Klinsmann fired as US coach, Arena favoured

first_img While there is time to recover, given the top three teams qualify for the 2018 tournament in Russia and the fourth-place finisher advances to a play-off against Asia’s No. 5 team, players seemed confused by Klinsmann’s tactics, such as a 3-4-1-2 formation. “Today, we made the difficult decision of parting ways with Jurgen Klinsmann,” Gulati said. “There were considerable achievements along the way … but there were also lesser publicised efforts behind the scenes. He challenged everyone in the US. Soccer community to think about things in new ways, and thanks to his efforts we have grown as an organization and expect there will be benefits from his work for years to come.” Arena was inducted into the US National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2010. As US coach, he led the Americans to the 2002 World Cup quarter-finals in the team’s best finish since 1930. NEW YORK (AP): Jurgen Klinsmann was fired as coach of the US football team yesterday, six days after a 4-0 loss at Costa Rica dropped the Americans to 0-2 in the final round of World Cup qualifying. Los Angeles Galaxy coach Bruce Arena is the favourite to succeed Klinsmann. Arena coached the national team from 1998 to 2006. Qualifying resumes when the US hosts Honduras on March 24 and play four days later at Panama. “While we remain confident that we have quality players to help us advance to Russia 2018, the form and growth of the team up to this point left us convinced that we need to go in a different direction,” US Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati said in a statement. “With the next qualifying match in late March, we have several months to refocus the group and determine the best way forward to ensure a successful journey to qualify for our eighth consecutive World Cup.” A former German star forward who has lived mostly in southern California since retiring as a player in 1998, Klinsmann replaced Bob Bradley in July 2011 and led the team to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup title and the second round of the 2014 World Cup, where the Americans lost to Belgium in extra time. But the US was knocked out by Jamaica in last year’s Gold Cup semi-finals and lost to Mexico in a play-off for a Confederations Cup berth. The team rebounded to reach the Copa America semi-finals before losing to Argentina 4-0. But this month Mexico beat the Americans 2-1 at Columbus, Ohio, in the first home qualifying loss for the US since 2001. And last week, the Americans were routed in Costa Rica, dropping to 0-2 in the hexagonal, as the final round of World Cup qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean is known. CONFUSING TACTICSlast_img read more

Ozil resignation took Germany coach Loew by surprise

first_img0Shares0000Germany head coach Joachim Loew (R) was caught out by the shock announcement of Mesut Ozil (L) that he was retiring from international duty on Sunday. © AFP/File / Patrik STOLLARZBERLIN, Germany, Jul 24 – Mesut Ozil’s shock retirement from international football caught Germany head coach Joachim Loew by surprise, it emerged on Tuesday.Loew was on holiday in Sardinia when news of Ozil’s retirement broke on Sunday and he only found out when the Arsenal midfielder posted statements on Twitter and Instagram. “Neither the national coach nor I were informed in advance,” Loew’s agent Harun Arslan confirmed to German daily Bild.Ozil, 29, dropped a bombshell by announcing his retirement from Germany duty and accused the president of the German FA, Reinhard Grindel, of racism.“In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” Ozil wrote in his lengthy farewell statement.Ozil, a 2014 World Cup winner was born in Gelsenkirchen but has strong Turkish roots.The German Football Association (DFB) on Monday refuted Ozil’s allegations of racism, but the fiasco has damaged the governing body’s reputation in football-mad Germany.A survey of 5,000 Germans by t-online.de showed 49.7 percent think Grindel should resign over the saga.Ozil says he is quitting over the furor caused by his meeting with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the eve of the World Cup as Grindel failed to back him amidst the criticism.When Germany crashed out of the World Cup in Russia after the knock-out stage, Ozil was made a scapegoat by some pundits in a group of senior players who failed to perform.He was dropped after the shock 1-0 defeat to Mexico, sitting out the last-gasp 2-1 win over Sweden, but was one of several stars who played poorly in the 2-0 defeat to South Korea which confirmed Germany’s early World Cup exit.– ‘opened the door’ –Marco Reus (L) and Julian Draxler (R) are the main candidates to replace Mesut Ozil after his shock retirement from international football with Germany. © AFP / Yuri CORTEZThe Arsenal midfielder is walking away after nine years as one of Loew’s most trusted players.The news that he had no warning is surprising as Arslan has a co-operation agreement with Ozil’s advisor Erkut Sogut, who only warned the DFB that a statement would be released on Sunday.After 23 goals and 40 assists in 92 appearances for Germany, the loss of Ozil is a blow to Loew, who deployed the Arsenal midfielder as his main playmaker.Germany’s first game after the World Cup debacle is against newly-crowned world champions France in the new Nations League tournament on September 6 in Munich.With Ozil gone, Loew will have to find his replacement with Paris Saint Germain’s Julian Draxler or Borussia Dortmund star Marco Reus as the leading candidates.Leon Goretzka, 23, Lars Stindl, 29, and Thomas Mueller, 28, have also played well for Germany in the attacking midfield role.“Mesut Abi (‘brother’ in Turkish), your technique on the ball has opened the door to the national team for players like me,” wrote Draxler on his Instagram account along with a picture of him and Ozil.“Thank you for everything you’ve done for German football. You can be proud of your many achievements.”However, others see Ozil’s retirement as no great loss for Germany.“He has not put in performances that can help the national team over the last 18 months to two years, nor was he convincing at the World Cup in his two outings,” ex-Germany captain Lothar Matthaeus told Sky Sports.“Now there is the chance for a younger, maybe even a better player” to come into the Germany side, Matthaeus added.Erdogan meanwhile announced on Tuesday that he had contacted Ozil to praise his “patriotic” decision in standing down from the national team.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

George Graham tells Arsene Wenger: Don’t move for Liverpool ace Raheem Sterling!

first_imgGeorge Graham has advised Arsene Wenger NOT to make a move for Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling.Arsenal are being linked with a sensational swoop for the England starlet, with his Anfield future in severe doubt.According to Graham, however, Wenger does not need another attacking midfield player and should be looking to boost his defensive options.Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the former Gunners boss said: “I don’t think Arsenal need somebody like Sterling.“They need arguably another goalkeeper. They need another centre-half, because although [Per] Mertesacker has been a good signing, he is slipping away at the top level.“And even though [Francis] Coquelin is doing a good job in the middle of the park, and there is no reason why he can’t improve again next season, I still think they need a big marquee signing to sit in the middle of that midfield to let the other players go on and play.”last_img read more