If you missed the news last week, Jurgen Klinsmann is back in the coaching game, after taking over at struggling Hertha Berlin in a caretaker role until the end of the season.
But why? Klinsmann hasn’t held a head coaching job since leaving his post with the USA in 2016, and hasn’t coached at all in Germany since his brief and ill-fated spell with Bayern Munich ended in 2009.
On this week’s European edition of the Totally Football Show, Raphael Honigstein explained:
“He’s there because their main investor, who has this dream about building Hertha into a superpower not just in Germany but in Europe, Lars Windhorst, who’s a fairly controversial, London-based financier, got Klinsmann in on their advisory board. But because they’ve been having such a bad time and are close to the relegation zone, Klinsmann has now been promoted to this caretaker manager role.
“I think it will come down to whether his No.2, Alexander Nouri, who is a former Werder Bremen and Ingolstadt coach, is actually up to the job. We know from previous experience, with Germany and Bayern where his No.2 was Martin Vasquez – who is Martin Vasquez? Exactly – it didn’t work out so well.
“He’s got quite a lot to lose I think, and so have Hertha, after a €224million investment from their new overlord.”
Klinsmann’s reign didn’t get off to the best start, with a 2-1 defeat at home to the previously beleaguered Borussia Dortmund, but while you can’t exactly blame him for that loss, the fans were not happy about the general state of things at Hertha.
“The fans went absolutely crazy, pelted the team with drinks and shouted they were going to go down. The positivity that Klinsmann always brings to these new jobs hasn’t quite rubbed off.”
There was also a slightly curious incident before the game, which might mean something, it might mean nothing, but it was notable nonetheless.
“It was an interesting beginning to his reign: he got out his phone to film the fans singing one of their songs, but the phone had an adidas case, and Hertha are sponsored by Nike. It was a bit of a stripe tease, you might say.
“Was this just an accident, or was it deliberate? For someone who is so clued up about the power of communication and branding, it was a strange beginning.”
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