We get it. Jurgen Klinsmann was not a happy man following the U.S. national teams’ 4-1 defeat to an under-strength Republic of Ireland squad in Dublin on Tuesday. And, rightly so.
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Closing out the 2014 calendar year in that manner will leave a bad taste in the mouth of the USA’s head coach, and he also had a few interesting things to come out of his mouth following the USA’s latest second half collapse.
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You can read Klinsmann’s comments in full here, via the Associated Press. And below are a couple of telling snippets from his post-game thoughts in Dublin as Klinsmann tried to explain why his players are suffering from a World Cup hangover of epic proportions.
“They have to learn emotionally how to digest a World Cup, and a lot of our players really had big problems digesting those extreme emotions,” Klinsmann said. “They dropped 20, 30 even 40 percent in performances in their club environment. Many of the Europeans lost their starting spot. Many other players in MLS or wherever went down 30, 40 percent in their performances and this is because they didn’t know how to deal with all these emotions and all that recognition and all the compliments in the world that came after the World Cup.”
“In a certain way it’s human,” Klinsmann added. “I mean, it’s understandable.”
“You see a Cristiano Ronaldo, a (Lionel) Messi, they make three weeks’ vacation, they go back in their club teams and they rock the boat. They play like they didn’t go on vacation,” Klinsmann said. “Our players, they went on vacation, they had a good time, they come back and they lost their spots in their clubs.”
The German soccer legend then went on to say that the U.S. must “get nastier” which is something he suggested back in 2012 and was widely condemned for. But after a lackluster display in Dublin coming off the back of a battling yet subdued performance vs. Colombia last Friday, perhaps he has a point?
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What do you think the USA’s biggest problem has been since the World Cup? Are wholesale changes needed? How can Klinsmann fix things?