Former U.S. men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann abruptly chose to leave his job at Hertha Berlin this week after just 11 weeks on the job. Klinsmann’s decision has left Hertha in chaos as it fights against relegation from the Bundesliga. And the closer you look at things, the more you realize than ever that Klinsmann is completely delusional at this point.
Consider: Klinsmann said that he didn’t feel enough support from leadership at the club. But in January Hertha literally spent more money on transfers—in excess of $80 million—than any other club in the entire world.
This is the same Klinsmann who recently had another public delusion when he said he could have taken the U.S. to the semifinals of World Cup 2018—the same World Cup that the U.S. didn’t qualify for largely due to Jurgen Klinsmann!
Look, Klinsmann deserves credit for leading two national teams to more or less successful World Cups—Germany in 2006 and the U.S. in 2014. And in his first three years as the U.S. coach he did a few good things: Recruiting dual-nationals, questioning the status quo and prodding U.S. players to aspire to the highest club level. But Klinsmann was a disaster in the U.S. job for three full years after 2014, and his daily process and tactical acumen were a joke. That gets found out quickly at club level. It did at Bayern Munich, where the normally quiet Philipp Lahm called him out on it publicly, and we’re now seeing reports of similar complaints from Klinsmann’s brief time at Hertha.
If anything, Klinsmann should be a national team coach, and it would have been fascinating to see if he had taken the Ecuador job and could have proved himself in the cauldron of South American World Cup qualifying. Klinsmann may well get a job at some point in England, which has an overinflated view of his coaching ability, but the truth of the matter is this: As a coach, Jurgen Klinsmann is a con man.