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Straight talk - 05.10.2008

Klinsmann: Performance was unacceptable

Jürgen Klinsmann confessed to a “restless night“ after Bayern’s bitter 3-3 home draw with VfL Bochum. Interviewed on Sunday by the Bayern boss pulled no punches in voicing his dismay, brutally analysing his team’s mistakes, and demanding a reaction from the players.

Jürgen Klinsmann on…

…the 3-3 draw with VfL Bochum: “I’m deeply disappointed, and angry too. We’d basically wrapped it up at 3-1, but we were negligent and carelessly tossed it away. It gnaws at you, I had a restless night. It hurts, but I’m a born fighter. I know what the problems are. We’ll talk them through and remedy them step by step. We’ll talk to the team about them today, and we won’t mince our words.“

…his substitutions against Bochum: “We were 3-1 up against Bochum, it was over as a contest, and I took Zé Roberto off so he could acknowledge the crowd’s applause. He was fantastic. But the men who came on didn’t have the same attitude as a 34-year-old who’d scrapped for the team for a full 80 minutes. That’s not acceptable. Every player has to show us he’s 100 percent committed to Bayern, that he’s prepared to go to the limit, that he tidies up in midfield, that he’ll force the ball over the line whatever it takes – it applies to every area of the team.“

…the crowd’s reaction: “We understand the fans’ dismay and disappointment. They have every right to voice it. Seven games into the Bundesliga season, what Bayern have achieved is not acceptable, and I won’t accept it either. Our duty to the fans is to work our way up the Bundesliga table as quickly as possible. We’ll make our anger and the fans’ anger abundantly clear to the team. We’ll be talking to individuals and using TV footage to point out their errors. They’ll have to take it on the chin, and there are no excuses. It’ll definitely be a bit lively. We’ll focus on fixing the situation in the league. At the end of the day, the coach also has to stand up and take the flak when the players fail to perform the way you’ve instructed them to.“

…the team’s potential: “We have the potential. Against Lyon and in Bucharest, the players showed the desire, the willingness to run, the ability to pressurise the opposition. The team showed what it can do, exactly as we worked on it in training: coming through midfield with one or two-touch football, looking for the strikers, working really hard off the ball. However, they’ve not confirmed this potential in one or two league matches. In every Bundesliga game, even against Bremen, Hannover and Bochum, we had enough chances to win easily. Against Bochum they started to think, aha, we’ll score four, five or six now – and this hint of complacency meant we lacked determination in defence. Suddenly it was only 3-2, suddenly it was 3-3. I intend to crack down on this and work on our consistency.“

…the club’s goals for the season: “We can still hit all our targets. We’re through in the DFB Cup, we’re top of our Champions League group, and in the Bundesliga, we fortunately have enough games to put things right step by step – although we obviously need more determination, and the players have to start living up to expectations. We have a lot of work ahead of us.“