He led the team with the highest performance ever, and was humiliatingly eliminated. Still, German coach Jurgen Klinsmann looked very cheerful as he entered the country. When asked about his failure to win the Asian Cup, he did not even know the exact reason for his criticism against him. He said he had no intention of stepping down on his own or making a change in the way he was criticized. There was no apology or reflection on his failure to win the Asian Cup.
Coach Klinsmann returned home through Incheon International Airport on the 8th. It is a bittersweet “early return” following the elimination of the semifinals of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in Qatar. The national soccer team aimed to win the championship for the first time in 64 years amid the evaluation that it was an all-time record, but was eliminated with only a humiliating record in the semifinals due to poor performance throughout the tournament.
He lost 10 points in six matches. It was the second largest number of goals lost since joining the Asian Cup, and his record of not allowing a single goal was a disaster. Despite being far ahead of the FIFA rankings in terms of players in terms of performance, he only garnered one win and two draws in the group stage, and won the tournament for two consecutive games. The semifinal match against Jordan, which suffered a humiliating crushing defeat without recording even one effective shot, was also the bare face of Klinsmann’s team, which was revealed when the factor of “luck” was excluded.
Since he took office, he had been under intense criticism for controversy over his stay-at-home and away-from-home activities. Nevertheless, fans’ anger toward Klinsmann was somewhat subdued due to expectations for his country’s first Asian Cup victory in 64 years. As Klinsmann asked for support by banking on his Asian Cup performance, fans were fooled and cheered for the national team during the Asian Cup. However, Klinsmann’s answer was his disastrous performance and humiliating failure to advance to the semifinals.
Naturally, attention was focused on the mouth of coach Klinsmann, who arrived in Korea. He had already said in September last year that he would be evaluated through the Asian Cup at the same place. At the time, he said, “It is not too late to be criticized after the results come out. If the results are not good, you can criticize them and fire the coach at that time. I can handle anything.” After the failure to win the Asian Cup, the interest was on how he would express his position on his future.
“I can’t say it’s a failure,” Klinsmann said of the Asian Cup. He expressed his satisfaction with reaching the semifinals rather than his goal of failing to win the championship. Citing other East Asian teams such as China and Japan, he also expressed his difficulties about the tournament being held in the Middle East. It was an excuse to say that he shouted for the championship until just before the Asian Cup, the highest record ever, led by key players who are active in Europe.
It was the same throughout the interview. He boasted that he had no loss in 13 consecutive games that he had played before the match against Jordan, and that he had opened the door for young players after taking the helm. His hard work and two consecutive wins in the round of 16 and quarterfinals at the tournament ended up being “happiness” given to his fans. He hid the fact that he had only one win in the recent five games (the official record against Bahrain and Saudi Arabia was a draw), that his dependence on key players was too high than that of young players, and that the victory was outstanding due to individual players’ ability, not his tactics and strategies.
Instead, there was no apology or self-reflection for the failure to win the Asian Cup, which was the national team’s goal and national aspiration, and its poor performance throughout the tournament. Regarding the sluggishness in the semifinals against Jordan, he added that he was “pretty angry and disappointed” instead of reflecting on his tactics. He even said, “I don’t know the exact reason” for the poor public opinion toward him. 마카오토토도메인
As he is satisfied with his performance in the semifinals of the Asian Cup and does not know why he is being criticized, there is no way for him to repent or apologize. This is why he does not have any responsible actions in mind, such as voluntary resignation. When asked if there was a voluntary resignation, he said, “I wanted to win the championship,” “Jordan was a much better team,” and “He recorded 13 consecutive undefeated matches.” He said, “It is important to prepare for the World Cup qualifying round just around the corner.” It is an expression of his will to continue taking the helm.
What’s even more regrettable is that despite the actual failed journey, Klinsmann has no intention of changing himself. A typical example is the way of working that has always been criticized. He said, “I have a thought that the national team coach’s way of working is different from that of a professional team coach. I know you have different ideas and point out that it’s not right,” but added, “I will not change the way you work. I respect the criticism, but there will be no change in the way the national team coach works.”