Thursday, June 05, 2014

Insight in to Klinsmann thinking - reinforces theory into why Landycakes not going to Brazil

A great article on Klinsmann in today's New York Times - click here. Some very interesting looks into the mindset of the German. Lots of which reinforces many of the theories behind why the likes of Landycakes is not on the roster.

The main undertone of the story is that Klinsmann realizes that there is not enough pure home grown talent and that Europe is where his gaze is to attract talent. To me it feels very much like national teams from Algeria, Tunisia or Morocco who focus on French players with linkages to North Africa. A source for Klinsmann's admiration for the European based players is they face better competition year round, and he makes no secret his looking down on both the NCAA and the MLS.

" Put simply, Klinsmann would like to see his players carry themselves like their European counterparts — the way he used to."

This adds to the fuel to the "Landycakes stay home" fire. Dononvan has never been
No fan of the German running USMNT
accused of carrying himself like a European player. His failures in Europe are well documented. And clearly Klinsmann does not look kindly on that aspect of Donovan's game or mental make up. Sabbatical, unheard of for European counterparts. Klinsmann further pushes this thinking:

If Klinsmann had his way, the United States roster would be made up of Americans playing their club soccer in Europe, facing the best competition in the world on a daily basis instead of only a few games every few years.
“The more players we can get playing at the top levels over there, the better it will be,” he told me. “That is one sign of progress.”

Interesting. Makes you wonder why the likes of Bradley and Dempsey came back the MLS, I am sure that both those moves put a real burr in Klinsmann's saddle.  

The other point I took out of the article is the power which Klinsmann holds over US Soccer. It is interesting that the article makes a point that the German did not tell anyone prior that he was not going to take Donovan. And that had some serious commercial implications as US Soccer was already lining up marketing efforts around the US star leading up to the World Cup. Ooops. From that stand point I agree with Klinsmann. This is not about some marketing campaign or how many tshirts US Soccer and Nike can sell.
Finally, even though Klinsmann announced that the US was not going to win the World Cup (I realize most would agree with that statement, but for the head coach to come out and be so blunt...) and that he has a contract until the Russian World Cup in 2018, there are no shortage of those ready to pounce if he fails in Brazil. I was surprised at how blunt Bruce Arena was with the approach Klinsmann was taking. The former US Soccer national team manager does not seem to favor looking outside for soccer talent. I would caution Klinsmann that if the US crashes out of the World Cup and looks bad doing so - see what happened in the 1998 World Cup - there might become a situation where enough influential voices force a buy out and change at the head of the team. 

In international soccer one thing is sure, no coach, no matter what their stature or contract are only as good as the last tournament they participate in....well unless you are Domenech.

Well worth reading the article, how do you take the piece?


John R said...

I think it is obvious that Klinnsmann opposed Donovans vacation from football. During that hiatus nobody was sure that Donovan would ever come back to international football, and I think that during that uncertainty Jurgen offered Green a spot on the world cup squad. If this is true I just wish Jurgen had said that in the first place and never put Donovan on the preliminary squad.

I don't think Donovan had a chance competing with the midfield of Jones, Dempsey, Bradley, and Zuzi. I am a USMNT fan, but more importantly a football fan. I just can't see us anywhere except last place in the group, a draw against any team is an accomplishment in my mind. Our striker and defense options are dismal. If only we could trade a class goalkeeper or midfielder for a striker.

Don't worry. When I am president of the USA in 25 years I will offer young talent an American Passport no questions asked/

Anyways I read your blog for your coverage on the French NT. I was curious as to your thoughts on Sagna vs Debuchy. Also do you think Sissoko has an outside chance to be a starter for the French NT? I think he has been tremendous when given the chance in the last two friendlies. If Ribery can't play vs Honduras Deschamps will have a real headache. Does he just slot in Griezmann or change his approach to a more physical one with Sissoko?

Honestly I don't think losing Ribery will hurt us too much.

GFC said...

The move to get Green in the line up was separate from leaving Donovan at home. I feel that move with Green was Klinsmann trying to get on step ahead of the German federation - Green had been called up for some of the youth German teams. And a signal Klinsmann could send to other dual nationality players - I am willing to take you to a World Cup...even if you have not played a full game in a top division!

I agree to some extend that Landycakes was not going to start. But I find it hard to believe he wouldn't have been a huge asset coming off the bench to run at defenses in the last 20-30 minutes of a game if the US was chasing a goal.

As for Les Bleus. I do not think Sissoko will be a starter for Les Bleus. DD seems to like him off the bench, of course if some starters get injured he is a good option either in the middle three or on the right wing.

Sagna v Debuchy...I have written about this and given it a lot of thought. I do think it comes down to a choice for DD - more defensive minded right sided player or one that brings the offense. Which also leads to a larger question of balance for the French attack. I prefer Debuchy since he does bring some offensive bite to a side of the formation that tends to get neglected. But, in doing so France can get exposed to the opposing sides left winger. If that left winger is the likes of a Valencia then I would be a little nervous.

I am interested to see what washes out with the injuries - see Ribery - and that I think will have some influence on who DD goes with.

Thanks for reading the blog!