Klinsmann, “If you don’t like it, find another coach”… Can you waive the penalty?

September 12, 2023 | by

Jürgen Klinsmann made a controversial statement after Korea’s first September A match against Wales at Cardiff Stadium in Cardiff City, Wales, on Sept. 8.

In an interview with Hong Jae-min, published by Sports Chosun, Klinsmann said, “It’s not efficient to stay in Korea. When I don’t have anything to do in Seoul, it’s better to meet people in Europe,” Klinsmann said.

“That’s how Korean soccer can develop. If they don’t like it, they can find another coach. I don’t care. I am a hard-working person like Koreans. Wherever I am, I am working for the Korean national team. I am 100% focused on the Asian Cup. I also want to emphasize that in order to be successful, I have to choose what I think is the best way.”

The problem with Klinsmann’s statement is that he is preparing for the Asian Cup in the best way possible. It’s disrespectful to South Korea and Korean soccer itself.

Since taking over the reins of the national team in February, Klinsmann has dealt with a number of controversies through his press conferences.

At the center of the controversy was the unthinkable act of announcing his resignation from his former club online. In 2020, Klinsmann abruptly resigned as head coach of Hertha Berlin.

Klinsmann’s abrupt resignation sent shockwaves. He announced his resignation on social media without telling anyone at the club. Hertha Berlin learned of Klinsmann’s resignation from the news.

Local media criticized Klinsmann for his behavior, calling it irresponsible. Klinsmann was even scheduled to serve on the club’s board of directors after finishing his coaching stint, but none of that happened. In particular, Klinsmann wanted to return to the club, saying that he regretted it after some time, but was denied. After two months, he abruptly left the club, but showed his willingness to return.

He apologized for the issue at his inaugural press conference.

When asked about the lack of tactics in his inaugural press conference, Klinsmann first said, “The position of head coach is evaluated by the content and results of the game,” and “I will try to silence the negative public opinion in the right way.”

Then, when asked about his parting of ways with Hertha Berlin, he said, “It will never happen again.” At the time, the Korean media was mostly positive. They praised the superstar’s move.

Klinsmann’s debut in charge of South Korea was a 1-1 draw against Colombia and Uruguay in March. It was aggressive soccer. It wasn’t a bad performance for such a short time in charge of the team.

But as time went on, expectations became a question mark. After an identical 1-1 draw in June against Peru and El Salvador, two teams that are considered to be relatively weak opponents, Klinsmann unusually held a press conference immediately after the tournament to address public opinion about the team’s performance.

Having dealt with the first crisis of his tenure by choosing to tackle it head-on, Klinsmann was immediately faced with a second. It was the controversy over his domestic residency.

Klinsmann, who had declared that he would live in South Korea, spent only 67 days in the country in his first five months. Most of his time was spent abroad. He gave his assessment of European soccer to ESPN, AS, and others, and made unannounced visits to Ireland and Monaco.

The Football Association was concerned about Klinsmann’s criticism and held an online press conference. However, fan opinion was still negative, and the press conference only added to the negativity. With doubts mounting, the team played a trial against Wales.

The national team has been plagued by injuries and personal commitments. However, for the two trials in England, at least Son Heung-min (Tottenham) and Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich) were healthy. Son had been in great form ahead of this match, scoring a hat-trick, and Kim Min-jae had been a steady performer for his new club, Bayern Munich.

The worst result was against Wales. The Welsh were in a precarious position ahead of Euro 2024, with no wins to speak of. However, after the game, British media outlets, including the BBC, praised the Welsh for their better-than-expected performance against South Korea, who had reached the round of 16 at the World Cup. South Korea, on the other hand, received less favorable reviews. Public opinion was even less favorable.

Klinsmann fed the controversy himself. After the game against Wales, he boasted that he had exchanged jerseys with Aaron Ramsey (Cardiff City) for his son. Klinsmann told UEFA that he was proud of the gesture.

The controversy did not die down. New controversies kept popping up. Klinsmann was invited to the Legends Match between Chelsea and Bayern Munich in London, England, and was named on the roster. Reports suggested that he might be suspended, but the FA denied this was the case.

There was also the issue of the training ground. The team had set up a base camp in London, 450 kilometers away from Newcastle, which was seen as a prelude to playing in the Legends Match.

There was speculation that Klinsmann had set up a base camp near London to attend the Legends Match. While this ended in humor when it was confirmed by the Korean Football Association that Klinsmann was training with the national team, the fact that this controversy arose at all is problematic.

After a short period of controversy, the interview for the director position became controversial. “If they don’t like it, they can find another director. It doesn’t matter” is bound to be controversial.

According to sources, Klinsmann is aware of the current public opinion in the country. It’s even more shocking that the interview came under such circumstances.

In addition, Klinsmann’s home country, the German Football Association, has sacked a coach for the first time in its 123-year history. They sacked Hanji Flick after a 1-4 home defeat to Japan in an exhibition match. They emphasized that it was for the betterment of German soccer 스포츠토토.

While it’s not the same as Hertha Berlin, Klinsmann can be taken as having already communicated that he has no desire to coach in South Korea. It”s a radical idea, but it”s not out of the question.

It could be a burden for the Korean Football Association, which has been burdened by penalties. While the contract hasn’t been made public, it’s likely to be part of it.

The first test, the Asian Cup, is just around the corner, so it’s understandable that the coach’s will has a big impact on the team. If it’s coming from the man who leads the team, it’s only natural that the players will be affected as well. So, once again, Klinsmann and his contracting body, the Football Association, need to sit down and talk.

It’s also important to be present in the country and watch the K League firsthand. Klinsmann’s comments are an even bigger problem. If Klinsmann were to leave, it would be the end of the world for Korean soccer. It’s not just a matter of performance.


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