Klinsmann to England? The story that won't go away

Since Roy Hodgson stepped down as England coach on June 27, one name that keeps popping up as a candidate to succeed Hodgson is U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

There has been no confirmation that the Football Association has asked U.S. Soccer for permission to speak to Klinsmann, but reports in the English press that he is a leading candidate for the job persist.

What makes the situation unusual is Klinsmann has not quashed the reports. His last tweet or Facebook post was after the France-Germany World Cup semifinal on Thursday.

On Sunday, the Independent reported that Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce is the only English candidate being considered by the three-man FA panel and Klinsmann is his only serious rival.

The panel consists of chief executive Martin Glenn, technical director Dan Ashworth and vice-chairman David Gill, who serves on the FIFA council and is close with U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati.

The tabloid Daily Mirror, without giving any sources, reported that Klinsmann was "free to rescue England from their Euro 2016 nightmare."

It suggested that Gulati wouldn’t "shed a tear if Klinsmann took charge of England," and at the heart of the "simmering row" between Gulati and Klinsmann was the German's supposed unhappiness with Gulati's comments on the afternoon of the USA-Costa Rica Copa Centenario game questioning recent results.

The FA has not released what it is looking for in its next national team coach or what will be the priorities for the coach. Without that criteria, it's impossible to say who might be a good candidate for the position.

In quotes that appeared in the Guardian and other English papers on Friday, Germany national team general manager Oliver Bierhoff, Klinsmann's close friend dating back to their playing careers, suggested Klinsmann was in discussions with the Football Association and would be a good fit without getting into the specifics of what he knew about any discussions between Klinsmann and the FA or what the FA was looking for.

Bierhoff set the German national team, which Klinsmann helped reorganize more than a decade ago, as the standard England needs to attain.

“Perhaps it is an advantage that good players go to England and other countries," he said, "so our clubs have to bring other players through. But since the arrival of Jurgen Klinsmann -- who I think is in discussions with England -- we have also given the national team a certain pride, atmosphere and organization. The success of the story is the high quality but also the good organization and good atmosphere we have in the group.”

Bierhoff, who was the German national team general manager when Klinsmann coached the team, added that Klinsmann has the attributes to succeed in England.

“He would be a good fit," he said. "We started in 2004 together and he’s not always, how can I say, nice to handle because he wants to change [things]. But he brings motivation. He has the courage to make difficult decisions and, perhaps, you need something like this"

18 comments about "Klinsmann to England? The story that won't go away".
  1. Allan Lindh, July 8, 2016 at 9:16 p.m.

    I can promise you England he is the best coach in the world. Don't pass up this sure fire winner.

  2. j bapper, July 8, 2016 at 9:27 p.m.

    England - please hire this guy he's awesome! He's completely revolutionized the way the US National team plays. We now play this free flowing attacking style with an emphasis on players with great technical skills. Players like Zardes, Beckerman, Zusi, Wondoloski, Bedoya and Chandler. I would hate to see him leave but if England makes him a better offer, that's the way it goes.

  3. Mark Buckley, July 8, 2016 at 11:21 p.m.

    Oh no...well if you must go, I guess there's nothing we can do about it.

  4. R2 Dad, July 8, 2016 at 11:21 p.m.

    JK said, "The youth leagues do their own thing, the professional system is not really connected to the amateur system, and that's not really connected to the college system." So big picture, he understands the issues in this country but hasn't changed this, and maybe doesn't have the mandate to do so. If he goes to England, he won't have to fight that battle, the basic structure is already in place. So England: higher profile, more pressure, but probably more upside in the short term. Might be a good move for him now. Then all the Bruce Arena fanboys can advocate for their favorite retread, so we can get a real Murican to coach proper kickball.

  5. Richard Brown replied, July 9, 2016 at 4:17 a.m.

    If England takes my beloved Klinnesman I would be very sad. He is the best no one better. If it happens I will spring on a goodbye party like the world has never seen.

    Better then my soprano's party that I had just before season 1 and 2 of the season premiers

    Please do not take Gulati that would be too much. If that happened I will move to England :)

  6. Kris Spyrka, July 9, 2016 at 12:53 a.m.

    There was a bounce when JK came on, then it flatlined. I suppose it could be worse, we could be Argentina with a total federation meltdown. But, for the salary JK was receiving, there should have been exponentially more effort to implement change, or at least die trying! Also dann Herr Klinsmann, nix wie los! R2 Dad, you are right when you say the progression path is disconnected. That's where strong federation leadership is necessary, so can FA take Gulati? We'll throw him in as a package deal!

  7. Richard Brown, July 9, 2016 at 4:18 a.m.

    I wish he would have died. Trying.

  8. Nalin Carney, July 9, 2016 at 10:36 a.m.


  9. Chuck Redding, July 9, 2016 at 11:30 a.m.

    YES!!! England has a history of hiring poor coaches!!! Chris Coleman to USA!!!

  10. David Mont, July 9, 2016 at 12:29 p.m.

    Too good to be true. There is no demand for Klinsmann in Europe. They know better.

  11. cisco martinez, July 9, 2016 at 9:50 p.m.

    Please take Klinnsmann and GUlati!

  12. Richard Brown, July 9, 2016 at 9:54 p.m.

    Nice we all can agree on this :)

  13. Andrew Kear, July 10, 2016 at 12:35 p.m.

    If you want your national fans to get ulcers then hire klinsmann. It is not fun watching your national team lose to 90th ranked nations on home soil.

  14. David Knopf, July 11, 2016 at 8:01 a.m.

    For Jurgen's sake, it would be ideal if there were some prime English-German players in the Bundesliga, but given the countries' adversarial relationship in WW II it's not likely. I realize it's only a dream, but I'd like to see Klinsmann go and be replaced by Peter Vermes. That might open the door for Sporting Kansas City to hire a coach who doesn't favor whack 'em, smack 'em, run-run-run football. I'd take Roy Hodgson in a heartbeat. Best coach Clint Dempsey ever had.

  15. Daniel Clifton, July 11, 2016 at 8:35 a.m.

    As R2 Dad stated Klinsmann understands the problems with our youth system, but apparently doesn't have the mandate to make the changes that need to be made. I thought that was why Klinsmann was hired in the US, to make the changes in the youth system that need to be made. If that is not the case, which apparently it isn't, I have no complaint about England hiring him to run their program. As a tactician and strategist he leaves a lot to be desired. I am not sure why the English are so high on him. At this point I am ready for a change. I appreciate all of the sarcastic statements above about how people will miss him so much.

  16. John Mcdermott, July 11, 2016 at 8:48 a.m.

    I don't see Klinsmann giving up the cushiest, most secure coaching job in world soccer. I also don't see him moving from Southern California to England(and doubt very much the FA would accept a "commuting" relationship as Germany once did). That said, while I think Sunil Gulati would never fire Klinsmann he might come to see this as a convenient and comfortable opportunity to correct a mistake(not hiring Klinsmann, but giving him a contract extension through 2018 before a ball was even kicked at WC 2014) and start over fresh with a new manager while there is still time.

  17. Tim Gibson, July 11, 2016 at 8:50 a.m.

    Yup, there's nothing he can do when youth players & late bloomers that have not been ID'd as top %1'ers have to go through High School & then onto College soccer programs here in the States. This is where our kids mostly get lost & give up the game in this country. Neither Him or Gulati have much control over that & to me this is the main reason our programs continue to suffer at the National Level.

  18. Ric Fonseca replied, July 11, 2016 at 3:13 p.m.

    Hear, hear, Tim Gibson!!! Well said!!! A SA writer, M. Woitalla said several issues ago, that we're mired in the US soccer "alphabet-soccer" - can of soup, from youth rec leagues, through scholastic, club (rec vs competitive) independent local community leagues not affiliated to state associations, US Youth Soccer and or US Soccer, then MLS, academies, long-time-disappeared ODP programs, etc, ad nauseum. For USSF Prez Gulati to have thought so, sorry Prof. Gulati, but you obviously have forgotten your Introductory to US Soccer History 101 on "Cause and Effect" of our dysfunctional soccer programs, and your grade on this is a D-. And so, if JK does jump ship and gets on his motorized kayak and paddles his wares accross the big pond, then we'll be in very deep stuff what with WC 2018 right around the corner, but unfortunately we'll still be stuck with Prez/Prof Gulati for some time to come (btw, any one know when the next US Soccer AGM is scheduled and when his term of office expires? Maybe then he'll become a full-time functionary with FIFA???) I just hope that light at the end of the soccer tunnel is not another train coming from the opposite end!)

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