Jurgen Klinsmann has heard the criticism thrown his way by Philipp Lahm and the new U.S. coach says he understands the German defender's sensibilities, even if what has been said misses the point, reports Scott French.
Lahm, the current German national team captain, wrote about Klinsmann's short stint at Bayern Munich 2008-09 in his new book, "The Subtle Difference," in which he also lashed out at former Germany coach Rudi Voeller and former Bayern coach Felix Magath. Of Klinsmann, Lahm wrote, “the experiment with Klinsmann [at Bayern] was a failure. We were only working on our fitness in training. He didn't care much for tactical stuff. It was up to the players to come together before a match and discuss how we were going to play."
Klinsmann's response: "It's basically a player's perspective who never has the coaching perspective. He doesn't see the big picture, what actually the work of a coach means. In many different elements. ... As a player, there's no perfect coach to you. And as a coach, there's never a perfect, perfect player. And it's just normal.
“I had wonderful coaches throughout my career, from an [Arsene] Wenger [at AS Monaco] to a [Cesar Luis] Menotti [at Sampdoria] to a [Franz] Beckenbauer [with West Germany's champs and at Bayern] to a [Berti] Vogts [with Germany's national team] to [Ossie] Ardilles [at Tottenham and Giovanni] Trapattoni [with Bayern] -- they've won everything. I am so thankful I had that opportunity. Was there a perfect, perfect one? For sure not. Because when you work with each other, you [work through] ups and downs. It's just normal.”
Klinsmann, asked if he considers himself a tactician, said, "I consider myself a constant learner in every area of the game. I think I've learned quite a lot over the last year, and what I try to do is find always the bigger picture, how every element plays a wider role in it."