Remember when we were all trying to figure out what Sunil Gulati was doing in the aftermath of the 2010 World Cup in regards to Bob Bradley and the somewhat-up-in-the-air coaching situation for the U.S. Men’s National team?
Apparently, Gulati was making another run at former Germany and Bayern Munich manager Juergen Klinsmann.
Another unsuccessful one, as it turns out.
And much like the talks in 2006, things broke down when it came to control.
Klinsmann detailed the negotiations in this interview with Kansas City TV reporter Sasha Victorine.
“We had conversations maybe about three or four weeks period of time, and very positive conversations, but we didn’t get it to a positive ending because we couldn’t put into writing what we agreed to verbally,” he said in the interview. “It’s obviously always about authority. When you have conversations with a club team or a national team it’s who has the last word in what issues, and that’s why we couldn’t get into the written terms.
“Verbally we agreed on that the technical side is my side, and I should have a hundred percent control of it. In written terms, they couldn’t commit to it, and at that point I said well, I can’t get the job done because I have to have the last say as a head coach for my entire staff, for all the players issues, for everything that happens with the team.
“Unfortunately they couldn’t commit to that and that was basically the end of our talks, and then they agreed then to continue with Bob as the head coach and that’s totally fine.”
There are two sides to the coin here.
If you believe that the United States Soccer Federation, under Gulati’s leadership, is in need of an overhaul – this news isn’t particularly good.
It sort of reads that Gulati is intent on running the whole show – something the newly extended Bradley doesn’t seem to worry about.
But if you happen to think that Klinsmann’s hot and cold managerial history doesn’t present the sort of resume that would warrant handing over the keys to the national team, let alone the entire national structure, then you’re probably happy.
I’m somewhere in between.
I think Bradley has accomplished a lot of good things in his time in charge of the national team. (Man, we need a nickname.)
But I’m also a believer in the two-cycles-is-too-many theory for World Cup coaches – see Arena, Bruce.
So, if it’s a choice between Bradley and Klinsmann, I guess I’d take Bradley.
Still, I can’t help but wonder if we’re going to be wishing there was a door No. 3 a few years from now.