Wednesday June 30th 2021
Klinsmann after “483rd rejection”?
The very curious search for a coach by the Spurs
By Sebastian Schneider
Who will be the new coach at Tottenham Hotspur? After José Mourinho was sacked at the end of April, the English football club is desperately looking for someone new. But that turns out to be more difficult than expected – and suddenly Jürgen Klinsmann knocks.
Nobody wants to help Harry Kane? The 27-year-old recently said that he wants to play for trophies and that he wants to reach a level with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Admittedly, England’s captain and usually Torgarant (so far) have not left a lasting impression at the European Football Championship. It’s different with his club. At Tottenham Hotspur he is the figurehead of the team. Kane has clearly rejected the fact that speculation about his person at the EM is inhibiting him.
In the past season he secured the English version of the top scorer cannon for the third time with 23 goals. But in order to be able to deliver consistently, he needs help: not just a powerful team, but also a trainer. And that is precisely the problem in north London. The Spurs have been looking for a new trainer since April 19. Since then, José Mourinho has not been in charge anymore. And since then the 30-year-old ex-professional Ryan Mason has been putting on the cones during training on an interim basis.
Sure, the ongoing European Championship takes some pressure off the search for a coach, most professionals are currently traveling across the continent. Nevertheless, such a tournament is also a welcome opportunity for club changes and a club without a coach will probably have a hard time convincing the great discoveries of the EM.
Conte, Nagelsmann, Flick, Klinsmann
But it’s not as if Tottenham’s president, Daniel Levy, hasn’t tried everything to clarify the Mourinho succession. For example with the Italian Antonio Conte. The master coach of Inter Milan is said to have been the absolute dream candidate. But that changed very quickly when the 51-year-old announced his budget requirements. Then the desired solution was a thing of the past.
Days and months passed and the rumor mill continued to simmer. And by the way, it impressively showed how quickly the world of football is changing. Shortly after Mourinho had to leave, names like Hansi Flick (now Löw’s successor) and Julian Nagelsmann (now Flick’s successor at Bayern) were traded at the Spurs. The name Ralf Rangnick was also buzzing through the gazettes.
Probably the most aggressive advertising campaign, however, was carried out by someone completely different: namely Jürgen Klinsmann. The 1990 world champion recently told the BBC that he was toying with the Spurs coaching chair. After he got wind of Mourinho’s dismissal, Klinsmann picked up his cell phone and called Levy. He, in turn, allegedly got rid of the ex-Hertha success coach with an “I have to fix a few things first”.
The idea is actually not bad. Klinsmann loves the Spurs (he made it clear again in the BBC) and the Spurs love Klinsmann. He won the hearts of fans on his two trips to London. The 56-year-old is also aware of this. That’s why he had announced publicly three weeks ago that Levy could always call him.
Tax law and an Italian legend
Why he didn’t do that, of course, can only be speculated about. On the one hand, the Tottenham President first asked his preferred candidates. Including the old friend Mauricio Pochettino, who was already successful with the Spurs in London. He further developed young players and led the team to the final of the Champions League. So actually a good idea. If there wasn’t a problem: Pochettino has taken over the legacy of Thomas Tuchel at Paris St. Germain and the Qatar club is not willing to let the coach go.
The next solution, Paulo Fonseca, already had a completed contract. But supposedly it failed because of English tax law. The insider Fabrizio Romano reportedthat Fonseca should have withdrawn after calculating his net salary. Other sources deny this.
And there was also Gennaro Gattuso. An icon as an Italian player, not yet as a coach. As reported by “The Athletic”, it would have been possible that the fate of the Spurs would have been in the hands of the Italian. But it didn’t work from several perspectives. On the one hand, the club and the possible soon-to-be coach differed on the transfer strategy. On the other hand, there was great resentment in the fan scene because of problematic statements about women, same-sex marriage and racism. Summarized under the hashtag #NoToGattuso.
What about Harry Kane now?
The (currently) last rejection came from Seville coach Julen Lopetegui, who declined the Spurs offer with thanks. Even if, as his club president José Castro later joined a Spanish radio station divulged that it was “dizzying”.
Now that all the European coaches had a Spurs request on the table before they probably got a vaccination offer, Klinsmann still remains. Anyone who follows the Bundesliga knows that their terms in office were not necessarily the most successful. The 2008/09 season ended with Bayern without a title. Everything has already been said about the bizarre 77-day era at Berlin Hertha, Facebook live videos and the subsequent diary.
But when Klinsmann was given full decision-making power, things went differently. With the national teams of the USA and the DFB-Elf, he gave a very successful picture. He never had this freedom at the clubs. Neither in Munich nor in Berlin. The coach model in the Premier League, according to which a single person makes the most important decisions, was what Klinsmann had always wanted in the Bundesliga. England legend Gary Lineker also sees this. After the “483rd rejection” there is only one solution for him: Klinsmann. And he is also “charismatic, knowledgeable, experienced, a former player and a fan favorite.”
Will this really be a reality? That is probably rather unlikely. In general, a lot still takes place in the subjunctive. It’s not even clear whether the emigrant Harry Kane should really stay. Allegedly there should be inquiries from, among others, Manchester United and Manchester City. Jürgen Klinsmann can certainly help him with scoring goals. But there are too many other candidates on Levy’s list. But as curious as the previous search for a coach has gone, a lot seems possible at the Spurs.