The Writer's Life: Film & Book Reviews, Observations, and Stories
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Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

Jürgen Klinsmann’s football philosophy is meeting a severe test with the United States national team. There is a fatal flaw in his player pool he doesn’t seem to grasp. Klinsmann does not have enough players of international calibre to manage a match against solid opponents. They cannot both attack and defend in a seamless manner. I wonder how he will sort this out. His predecessors opted for a more conservative approach—to desperately defend and then counterattack with speed and purpose. This is not Klinsmann’s way. He believes in his own version of “total” football, but he doesn’t have the players to implement his vision. They are fun to watch, but will always lose to superior teams—and the fact is that most teams are superior to the United States and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. For the sake of United States soccer, I hope he succeeds, but the challenge is more difficult than he could possibly have imagined.

September 7, 2011   Comments Off on Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

George Klinsmann

Jürgen Klinsmann, his face alight with emotion, during the playing of the national anthem before his first game in charge of the national team. He looks like he spends his mornings running on the beach. Someone said he’s thinking of changing his name to George. God, what a man. Will he be able to change the composition and style of the national team as he did in Germany? You would imagine he could, but I suspect this is a much more difficult challenge. Looks like he’s up for it, though.

August 11, 2011   2 Comments

Lieber Jürgen


Jürgen Klinsmann has lived in the United States now for so long that he has a gravelly American accent. It doesn’t yet sound distinctly Californian, but it’s getting there. One can only hope that he’ll follow in his countryman’s footsteps, obtain U.S. citizenship, and succeed Arnold as governor. Now that would be sweet. First a German body builder and movie actor and then a former international soccer superstar as governor of our most populous state. It would also be a nice change. Klinsmann is more understated (a lot less annoying) than Schwarzenegger and probably a great deal more liberal.

Come back to America soon, Jürgen.

October 21, 2009   Comments Off on Lieber Jürgen