Hertha Berlin lead trainer Jurgen Klinsmann has left his job at the Bundesliga club after under a quarter of a year in control, saying “I took over a suicide mission.”
The previous Bayern Munich, Germany and U.S. men’s national team coach affirmed his departure in an announcement posted on his Facebook page and said he will stay at the club in a supervisory role.
“I took over a suicide mission,” Klinsmann told Bild. “Only in one match, we did not get what I hoped for. The coaching staff managed to stabilize the team and get it away from the relegation ranks.
“From my understanding, a coach should have the full sporting responsibility, just like the English model. And, thus, also over transfers. This gives the position more power. The last few weeks cost too much energy spent on side issues. If I am responsible for the team as a coach, I want to put all my energy into working with the squad.”
Those quotes followed his previous statement on Facebook, in which he stated: “I would like to say a big thank you to all players, fans, spectators, staff and my colleagues at Hertha Berlin for the support, the many meetings and the talks over the past ten weeks. It was an incredibly exciting time for me with many new interesting insights. The club and the city have grown on me even more.
“In late November, we followed the request of the club leadership with a highly competent team and helped out during a difficult time. Within a relatively short period, we set out on a good path. Also because of the support of many people we put six points between us and the relegation playoff place despite mostly difficult games.
“I am more than convinced that Hertha will reach its goal to stay up. But for this job, which is not done yet, as the head coach I need the trust of the acting persons. Especially in a relegation battle unity, team spirit and focus on the basics are the most important elements. If they are not guaranteed, I can’t live up to my potential as a head coach and fulfill my responsibility.
“That’s why, after long consideration, I have concluded that I will leave my post as the Hertha Berlin head coach and return to my initial long-term task as a member of the supervisory board. The supporters, the players, and staff have grown dear to me at this time and that’s why I will continue to cheer for Hertha.
“I continue to look forward to the many encounters with you in the city or the stadium.”
Sources near Klinsmann disclosed to ESPN a week ago that he felt unnerved by what he thoroughly considered was an absence of help a coaching license issue in January.
Having not coached in Germany since his dismissal at Bayern Munich in mid-2009, Klinsmann had not renewed his license, which is required every three years in Germany. He needed to give documents as evidence of proceeding with education to possess his license renewed in time for the Bayern Munich home match, Hertha’s first game of 2020.
Hertha canceled Tuesday’s scheduled news conference with Alexander Nouri, one of Klinsmann’s assistant coaches, as the players trained ahead of the trip to Paderborn on Saturday.
“We were all in the meeting room and the players thought it was the meeting after the game against Mainz, but instead he said he won’t be our coach anymore,” midfielder Marko Grujic, on loan from Liverpool, told reporters.
“Strange news this morning. We are all a little bit confused. After the match, we received the information that we won’t train for two days to clear our heads. Because it was far from good on Saturday.”
“It’s a great shock,” defender Dedryck Boyata added.
Winger Javairo Dilrosun called Klinsmann’s takeoff a “great loss” for the club.
He stated: “He was a great personality. Now, there’s chaos here. And we need to win on Saturday to calm things down.”
“We were surprised by the developments this morning. Especially after such trustful cooperation during the intense winter transfer period, there were no signs at all for this,” Michael Preetz, Hertha Berlin’s sporting executive, said.
“We will inform about the further developments at a given time.”
He included that Nouri will take responsibility for the club on an interim basis.
Klinsmann, 55, was appointed by Hertha on Nov. 26, 2019, and won only three of his 10 matches in charge, losing four and drawing three.
Hertha is 14th in the Bundesliga, six points off the relegation places. In January, they signed Krzysztof Piatek from AC Milan; sources disclosed to ESPN the striker cost a fee in the region of €27 million – a club record.
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