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Klinsmann in California

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Dan Walker | 11:16 UK time, Thursday, 23 September 2010

Greetings. This week's blog is about a hurriedly arranged trip to Los Angeles to interview Jurgen Klinsmann.

I can see some of you already penning your "waste of licence fee payers' money" and "expensive jolly" comments, so let me offer this early defence.

The interview with Klinsmann will not only be available on Football Focus but also as part of a documentary about the England national side and how they can put right the wrongs of this summer's World Cup in South Africa. I also stayed in a dodgy hotel miles from anywhere and was seated at the back of the plane on the flight in and out.

In fact, the journey out there will live with me for quite some time. Flying to LA is a bit of a 10-hour beast and the last thing you want to hear when you sit down on a packed flight is this from the bloke you are wedged next to...

"I've got a significant bladder problem!" Such was the regularity of his rising that I had to abandon watching The A-Team an hour in. A forced intermission every seven to eight minutes does not make for perfect viewing conditions.

Jurgen Klinsmann and Dan Walker

Jurgen Klinsmann welcomes me to his home

I was only in LA for two days so I developed a cunning plan to avoid the eight-hour time difference on my return. I went to bed at 7.45pm and then got up at 3.45am. The only flaw was the early rise gave me a four-hour wait before the hotel opened the buffet breakfast. The pancakes and syrup were eventually devoured in record time.

Jeff, our American cameraman, picked me up and we headed to the very posh and swanky Newport Beach. It did not take me long to realise Jeff was the most showbiz operator I have worked with.

He had spent the previous week filming interviews with Cheryl Cole for The X Factor and unleashed this classic quote: "I'm telling you, Dan, I've met some pretty ladies in my time but she's a winner man. What a face... and that accent... she's Scottish, right?"

At that point in the conversation, Jeff's mobile went off. It was Michael Sheen, the star of Frost/Nixon, trying to set up a meeting for the following day. It soon became clear that Jeff pointed his camera in some significant circles and, even though he thought Klinsmann was a Formula 1 driver, I felt the shoot was in safe hands.

Klinsmann's gaff was even more impressive than Jeff's contact list. There was one central corridor that ran through the whole pad, which even Usain Bolt would have struggled to cover in under seven seconds at full tilt.

They were renting this place while their family house was being renovated. I dread to think what it was worth but, with NBA star Kobe Bryant living round the corner, I imagine the heaviest of wallets is needed to call this part of town 'home'.

We settled into the first part of the interview for the documentary, which featured Klinsmann's cool analysis of the reasons for England's World Cup wonkiness. He also spoke of the merits of a winter break and detailed the measures he took to rebuild the German national side after they failed to make the knockout stages of Euro 2004.

Jurgen Klinsmann and Dan Walker recreate the German's famous goal celebration

Jurgen and I recreate his famous goal celebration routine

He was engaging, intelligent and incredibly insightful. When he brought out some water halfway through, I almost felt guilty for disliking him so vehemently during the 1990 World Cup. I may have felt slightly worse if he had added some biscuits!

We paused briefly while he let in some carpet cleaners and then settled into the Football Focus stage of the interview.

You will have to wait until Saturday for the full hit but, among other things, Klinsmann talked about his time at Tottenham being the highlight of his career, defended the morals of the modern-day footballer, confirmed he was never approached about the Aston Villa job, batted away questions about Chelsea and Liverpool but did claim he thought the job of coaching the United States was his when Bob Bradley was suddenly reappointed.

I wish I could tell you some of the stuff he said about certain clubs off camera. The journalist in me was disappointed but, as a fellow human, I hugely respect him for not spouting off with a microphone on.

After two captivating hours, he ran off to a meeting and told Jeff and I to let ourselves out. We had a final glimpse of the sort of house we would never live in and returned to the hotel.

You can see Klinsmann in California on Saturday's show at 1215 BST on BBC 1. Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez and Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce will also be on, while we'll have a special report on the coolest team in world football.

If you have got any questions or comments about the Klinsmann interview, let me know and the best place to keep up to date with Focus is at


  • Comment number 1.

    He seems a genuine guy, possibly Spurs next manager when Harry takes over from Fabio?

  • Comment number 2.

    Klinsmann does always come across as being comfortably more intelligent than your average Ruud van Nostrilboy so it should be interesting hearing what he's got to say. He was very frustrating when he was a player though with some, frankly laughable, diving though. If there is one thing I'd like to have permanently erased from football, its play-acting.

    It should also be very interesting to hear from Allardyce following his comments about managing Real Madrid, etc. Sadly for him, the only place he'll be doing that will be on Football Manager. I wonder if he would employ a creative strategy or stick with what he knows...

    Col. Hannibal Smith

  • Comment number 3.

    MartinC19885 - Unbelievable composure given the circumstances. Being first to comment usually ignites celebrations of Temuri Ketsbaia proportions. Admirable laid back approach.

  • Comment number 4.

    Was very impressed to read the article (also on the BBC) a couple of months back explaining how Jurgen Klinsmann turned round the German national side - he was so on top of his strategy that he even highlighted the areas it would and wouldn't work in England and dictated to the German FA who should replace him, when and how.

    Very intelligent player and manager who has always seemed very grounded to me (pun slightly intended!).

    Dan - sorry about the bladder, it's back under control now....encounters with celebrity make me nervous!

  • Comment number 5.

    I never really understood why Klinsman's name was banded about for decent mangerial posts. He bombed at Bayern (for whatever reason) in one season and took Germany to a World Cup Semi-Final (even Big Sam at Blackburn would back himself to do that!!).

    And that's it.

  • Comment number 6.

    Another top blog Dan! Talking about in-flight disturbances while I was flying to New Zealand a few years ago with my older (apparently) more mature brother he decided the only way to get his moneys worth is to drink his weight in beer. He subsequently didnt sleep for the entire 25 hours of flying, failed in his mission to complete Super Mario world and also misplaced our Passports which took an hour and a half to find!

    Paul Telfer

  • Comment number 7.

    Dan, never a good idea to start your blog off with apologies..careful it's becoming a habit you know ;) - you're just setting yourself up too - but I really love those stories conjuring up images of a dodgy hotel miles from anywhere (it wasn't like the one from the film 'Vacancy' I hope?), the torturous plane trip (I ain't flying Hannibal!) and only being in L.A. for 2 days.(I pity the fool who goes out tryin' a' take over da world, then runs home cryin' to his momma!)

    Jurgen does come over as nice bloke, but are they paid interviews and didn't he have enough room in his mansion to put you up a night or two....and just water (hope it was the expensive kind) and no Lebkuchen or Leibniz ;?

    Great to hear there's some footy documentaries on the way.

    'Howling Mad' Murdoch

  • Comment number 8.

    Hi Danny,

    This documentary you mention...when does this come out? Is it a BBC3 effort?

    I like Klinsmann, there was a documentary done about the German National Team throughout World Cup 2006. Loads of behind the scenes stuff, it is available on Youtube and is one of the best things i've seen about international football, and experiencing what a world cup is like for the players.

    Anyway, behind the scenes it showed was an inspiration Klinsmann was to his team and how all the players were completely in awe of him.

    Klinsmann appears to me as a player whose international achievements outweighed his overall club performances. Up until his Spurs stint, he was rarely more than a 15-20 goals a season player. But for Germany he was sensational, i wonder where they rank him in terms of their overall best?

    Does he still drive the green Beetle?

    O'neil Donaldson

  • Comment number 9.

    ComeEnglandAway you really are a dunce arent you, from not even making the 2004 Euros to the semi final of a world cup - "and thats it"

    Oh how an england fan would love to say that one of our managers "only" got us to a world cup semi final!!!

    he knows his football, this is for sure. Im not sure how good of a manager he actually is because for some reason I dont see him as being a good motivator and man manager...Taking germnany to the world cup was a great achievement but, his record in club management is indeed non existant at this stage so the jury is still out.

    But should he chose to - and he might not, seems quite settled chilling out on the west coast! - Im sure he could develop a good managerial career.

    I see him more as a pundit or maybe even in consultancy kind of work, he knows what is required to improve a player or team from a technical and tactical stand point. His Interviews and comments as a pundit are usually very much worth listening to.

  • Comment number 10.

    I think the jury is out on Klinsmann the manager. An unsuccesfull spell at Bayern Munich and taking Germany to the Semis of a World Cup that they hosted. Incidently many people credit Joachim Low (Klinsmanns number 2 at the time) as the brains behind Germanys performance at that World Cup.

    I expect that Jurgen is quite happy in the sun and will not be too interested in the day to day management of a club team. I would also expect that he is both too diplomatic and polite to give a totally honest appraisal of the English team. Perhaps you should go interview Beckenbauer? ;o)

  • Comment number 11.

    To 9 - I don't think he has a great CV that's all and on the rest of what you say; I'd agree. Germany at home in the World Cup finals and a semi-final is no great shakes imvho. If he did loads behind the scenes to overhaul German football for the better and long-term benefit then kudos to him, maybe that's his calling.

    And yeah, taking England to a Semi-Final is something I would love to celebrate!! :-) But England aren't Germany....are they??

  • Comment number 12.

    What Biscuits do you think Klnisman would bring out?

    a custard cream maybe?? or just a plain digestive?



  • Comment number 13.

    #12 maybe a jammy dodger?

    Col. Decker

  • Comment number 14.

    DAN DAN, Thank God I caught you!!

    I've just got back.


    All that worry for nothing.

    Anyway you rest easy.

    Uncle Joe

  • Comment number 15.

    What a waste of licence fee payers money.... Oh... Sorry.

  • Comment number 16.

    As a personality during his weekly 90-odd minites in a Spurs shirt, you found it hard not to detest the man (unless you were a Spurs fan of course) but outside of the white lines and ever since he's retired I don't think I could speak highly enough for him - and I'm an Arsenal fan! He strikes me as an extremely intelligent, thoughtful and patient man and therefore the sort of man who has steered Germany in such a vastly improved direction. He also seems almost ipossibly methodical compared to the manner in which he played the game!

    It strikes me that there was a somewhat generational bunch of players that came across as at least fairly intelligent in the last bunch of players. Such like Keown, Lineker, Shearer, Klinsmann, Deschamps, Holland, Bergkamp, even Robbie Savage to a degree). In the current generation I struggle to see many. Theo Walcott interviews like a 30-40 year old at time with an incredible level of maturity and vocab - for that I think we can thanks the Saints for pushing his education, since the same has been done at Arsenal since he wa signed. When I first heard him interviewed on Radio post-Croatia hattrick I couldn't believe that was him talking. However, I'm genuinely struggling to think of many others (do help me out here guys, I'd be interested to know who I'm missing / who to listen out for in future?).

    I suspect the future is very bright for him and I wonder where he will end up next in a club management role...

  • Comment number 17.

    hi Dan, nice blog
    Is this Jurgen Klinsmann retiring from football all together? It dosen't sound like he's in football now and is baseing himself in LA. What he going to do? Pundit on US TV? Manager of a MLS "soccer" team? International manager of a north/South american country (obviously not the USA)
    After you blog I cant help thinking that he's left europe for good. shame

  • Comment number 18.

    Its hard enough trying to think of intelligent and articulate managers let alone players these days! I think part of football school must involve the Penguin Book of Cliche's, along with gymnastics for beginners of course to make sure they don't hurt themselves when they dive, sorry fall over.

    Klinsmann may be the type who is more suited to an international job than a club job, but only time will tell, depending on what he does of course on that.

  • Comment number 19.

    Ron Manager

  • Comment number 20.

    Good stuff Dan but why didn't you and that bladder-challenged traveler switch seats?

  • Comment number 21.

    So much deja-vu here. BUT FIRST OF ALL WHERE IS THE BLESSED CHEESE CONTEST? Three weeks ago you said last week, then nothing, now this week nada, zip zilch.

    Anyway setting the rant aside, let me empathize with you about the LHR to LAX routine. I have flown London to the USA east coast dozens of times,. Bristol to Newark, London to Atlanta too often, and also LHR to Houston and San Francisco. I've also done the ten and a half hour hall from Gatwick to Sri Lanka, and a couple of flights around Europe. None of these flights compare to the misfortune of LHR to LAX. I spent a week in and around Huntington Beach and Westminister (as an aside, having read something about your conviction you can find a good church in Torrance). Then I also spent another week driving up the coast as far as the Golden Gate Bridge in SFcisco. Red wood trees are breath taking.

    Anyway on the flight over I was in the middle of the plane next to a guy who had drank too much and needed the rest room repeatedly, then fell asleep and snored. I think the poor chap had some kind of nasal deformity; the volume of his snores and his general physiognomy suggested that. Other passengers had to ask the stewardess to wake him up. BY the time we were over Wyoming or Utah I was just about fed up. Then when we landed I left my suit on the plane; mercifully just as I was about to go through customs I saw one of the stewardesses carrying it some where and was able to retrieve it. On the flight back I took advantage of some spare cash to enjoy a steak and wine at the airport. For some reason my upper GI tract shut down an hour into the flight. The 'heaviness' in my stomach got increasingly unpleasant until up came all the food and the ONE glass of wine I had consumed. The food looked utterly untouched by any gastric juices. After that I fell asleep for a few hours, until the lower GI tract went into turbo mode. I was a mess as I staggered off that flight, so much so that I foolishly left some key items behind on the plane. I could not clear customs until the plane had been cleaned and a cleaner, accompanied by security, brought me all that I had forgotten. Just the sort of situation in which you are glad you a\re alone with no one to share your idiocy.

    I am also rather surprised that Klinsman did not mention anything about John Toshack's last job? :-)I'm sure he would love to take it, after all Newport Beach is a fair exchange for Newport, Wales.

  • Comment number 22.

    I was sat on the North Stand at Hillsborough when Klinsmann scored for Spurs and excecuted his 'dive' celebration perfectly in front of us Wednesdayites........They were the days!

    Terry Curran

  • Comment number 23.

    Jurgen would not get the USA job ever as long as US wears NIKE and the German is pledged to adidas

  • Comment number 24.

    This article is pointless detritus, thanks again for wasting my license fee.

  • Comment number 25.

    To be fair to most footballers, the endless cliches you mention primarily come about from pointless lazy journalism. How many ways are there to answer the question, "So how important was the 3 points today?"
    It would be nice to see the odd footballer (like Cantona did on occasion) just give them a nonsensical answer to pointless questions that everyone already knows the answer too.

  • Comment number 26.

    #24 took a look at your previous posts, and they always seem to be negative other than the fact you thought Houllier wasn't too bad. You also use a mildly obscure word as quite a rude insult (for anyone who wants to look it up) - weren't you taught as a child that if you haven't got something nice to say, then its usually better to say nothing at all?

    Its interesting to hear what people from other cultures have to say, in this case about football, and there is usually something to be gained from the experience. I personally like to be entertained and understand that in order for the Beeb, or any other media outlet, will have to spend some money in order to achieve that. Its not like he travelled in a private jet and stayed in a luxury hotel by the sounds of it.

    Colonel Sanders

  • Comment number 27.

    #25 very true, sadly, not many footballers would be capable of such a thing! One of my favourites was when Wayne Bridge was asked some questions after Chelsea won the League Cup or FA Cup - can't remember which, and one of his replies was that it was good to get the three points today. Kind of tells you everything...

    Tucker Jenkins

  • Comment number 28.

    # 24 Smongler... I think the Beeb and the license fee are both... to use a technical term... minging. However,
    your license fee goes toward entertainment. This article and Mr. Dan Walker are entertaining to some of us. It's kind of an acquired taste like John Motson after whom Dan models himself.

    To those who are not entertained by such frivolity, the Beeb (courtesy of that compulsory tax called a license fee) provides much else. If you have issues with the repeated waste of a license fee then this blog ain't the forum to resolve those matters. AND IF IT WERE ARE THE WORDS "This article is pointless detritus..." going to accomplish anything?

    Effective and thought out discourse ont he license fee can be conducted in the political forum. I sympathize with those few who never watch the BBC, perhaps being cable or satellite junkies, but still have to pay the BEEB license fee. Kind of like flying a hang-glider but having to pay for a boat license too. Immoral.

  • Comment number 29.

    Out of interest Dan, what class of travel do the BBC fly you in?

  • Comment number 30.


    I see you got stung by that cliff-faring Pirate too!!

  • Comment number 31.

    I must say I am a big fan of Jurgen Klinsmann and thought he carried himself well when he played in the UK.

    Did he say what went wrong at Bayern and also what does he do these days?

  • Comment number 32.

    #31 Andy Connor,
    I am thoroughly confused by your comment. How was I stung, & who's the cliff-faring Pirate?
    I think your wit and imagery are a bit beyond my limited intellect. I am after all just three blogs ago 'olliesarmy' told the world what an idiot I was.
    Please explain.

  • Comment number 33.

    As a German living in an english speaking country let me give you the insight of the majority of Germans in regard to Juergen Klinsmann: As a player he needed too many chances. As a Spurs player he had a great spell or two. As a person he is intelligent but seems to like his money quite a bit. As a German national coach he was only useful and successful as a motivator, the technical and tactical skills were provided by his then assistant Jogi Loew. Overall: a little greedy, never popular in Germany (ok, more than Bierhoff:) and too one sided as a manager. Not the complete package in any case.

  • Comment number 34.

    Twas a cold evening, the fourth of the week.
    I wanted adventure, I was a bundle of energy and my mind was awash with ideas of how to dispense with it.
    I was vulnerable, and naive, and that damn pirate he knew it too!

    I had been taken it by his pirate charm and clever marketing slogan for hand glider rental.

    Had i been a bit more world wise I would have recognised the signs. A sparrow on his shoulder, a hook for a foot and a monacle. Oh if I had known.

    I saw no harm, in signing that waiver, I wasnt suspicious when he took my picture in a convenient if not oddly placed booth, nor did i bat eyelid when he set up a Direct debit mandate.

    Oh if only I knew.

    Anyway three days later my boat licence arrived.

    And the hang gliding was rubbish!!!

    And i could tell you have had EXACTLY the same experience!

  • Comment number 35.

    I'll be coming back later to get to your comments comrades. Just at a charity dinner.

    Keep the comments coming.

    Alan Pardew (who is on the next table)

  • Comment number 36.

    #34 you are one surreal man. The only thing missing is a trawler and some seagulls.

    Danny Ocean

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.


    Story for another day!

    Mighty Joe young

  • Comment number 39.

    i enjoy reading your blogs dan your a top man.

  • Comment number 40.

    Good stuff Dan, although some of the posts on here rival you!

    Andy Connor, I salute you. I have had a similar experience with rock-climbing, how it turned into abseiling I'll never know. But I have learnt to keep an eye out for those darn pirate types!

    Klinsmann does come across as an articulate and intelligent man but I do agree with Thanks A lot BBC7 that he seems very money-motivated. He'll happily stay in LA until the funds get low methinks...

    Dan, can you tell me if the (generic fast food restaurant) burgers really are twice the size of their British counterparts?

    Templeton Peck... or is that Peck Templeton?

  • Comment number 41.

    What a waste of license fee payers money!!!!!

  • Comment number 42.

    sarcasm is difficult when posting on here by the way

  • Comment number 43.

    Oh you know he must have had some words about Bayern! Come on, give it up. I promise I won't tell anyone that you mentioned it here.

  • Comment number 44.

    Enjoy this blog, very good. Seems more of a personal blog though. About your experiences. I would also like to hear your views on the game. I think your mate in the staff room Mr. Lineker is one of the best pundits out there.

  • Comment number 45.

    Morning all.

    Sorry I wasn’t around for many comments yesterday – I shall try and make up for it today.

    MartinC1985 (#1) I did float that question to him but he didn’t nibble. Impressively laid back as well as pointed out by JuggernautFC (#3)

    Surreybloke123 (#2)You’re right about the playacting although I think the fact that he was willing to laugh about it at Spurs helped changed our perception of him a little.

    Oh_Danny_Boy (#4) IT WAS YOU!!!

    ComeEnglandAway (#5) I think there were very strange circumstances at Bayern but I would love to see how he would get on at a big club in England... he certainly talks a good game. And TeniPurist (#9) makes some good points about his achievements at the world cup in 06.

    Moretorycuts (#6) 25 and he didn’t complete Super Mario World? Your brother needs to have a word with himself!

    JoC (#7) I know what you mean but I was trying to pre-empt the licence fee complainers. We didn’t pay him for the interview by the way and I think if I’d asked him for a full English he’d had rustled something up.

    Tomefccam (#8) BEETLE NEWS! The Beetle died when he was driving it from London to England. Apparently it appeared on Ebay during the 2006 world cup for 60,000 euros!!!
    I can’t remember the date for the documentary. I will post it later for you but I think it will be Beeb 1 or 2.

    Back in a mo.

  • Comment number 46.

    Dan - fair play to you mate!!!... never feel the need to appease the "waste of license payers money" brigade. I wish i had your job and so does everyone else!... I am stinkingly hungover this morning - went out for couple of beers last night and ended up getting in at 4am.... what has Jurgen got to say about that?

  • Comment number 47.

    I have returned...

    JamTay1 (#10) He is very quick to praise the contributions of Joachim Lowe but does say he should have gone for the Spanish at the world cup rather than play more defensively.

    Signori (#12) He’s gotta be a garibaldi man.

    Andy Connor (#14) Great news captain random.

    U7802718 (#15) Why I outta call in the FBI!

    Hughesie (#16) There are a lack of articulate players out there but I would add Joe Hart to your little Walcott list. He sounds about 50 when he talks even though he’s 12.

    Neiljwhitehouse (#17) I think he’ll come back for the right job – the USA was that job until they messed him around.

    Surreybloke123 (#18) I was over the moon when I got the penguin book of clichés for Christmas last year. It was a tough new year, but they are all tough at this level.

    TrotterUSA (#20) His wife slept for the full 10 hours and he didn’t want to leave her side.

    Blaenorynyclwyd (#21) Something tells me Klinsmann doesn’t fancy the Wales job. Snore Boy sounds right up there with Bladder Man.

    Smongler (#24) May I commend you on the use of the word ‘detritus’. You are clearly far too clever for the rest of us. I do feel though that you have only served to discombobulate.

    Hold on!

  • Comment number 48.

    Take 3...

    Smongler (#24) You go to all that trouble to spell detritus well and then get licence wrong. Come on lad... lift your game.

    Divingjurgen (#25) Fault on both sides me thinks. Journos not thinking about questions, players not bothered about answers.

    Davgroos (#29) Economy big man. It’s the future.

    Paolo22 (#31) The problem at Bayern was apparently them upstairs. Klinsmann said they never bought into his way of thinking and wanted to do it their own way. He said every day was a battle to get things done.

    Thanks A lot BBC7 (#33) Thanks for the insight chief.

    Andy Connor (#34) Great story... rich and compelling.

    Col029 (#40) The burgers are definitely bigger.... and so are the waistlines!

    Sperlz (#41) You had me for a moment there big man.

    Davey75 (#44) Point taken chief. I like to try and mix up a bit of behind the scenes stuff as well as opinions. Don’t want to spout all day long.

    Boomshakalak (#45) Straight back at you chief. Good pep talk.

    Thanks for all the comments so far. Keep them coming and once I get to the office I’ll let you know when and where you can see the doco. Keep an eye out for Klinsmann on Friday Focus today as well.

    Right, I’m just off for some detritus on toast.

    All the best

    Rudi Voller

  • Comment number 49.

    did klinsmans wife get paid when they met

  • Comment number 50.

    Morning Dan hope you are well?

    In your 1st post this morning titled BEETLE NEWS you stated that "The Beetle died when he was driving it from London to England"

    How can this be???

  • Comment number 51.

    Really suprised Jurgen did the interview for that a common situation? Herr Klinsman's definately gone up in my estimation, but I'd say he'd do a better job at the 'Continental' rather than the 'Full English' even at the management game...but we'll see!

    By the way, economy class travel isn't the future buddy it's simply the present, using a good webcams is the future for you I'm I said (I ain't flying Hannibal!);)

    Colonel Decker

  • Comment number 52.

    I shared your initial perceptions of Jurgen in the early nineties, Dan. All on the basis the West Germans were extremely fortunate to beat us in Turin and I also didnt like their haircuts, especially Brehme, Littbarski and Buchwald. Awful.

    Having saud that, after 7 or 8 visits to the nation, I am come to respect the Germans and their admirable team spirit.

    Surprising to see Jurgen living the champagne lifestyle in LA as I recall him looking a bit trampy during his Spurs days. The wild straw hair, long coats, Lennon spectacles and VW Beetle made him look more like something from Withnail and I, rather than a Premier League footballer. The German FA must pay top deutschmark these days.

    Thomas Hassler x

  • Comment number 53.

    # 17 By all accounts he has been in California living for the past decade or so.. basically since he finished playing in Europe..

    I think this may be his problem.. he has learned a lot of his coaching skills while being situated in the US.. This may contribute to some of the reported stories that arose when he left Bayern.. basically his methods and obsession with technical and statistical info being far removed from what a European team would usually expect of a coach.

    This type of analysis has proved to make him a good pundit though.. I always enjoy his insight when he has been on the couch.

    Onesimo Sanchez (Legend)

  • Comment number 54.

    Good blog, good insight.

    Looking back to the Italia 90 world cup, who could have predicted the future for some of the key players?

    Klinsmann, reviled by so many on this side of the channel, then heads to North London, sticks his speedo's and googles on and wins everyone over instantly. He then acheives nothign amazing as a manager, but seems to talk sense and is now seemignly revered.

    Gazza wastes his talent, but for a few brief highlights (91 FA cup semi; Euro 96) and is clearly not well (his appearance at the end of the whole Raoul Moat thing was bizarre in the extreme...shame).

    Linekar makes a mint advertising crisps after a career in the land of the rising sun, and repalces the silver fox on MOTD. Is now a national treasure....

    Who'd have thunk it?

    Lothar Mattheus

  • Comment number 55.

    I've just realised it appears I've answered my "Who;d have thunk it?" question with "Lothar Mattheus". Whilst it's possible he might have predicted the future, I think it's unlikely....

    Surely he never predicted his own...managing Bulgaria? Really???? Via Brazil, Belgrade, Austria and way...

    Dimitar Berbatov

  • Comment number 56.

    We need to get you on TV more Dan... refreshing to get your honest and human accounts.

    You know how you get two types of football player interviews... the Jermaine Defoe/Wayne Rooney types who seem to have effortless pre-versed style answers that don't really give you the full story (like Jack Bauer never going to the toilet), and then you get the Assou-Ekotto's who just answer the questions in full and with honesty.

    You are Assou-Ekotto Mr Walker, and I want to see more of you on TV.

    Awkward situation with bladder-man, but I would have done something! (wake up wife and swap her seat / just tell bladder-boy to man up, swaps seats and not ruin your flight / ask the hostess with the mostess to find you another free seat - might have even got an upgrade!) The A-Team deserves your full attention... foo!

    Klinsmann is a legend! Great to hear highlight of his career was at Spurs... especially after all those rumours about the Sugar falling out. You got any fair-to-air insight from him on his general feelings about Tottenham?

    Thanks Dan, get on TV more.

  • Comment number 57.

    Dan... I am so jealous of you right now. Not only did you go to my favourite place of all time, LA, and not only did you meet my footballing hero of all time, Herr Klinsmann, but you had pancakes and syrup. what I would do for an IHOP breakfast right now. I'd kill Dan, I'd kill. That's on your conscience now Mr Walker. You've led me to it.

    What do you mean there's prison for murder? oh well, ok... in that case I'll merely maim. Prison for that too? Damn, Well can I buy some breakfast please? Excellent.

    Toni Schumacher

  • Comment number 58.

    Comrades. Just about to go on Lady Logan's 5 live sports panel 12-1 if you fancy a listen. Also Friday Focus with Jurgen Klinsmann can be found here...

  • Comment number 59.


    Gordon Durie

  • Comment number 60.


    Sounds like they are organised.

    This is serious lads,

    They have started an extreme sports syndicate!!

    Damn Pirates.

  • Comment number 61.

    55. At 11:21am on 24 Sep 2010, grimois wrote:
    I've just realised it appears I've answered my "Who;d have thunk it?" question with "Lothar Mattheus". Whilst it's possible he might have predicted the future, I think it's unlikely....

    Surely he never predicted his own...managing Bulgaria? Really???? Via Brazil, Belgrade, Austria and way...

    Dimitar Berbatov


    Who'd have thought that such a great player and inspiration would turn out to be such a continuously terrible manager.

    Worst thing he ever did was go to the states. Had he stayed in Germany he would have walked straight into a top job. However is there a problem with him and the hierarchy over there. I know he didn't play at Euro 96 over some squabble.

    He always seemed a great leader to me, but obviously there's issues with his management of people.

    Gabriel D'Amato

  • Comment number 62.

    formerly of this parish Chris Charles has an excellent new blog about life in the football league.,,10794%7E2164032,00.html

  • Comment number 63.


    LABSAB9 (#50) that would be 'London to Munich'. No idea where 'England' came from.

    JoC (#51) We hardly ever pay for interviews on the programme but we will pay if someone comes in the studio.

    As a couple of you have mentioned - Klinsmann has been living in the USA for about 10 years. His wife is American.

    grimois (#54) You've taken signing off with a ludicrous footballer to a new level there by answering the question you'd just asked! Unheard of and quite magical. Inspiring stuff.

    Baz (#56) I'm blushing here big man. I think you might be in the minority with my mum but it's very nice to hear some kind words.

    you_ate_all_the_pies (#57)come on chief... give peace a chance!

    jacksofbuxton (#62) all praise the blogging powers of Chris Charles... sadly missed.

    I'm in the office til foolish o'clock tonight so keep the comments coming. Also the thursday quiz, moved to Friday this week, will be starting on twitter in 16 minutes!

    Alfredo Di Stefano

  • Comment number 64.


    I forgot to say that the date for the documentary about how to turn England around will be on October 3rd at 9:30 on BBC 2 before MOTD 2.

    You can hear from Mourinho, Klinsmann, Cruyff and a host of other top names about how England can sort themselves out. Should be a beauty.

    Pele (he's not in it)

  • Comment number 65.

    Hey Dan great blog as always. Agree with #56, you should do more footy for BBC. And for the question to which the answer we all want to know, what was the aeroplane food like?

  • Comment number 66.

    Smongler (#24) You go to all that trouble to spell detritus well and then get licence wrong. Come on lad... lift your game.

    Quality comeback Dan. Nice to see a blogger actually read and comment on the feedback. Look forward to the next blog.

    Kevin Sheedy

  • Comment number 67.

    Anyone else think Crunch Time sounds rather appetizing?

  • Comment number 68.

    Oh I meant to follow up on the intelligent, articulate footballer debate started by Hughsie earlier. Thought I would add Phil Neville to your Joe Hart, Theo Walcott et al. He always seems to have something constructive to say and isn't afraid to tell the truth, even if it means being hard on his own team mates. Surely a good English manager for the not to distant future. What do you think?

  • Comment number 69.

    Why didn't you change places with bladderman you t1t

  • Comment number 70.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 71.

    I've always liked Klinsman after seeing his "Stuka" imitations for Spurs.
    (Some people might still be surprised by a German with a sense of humour and who is popular in England).

    I'm glad that you got to go LA to interview him.
    It's a shame that a lot of BBC content doesn't make it that far.

    I know it's not part of your remit to answer these questions, Dan, but will any part of the documentary be available outside the UK?
    Has the BBC considered issuing licence-payers with an ID and password when they buy their TV licence? That way licence-fee payers could still see all the BBC content they may have already paid for when they go traveling?
    It might do the BBC a world of good (pun intended).

  • Comment number 72.

    Glad you put a link on Kobe Bryant's name because like 99.9999999% of the people who read this blog, I had no idea the man existed.

  • Comment number 73.

    If ever Big Harry took the England job Jurgen Klinsmann would be on top of my list to manage the mighty Spurs

  • Comment number 74.

    Klinsmann's careers as player, coach and media pundit present him in a shining light: a commendable example to everyone, adults and kids, he is one of those overseas players who contributed a great deal towards English people's perceptions of the game being changed. Listen to him talking about coaching and you hope it's only a matter of time before he returns to the game full time.

    There is an interesting international perspective on which is worth looking at, elements on which the likes of Klinsmann would have strong views.

  • Comment number 75.

    Hi Dan,

    Just a small pedantic point:

    "...and told Jeff and I to let ourselves out."

    That should be "Jeff & me" Tsk!

    Otherwise, nice blog.

  • Comment number 76.

    Just a small point, though this Joachim Lowe seems to be the "brains" behind Germany, where was the German team without Klinsmann and with Rudy Voeller before in 2004? One of Germany's most dismal appearances in that Euro. Klinsmann takes them up and their fortunes turned around but not before that sloppy buildup to the World Cup where some questioned whether Klinsmann should have been fired there and then. It would be curious how they would think about Capello and with Rooney so erratic... I sure think Bent is showing all doubters his value. By the way, some think Germany played too conservatively, outside of their 'National Character' when they played and lost to Spain.

  • Comment number 77.

    Morning Daniel,

    Jurgen Klinsmann was one of the best players I've ever seen in the flesh, he was constantly on the move & never gave the defence a moments peace. Very intelligent player, he always drifted along the back line in the early part of a game until he worked out the weak link, then hung on him until he made a mistake - GOAL!

    As opposed to picking the best defender & battering him for 90 minutes with no success, like Bierhoff...

    Klinsmann worked as a national manager because he let Low do the coaching drills and concentrated on the philosophy, conditioning & preparation of the side. You never heard any German in 2006 complain about being bored (as with England in South Africa) and this probably stems from his lengthy spell in the USA studying coaching methods. Very much a "student of the game" (god, I hate that phrase) he applied this perfectly in revamping the whole German set-up, which had become stale & stoic. With the right assistant, he would do wonders at Liverpool, for instance...

    Biscuits. Hmm.. I think Jurgi might be a fig roll man. But then again, EVERYBODY should be a fig roll man.

    Andreas Herzog.

  • Comment number 78.

    Strangely enough if you believe the statistics, based on population and GDP England have over-achieved over the last 40 years.


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