Jurgen Klinsmann has been touted as the man to fill Roy Hodgson’s tatty boots as England coach, by the likes of Jamie Redknapp and Jamie Carragher, among others, but taking such a step based on the Germany legend’s managerial career seems incautious.
Both former Liverpool Jamies trumpeted Klinsmann’s record at major tournaments as a key factor, despite his admirable five-year sabbatical from European football managing the United States.
The 51-year-old’s only club management role, with Bayern Munich, came and went over a season a couple of years earlier, eight months into the 2008/09 campaign with the Bundesliga giants in third.
Bayern have gone from strength to strength since, as have his native Germany, who Klinsmann left after just two good years in charge, including third place at their own 2006 World Cup, apparently in order to lead a more normal life.
That doesn’t bode well for his prospects as England boss, nor particularly do his results since heading Stateside, with Klinsmann failing to improve on USMNT’s last-16 finish under Bob Bradley in 2010 at the last World Cup, and some way off Bruce Arena’s quarter-final spot in 2002.
Despite these facts, Klinsmann is now the clear 3/1 favourite to replace Hodgson, seemingly due to the lack of viable alternatives – former Three Lions gaffer Glenn Hoddle, sacked 17 years ago for controversial comments, is second favourite at 8/1, alongside Guus Hiddink.
He may seem a little bit past it at 69, but Hiddink must be of interest if tournament records are to be taken into account, having lead Netherlands and South Korea to semi-finals at consecutive World Cups, albeit back in 1998 and 2002.
Indeed, if it’s all about how a coach performs at World Cups, which it should be considering there’s another one coming up in two years, then Hiddink’s heroics in taking Australia to the finals for the first time in 32 years back in 2006, then knocking out Croatia in the group stage, is further evidence.
He may have had tricky times with Turkey and back at Netherlands in recent years, but the Dutchmen’s recent second spell at Chelsea went down rather well.
England don’t tend to have too much trouble qualifying for competitions. If they can get there, they’ll clearly have a chance of progress with Hiddink in charge.