U.S. men’s national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has denied he is joining Everton as manager.
Klinsmann, 51, was linked with the Everton job on Wednesday but the German took to Twitter to deny any interest from either party.
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“Rumours are wrong! Not going anywhere and Everton FC has a fantastic manager in Roberto Martinez!” Klinsmann said.
Everton is currently in a rough spot with Roberto Martinez, as the Toffees have gone five games without a win and are languishing in the bottom half of the table with fan and player unrest clear.
Klinsmann is currently contracted through 2018 with U.S. Soccer as both the head coach of the USMNT and as their technical director.
But, what if Klinsmann did leave in the not so distant future?
In all honesty, it is something fans of the U.S. national team should start preparing themselves for.
As we mentioned, Klinsmann’s deal isn’t up until 2018 but if the USMNT put in a poor showing at the 2016 Copa America Centenario this summer — a group stage exit wouldn’t be disastrous given their opponents, but it wouldn’t be great — then the pressure could topple Klinsmann.
Following the recent World Cup qualifying defeat in Guatemala huge fan unrest showed exactly how close the U.S. fanbase is to turning on Klinsmann and deeming it time for him to go.
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Previously he looked untouchable but over the last 12 months a series of events has seen his tenure become shaky. First, the Gold Cup debacle last summer saw big questions arrive, then a 4-1 dismantling by Brazil in a friendly further exposed issues in the squad and then after a 0-0 draw at Trinidad and Tobago in 2018 World Cup qualifying, U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati backed Klinsmann but admitted they’re going for a rough patch.
The USMNT’s head coach needs a big summer to cement his place between now and the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
I don’t agree with those arguing that he doesn’t possess the quality of players to get results. The U.S., along with Mexico and Costa Rica, should be walking the CONCACAF region every single qualification period. That should be a minimum and we’ve seen in games away at T&T and Guatemala that it’s become a struggle. That’s mainly been down to tactical mistakes from Klinsmann with players like Geoff Cameron and DeAndre Yedlin played out of position. Now, at least after the Guatemala win at home, Klinsmann seems to have stopped experimenting with the lineup and has gone with the tried and tested players in their best positions.
[ MORE: What now for USMNT? ]
He has to do that this summer, if possible, and at least guide the U.S. through to the knockout rounds of the Copa America. It will be tough to do that but if he doesn’t, many would feel it is time for a fresh start two years away from a World Cup. A pretty pivotal three months has arrived for the U.S.
If Klinsmann is fired or decides to leave for a bigger job if one of these so-called “interested” PL clubs — Liverpool, Aston Villa and Everton are just some mentioned and his name is always thrown in the mix due to his status in England — comes to fruition, then will the U.S. national team be in a better or worse place than when he arrived in 2011?
That’s a debate many have had time and time again and it is very tough to decide either way if progress has been made when it comes the USMNT’s performances and quality. There’s no doubt Klinsmann’s expertise and the amount of power he’s had on structuring the entire U.S. setup is working. The young players getting minutes in Europe has risen and youth teams (apart from the U-23 side) are improving. However, with a group of players far superior, at least on paper, to those Bob Bradley had before him, Klinsmann has only achieved the same results and has failed to reach a Confederations Cup, Olympics (twice) and his long-term goal of reaching the 2018 World Cup final seems to be a long way off.
If he left this summer, for another job or getting fired, many would argue that the USMNT would not be in turmoil and wouldn’t be better off than it was in 2011 when it fired Bradley. If U.S. Soccer felt it was time for a change, following the Copa America could be the last real opportunity to make one before the next World Cup cycle fully slots into place. A new manager would still have almost two years to ready a squad, create a new philosophy and that’s plenty of time to usher in a new era.
The feeling around many close to the U.S. national team camp is clear. Klinsmann needs a big summer to cement his role with the USMNT for the next few years.