturday. Sure, that was sentiment given it was more or less widely expected Wolfsburg would beat Energie Cottbus yesterday but, Cottbus gave them a helping hand when they beat the league leaders. It is not as if Bayern had not been handed a chance to put the pressure on Wolfsburg. Bayern got Borussia Moenchengladbach next. ‘Gladbach, battling to maintain their league status.

I was actually being introduced to German football in the midst of the 2006 World Cup. The way how the German national team played their football at that time really blew me away. So when back then Klinsmann stood down from his post at that time, I actually almost cried. He had actually made me became a fan of German football, apart from me growing up on English football.

Deep down I used to think that if not for Klinsmann, I would not be watching German football since. He actually made me become a fan of German football. Now the man who made me become a fan of fussball is gone. Like what you say Mr. Fylan, I hope this is not the last we see of him.

Posted by diana | Report as abusive

Hi Diana
I don’t think you’ll be alone in that: Klinsmann’s sheer enthusiasm and force of personality must have inspired a lot of people to take up an interest in football during the 2006 World Cup.
I do have a theory about where we’ll see him next but I’ll write more on that later…

Posted by kevin fylan | Report as abusive

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In a way you hit the nail on the head. Like many, I was aware of the stereotypes in regards to German football. Efficient, dour…not seen as exciting. But, everything changed during the tournament for me. To the extent I remembered I once remarked that I rather see them than Brazil play.

Back then when Germany lost to Italy in the semi-finals, I actually cried. That was like the first time I cried over a sporting event. It might had been seen as one of the greatest matches of the tournament or maybe the best, but for me…till now I still do not dare to look at any images relating to the match. The hurt still remains for me. That also became the turning point when I realised that after supporting England, Germany has become my next team. I know both teams has a history of footballing rivalry between them but, the German national team had captured me in how they played during the tournament. I had done with no England fan should do – support Germany as well. I did had mixed feelings when both national teams were playing each other in Berlin in a friendly last year but in the end, I was happy the right team won.

In a way, the 2006 World Cup had also made me blog about football more often. I do not do that prior to the tournament.

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This will be a good chance to perform.
check their fixtures

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