“We are in the Bundesliga. Brooks needs to grow up,” reads the translated headline from Berliner Morgenpost.
It’s been a year of tumult for German-American phenom John Anthony Brooks, particularly during his time at his Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin.
The 20-year-old Brooks, who has made two appearance for the United States this year, was removed after just 32 minutes of Hertha Berlin’s 3-2 win over Werder Bremen for not approaching the game with appropriate energy (and also, surely, for making critical errors on both Bremen goals).
It was the second time he’s been pulled early this season and his manager Jos Luhukay was not shy in his criticism, comparing him to partner in center defense, Swiss back Fabian Lustenberger:
“I don’t think he challenged one duel while he was in, Lustenberger had 15-20 – that’s not gonna work,” Luhukay said. “People are going to grow from such moments. In the Bundesliga, it’s a harsh reality. John started yet another match without enough motivation. He’s not active enough, so I have to react. He needs to shake off this youthfulness and become an adult.
“If he has character, he’ll learn. This was not the first time. He needs to learn it himself – it can only come from him. Otherwise, this won’t be the last time I pull him early.”
Brooks was also pulled after 23 minutes of an August match. Even taking into account his youth, the attitude issues will be troubling for Jurgen Klinsmann as he prepares the U.S. through 2014 and beyond.