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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bayern Munich vs Hertha Berlin player by player analysis



Bayern Munich last night had changed the formation to 3-5-2 and led to the comprehensive victory against Hertha Berlin. It boosted up the morale of the players very much and here is the player by player analysis:


Michael Rensing, GK (picture): Another quiet evening for him. As Hertha Berlin was very weak in offense this match, there was no real big test for him. However, he kept his concentration throughout the match and he made some catches of the opposition's shots. Even he lost the goal in the last few minutes of the match, it did not really matter about the match and he was powerless to stop the goal. All in all, he had no chance to show himself this match.


Lucio, DC: One of the three-man defense in this match. He played on the right centre back and he did a great job. He showed his confidence during the match. He won most of the 50-50 balls and made lots of accurate tackles. Meanwhile, he also assisted in attacks and made lots of runs of it. One more thing is, he was a captain of the match and he did a great job to lead the team to victory. He is now currently a Brazilian national team captain, this match can prove he can be the captain of the team. As there was a rumour saying that Mark van Bommel would be stripped for captaincy after he was sent off, I guess Mark van Bommel needs to control himself emotionally to keep his captaincy.


Martin Demichelis, DC: He never seemed like he was just back from injury. He was a centre back, or sweeper in the match and he was very fit in this match. He made lots of accurate tackles and stopped lots of through balls from the opposition. Demichelis proved himself he is the most important player in the defense, as I mentioned previously, he is the key player in the team. Maybe you said he lost a position and led to the Marko Pantelic to score the consolation goal for Hertha Berlin, but as the team was winning, nobody cared about that score. So, perfect game for him!!


Daniel Van Buyten, DC: Compare to last 2 matches, he improved a lot both on defense and offense. He could be seen he was very confident in the match and he looked very solid in the entire game. He did not make lots of attacking runs as he was not required to do so. This performance was just the tip of the best performance of his when he was playing at Hamburg SV. I do hope he can get better and better this season because if the team keep playing 3-5-2, he will be very important.


Christian Lell, MR (picture, right): He was assigned to be the right midfield, or right wing back in this match. As a wing back in 3-5-2 formation, he was required to have lots of fitness and energy because he owned the right flank. This time, he did it. He was confident at tackling the ball and made runs all over the right flank. He made lot of assists in attack, even though the team could not get one of them well. All in all, he had a best game in all these 3 league matches. However, as Massimo Oddo had joined Bayern and he will be available to play in the next match, I believe Lell may not start in the next match.


Andreas Ottl, MC: As Mark van Bommel was suspended, Ottl was the player who filled in his place. Even though he did not catching much attention in the entire match, he also did a great job in the middle of the park. He limited lots of spaces in the opposition's midfield and those midfielders could not create any effective attacks at all. Yes he did lose the ball control cheaply to the Hertha Berlin in the last few minutes of the match and led to the goal, but same words, who cares? The whole team was already standing in the field and waiting to the end.


Ze Roberto, MC (picture): How old is he? 34. Wow! It doesn't seem like to be. He was the eldest player in the team in this match but he was the player who worked the hardest. I could see him all over the pitch, left side, right side, centre, at the back, and at the front! His energy was astonishing! He created lots of runs and tackles in the match and created lots of threats as well. The 4-0 penalty goal was led by the foul on him. He was definitely a mentor of the team, he is the role model of the young players. Bayern should be thankful that he returned to them last season.



Philipp Lahm, ML (picture, left): Bayern Munich and Germany national team should thank God that this 24-year-old talent is playing for them. He simply conquered the left flank in the match. He was very confident to make runs and tackles and led to the 2-0 goal after 10 minutes if second half. He started the run in the left back position and made the one-two with the own player then he shot a wonderful curling goal in the left side if the box. A world class performance of his and it was very grateful to see him like this. It seemed his confident was back. Once he has confident, he can be one of the best side backs in the world.


Bastian Schweinsteiger, AMC (picture): He was assigned to be the attacking midfielder in the match. This role for him in this match was good for him as he had more space to run and more space to create. He played confidently and had a solid performance evern you can say his through balls and set pieces had yet to be further improved. He scored a penalty goal to lead the team to have 3-0 up, 2 minutes after the 2-0 goal. The penalty he shot showed he was very confident in the match and comparing with last season, he should play much better this season.


Miroslav Klose, FC (picture): He did try very hard to score goals, and finally, HE MADE IT!!! He was no confidence at all in these 3 matches, you can see him in his eyes. However, no matter how he scores, he scored! He scored the final penalty goal and led the team had 4-0 up. He deserved a goal in this match, especially he had 2 wonderful chances. You can say the first one his poor finishing led him miss, but how about the second one?? He hit the post in front of the goal line!! He was just cursed!! I do hope that goal can lead him gain back some confident in the entire season.


Luca Toni, FC: He seemed he gained back his best form already. I was happy to see that he recovered the form so fast. He scored the opening goal and it showed his wonderful first touch and shooting skills. Even though his dribbling was still clumpsy, he quality finishing and first touch could lead him to be one of the top goalscorers in the Bundesliga. As the team do need some players with high quality finishing, his performance is very important to lead the team to win.


Substitutions: All three substitutions were all applied in the 71st minute, they were Lukas Podolski for Miroslav Klose; Tim Borowski for Bastian Schweinsteiger; and Jose Sosa for Christian Lell. I could see they tried to score the 5th goal, but as Bayern Munich had fully stopped the attacks and Hertha Berlin had given up this match, it did not seem really important to see them to perform well, they were there for enjoying the match.


Final words: No doubt about this, Bayern Munich had comprehensively beaten Hertha Berlin and gained the first win of the season. All fans should go home happy. It was definitely a morale boosting match after the slow start of the season. I believe it will be the turning point of the entire season as I can finally see why Bayern can win Bundesliga after this match.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich player by player analysis



Bayern Munich's Tim Borowski last Saturday had levelled the game against Borussia Dortmund with Mark van Bommel sent off in the middle of the first half. Here is the player by player analysis:



Michael Rensing, GK: Unlucky day for him again. Jakub Błaszczykowski (a.k.a Kuba) (picture) scored a world class goal and nobody could stop that. Afterwards he had no chance to perform himself. This was not because the defense did very well, but the Dortmund's offense did not grab a chance to extend the lead. Meanwhile, as Bayern was shorthanded, they had more possession than Dortmund and they did not have any chance to bring any real threat, especially in second half.



Christian Lell, DR: I could see his effort, but it was not enough. He did the right job at the right side and he did not leave out lots of spaces for the opposition. Compare with his last match, his soul finally finished his vacation and back on the pitch. However, his confident was not good enough to have harder tackle on the opposition. Also, I could see his effort on the attack on the right flank but he did not bring any huge impact to the team. So I say it is a fair play to him only.



Lucio, DC: Lucio was the other player who put lots of effort in the game. After van Bommel was sent off, he was the captain until the end of the match. He did try a lot of runs after the sent off of van Bommel and he did a fair job. He limited the spaces and the passing route of the opposition during the match, but he was not confident enough as well, the tackling was a bit clumpsy and gave the second chance of the opposition attack. However all in all, he did a fair job being a captain.



Daniel van Buyten, DC: He was the other only choice of the starting centre back when Martin Demichelis was still not fit enough to play. He contributed in the attack and had a few header to the opposition goal, that was unlucky a bit for him for not scoring goal. However, he did a bad job in the defense. He could not delay the counter attack from the opposition and brought trouble to the own defense. This is the worth of Martin Demichelis, he can delay the counter attack effectively and efficiently so the own players have time to rush back to their position. I guess if Demichelis is fit again, he will not be the starter.



Philipp Lahm, DL (picture): He had a very ordinary game. In defense he was not confident to tackle harder to the opposition. Although Kuba's goal was incredible, if Lahm was confident enough, he could stop the counter attack from his left flank and the goal was not happened. The remaining of the match although he did try a lot of runs to assist the team to level the match, his defense was not really confident and received a yellow card in the later second half. So he can be further improved.



Hamit Altintop, MR: He was one of the changes of the game compare to last match. I guess Klinsmann would like to use his long shot ability to break the deadlock of the game. However, maybe because of lack of match form as he was just back from the injury, he was invisible during the game. His touches, his runs, and his dribbles were not effective ever in the match. In other words, Bayern was just like playing in 9 men instead of 10 after Mark van Bommel's sent off. It is still forgivable as he was just back from injury. However, if his form is not improved in the couple of weeks, it is unforgivable.



Mark van Bommel, MC (picture): He did not bring anything to the game but an early red card. It really brought the team into trouble especially when the team was a goal down. I did not make any further comments on if he was deserved to receive the red card, I just want to say it was really doubtful on referee, Herbert Fandel decision on red card. From the live screen I could not spot out those 2 hard fouls were hard enough to receive the yellow cards. Especially in the second yellow card, I could not spot van Bommel was elbowing in purpose. So I reserve any comments on the van Bommel's dismissal.



Andreas Ottl, MC: He was the other change of the match compare to last one. I guess Klinsmann wanted more tackling in the midfield to hold on the possession. However, this changed disabled the creativitiy of the midfield so the attack in the midfield became less variable. He did limit the space and runs from the opposition but he did not helped a lot in te attack. This was the reason why the team found hard to level the game. All in all he had only a fair game.



Bastian Schweinsteiger, ML (picture): He had a fair game, and he did try lots of runs to assist the attacks. Another confident display for him but he could not convert his confident into a real threat to the game. His set pieces were not so good in the game and it wasted lots of chances for Bayern Munich. In the later second half he was not really fit, maybe it was because the team had a man down in the remaining 70 minutes of the game and he used an extra energy for filling in the extra space. So fair play for him.



Miroslav Klose, ST (picture): He did not bring any impact of the game. He did try to score but he just could not. He had not gained the confident back during the summer break and all his confident in Euro 08 seemed to be all faded out. He simply did not have any real chance at all. It could be explained that the midfield did not provide enough attacking chances for him but in overall, he had another terrible game. No wonder he was substituted in halftime.





Luca Toni, ST (picture): The third change of the game comparing with last one. After last week's match the critics claimed that Luca Toni would be the winning key of the match, but certainly not in this game. He was not fit enough to play all 90 minutes of the game even if van Bommel was not sent off. He also did not get back his scoring feeling as he was injured after the pre-season warmups. He needed some time to get back his scoring feeling. One more thing to mention, he was denied a penalty and the referee charged him as a diving and gave him a yellow card. From the live screen it was very clear to see that it was a clear foul and it was a clear penalty.



Tim Borowski (sub for Miroslav Klose): A tactical change for the match at halftime. The aim was to fill in the space for the man down as well as providing more attacking plays from the midfield. His first few touches and runs proved he was fully ready for the season. He deserved to score that goal and he was the man to change the game around. He was the best player in the Bayern side and he is predicted to be the starter in the next few matches.



Toni Kroos (sub for Hamit Altintop): The second change of the game. He provided a high quality corner taking and led to the equalizer of the game. Once again he proved himself that he can be the match winning player in the team but once again he needs to be consistent enough to be that man.





Lukas Podolski, picture (sub for Luca Toni): The final change of the game. He mission was to distract the opposition defense by using his fully charged energy in order to avoid them to push up. The extra bonus would be scoring goals to win the match, but it was OK for him not to hit that bonus.


Final words: In tactical terms Jürgen Klinsmann did a better job than the opposition coach Jürgen Klopp. Klinsmann's change brought impact to the team and he showed that he can be the mastermind to change the game around. I can say this game's performance is far better than last one. On the other hand, referee Herbert Fandel (picture) did a terrible job in this match. It is OK for sending van Bommel off, but he had to keep the standard unified in the entire match. I could see there were plenty of challenges from Dortmund was as hard as van Bommel but they were all get away from it. And, if van Bommel was deserved to be sent off, Luca Toni should have the penalty given. This was not lucky for Bayern to level the match, they deserved to level the match or even winning it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Bayern Munich vs Hamburg - player by player analysis


Bayern Munich started a Bundesliga season with a 2-2 draw with Hamburg. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski assisted Bayern Munich to lead 2-0 after 16 minutes of the game but Hamburg clawed back to level terms to the end of the match. Here's the player by player analysis of Bayern.


Michael Rensing, GK (picture, yellow jersey): This was not his day. He did not have any chance to prove himself to be the number one goalkeeper in the team because either the attack was cleared away before he needed to make saves, or it was a definite goal. He was powerless to stop those 2 goals as the back 4 made mistake from the first goal, and the penalty was too good to stop from the second goal. However, he was quite stable and his ball handling was pretty good. Cheer up boy!!


Christian Lell, DR: Well, well, well, when will he finish his holiday?? Same as last Sunday, his body was in the pitch but his mind was still in holiday. He lost his position couple of times and let the opposition made shots. Also, his attack seemed to be useless as he could not make any threats in the right flank. Furthermore, he needlessly conceded a penalty and led the team couldn't able to win the game. So this match he failed to prove himself to be the regular starter in the team and to be the successor of Willy Sagnol.


Lucio, DC: Not pretty good in this match. Yes he made tackles and couple of clearance, but his marking made problem to the team defense. The first conceded goal from Bayern was because he lost his marker, Jose Guerrero, to let him score an easy header. In fact since he joined Bayern Munich, he could not gain his best form from Bayer Leverkusen, so this is what Jürgen Klinsmann has to think about.

Daniel van Buyten, DC: He had an average game. He did not make any crucial mistake of the game, but this was what at least to do. He proved himself he was good at aerial ability but he could not prove himself in terms of agility. He was a pretty slow player, and he could not delay any counter attacks from the opposition. This is what Klinsmann needs to think abot as well, but, as Breno is away for the Olympics and Martin Demichelis is injured, these two centre backs will have one more chance to prove themselves.


Philipp Lahm, DL: He was the best defender in this match. His positioning and his attacking runs helped the team a lot. He limited the space from the right flank from Hamburg could let Ze Roberto made more attacks. Also, his left flank attacking runs could bring more variation to the team. This was a good game to him, keep it on kid!!


Mark van Bommel, DMC: He did not show up himself in the camera too much during the match, but it didn't mean he played badly. He could limit the space of the centre field for the Hamburg defense so the others could not set up an effective attacks. This is what the defensive midfielder needed to do. We could not see him from the TV screen, but he made lots of efforts. He got a yellow card during the game, but he could get away with that one if the referee was not that tight. Generally he could prove himself to be a good captain.



Bastian Schweinsteiger, RW (picture): HE IS BACK!!! After the Euro 08, his confident is back. He scored the first goal of Bundesliga Season 2008-2009 confidently and he made lots of threatening run during the match. He did a good job in the right flank and he proved himself he can be the regular starter this season. A credit to Klinsmann as well as I believe he gave lots of faith to Schweinsteiger before the match so he did his best. Sadly his performance dropped as he started to get tired in the later 2nd half, maybe it was because he was not recovered from the summer tournament. However, the team must keep him at all costs!!!!


Ze Roberto, LW: He was back in his best position, left wing. When he joined Bayern for the first time, he was assigned to play at this position and he did a nice job. So this time he was asked to play at this position, there was no problem for him. He could keep his good form in last season, made lots of runs, passes, and tackles during the match and he could keep it before he was substituted. It was very unlucky that he could score in 5th minute of the game, just blame why he was borned with such a short legs!! By the way, he was one of the best players in the match.



Toni Kroos, AMC (picture, red jersey): He was assigned in the attacking midfielder position. Once again he proved himself this position should be his best position. He did lots of through balls during the match, as he was asked to do so. In the later 2nd half of the game, he played at the flank and his performance dropped. As I said before, he needed to be the match winner every single time if he wanted to be the best player in the world. This time he could not, so he still had long way to go. I still have faith on him as he is only 18 and he can do what Zinedine Zidane did. He is a brightest star in Germany no doubt, and he can be one of the best players in the world. Come on kid!!


Miroslav Klose, ST: He did try a lot, but his confident was not back. He made some runs and shots in the game but he did not get anything from it. It was all about confidence. I understand he is not fit in all around the year and he needed time to pickup the form. However, as a player in big team like Bayern, they won't wait for him. Luca Toni is now injured so he can keep playing, but it is not guaranteed his starting place after Toni is recovered because Klinsmann is the coach who will drop anyone out, no matter who you are.


Lukas Podolski, ST: He was another guy who gained back his confident after Euro 08, and converted it into the team. He confidently scored the penalty and he had the threats to the opposition. However, sometimes he was not calm enough as he wasted chances to extend the lead and it ended up the team failed to win. Apart from this, he was a new man comparing with last season. Keep on going Lukas!!


Tim Borowski (sub, for Schweinsteiger): He did not contribute too much when he was substituted, and it was quite obvious that he did not get into the team, even though he made some tackles and runs in the game.


Thomas Müller (sub, for Klose): He did not have chances to perform himself. As the situation of the deadlock like this, nobody would expect he could create magic in his 11 minutes performance in the match.


Andreas Ottl (sub, for Ze Roberto): He was substituted only because the team were out of gas and needed someone fit to hold on the possession.



Overall: Season starting sickeness was affecting the team in this match. It seemed they had a great form but they couldn't hold on to it due to their match fitness was not ready. Look at the bright side, Hamburg last 2 seasons were controlling Bayern Munich in all means, but this time Bayern controlled the match and Hamburg did not have much chances generally. It was not a bad start for Bayern as Hamburg was a very tough team to beat even though the team was in full strength. Keep on going team, as I have faith on the bright new Bayern Munich.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Erfurt vs Bayern Munich (German Cup 1st Round) review


Bayern Munich had started the season officially in Sunday night with a narrow 4-3 win again third division side Erfurt in German Cup 1st Round. Before pointing any fingers at the Bayern side, I would like to praise Erfurt that they did an excellent job to push Bayern to the limit. Their discipline defense and the effective counter attacks made lots of troubles to Bayern. Good luck to Erfurt this season. OK, back to the topic.



Defense: Lack of discipline could describe the defense performance. The first problem was the whole line had pushed up too far so the Erfurt could easily launch the counter attacks. Also, the positioning was pretty bad and left out lots of spaces for Erfurt. Erfurt's offense was too easy to break the offside from the Bayern defense and made those 3 goals. This was all about lack of discipline. Christian Lell (picture, right) was the worst player of the night. He made lots of miss tackles and lost the position invited the Erfurt to attack. His body was in the field but his soul was still in vacation. Lell is not ready for the season starts.



Midfield: The midfield did try a lot of through balls, that was the instruction of Klinsmann for no doubt. This was a good try, as it is one of the best way to guarantee to score goals. Toni Kroos (picture) had been assigned to play at the playmaker position, unlike last season, when he played at the flank. Obviously he made a good progress to enter into the regular first team lineup, but, last night he even scored the winning goal, he was only have an average game. Kroos was the only person to blame in the Erfurt's third goal, his cheap pass stunned everyone and there was no chance to stop the goal. What I try to say here is Toni Kroos has a huge potential to be one of the greatest players in the world in the next 10 years. However, what he needs to do is to convert his skills and talents into the football field to change the whole things around by himself every time. Regular starting can absoultely helps. And I believe Klinsmann will put him to play more than last season for sure.


Attack: The attack is the only thing I praised from last night's match. They had a high quality 4 goals in the match and I believe they are ready for the season start. Yes, I admit that the 2nd goal from Bayern was totally a gift from God. Lukas Podolski was offside and the assistant referee had flagged it up. However, the referee had over-ruled and counted as a score. Besides, generally the Bayern's attack was pretty good in finishing. However, because the team tried a lot of through balls, the possession lost very quickly. Erfurt's midfield defense was strong and fast enough to intercept the pass and launched the fast counter attacks. This is what Bayern needs to improve. Quality possession is more important that quick tempo through balls.



Final words: Generally speaking, Bayern had a rollercoaster ride and it was very lucky that the rollercoaster didn't crash, or else it must be the biggest upset of the season. The players, especially the defense, is not ready for the season start, I hope this match will be the wake up call for them to start the season. On the other hand, I believe the DFB did the great job to rearrange the match schedule last season. Last season the DFB had arranged the first round of the German Cup to the first match of the season from after playing the 3rd round of Bundesliga. This change made the underdogs had better chance to beat the favourites as the favourites had not geared up yet, just like this match. Unlike the original arrangement, the favourites had geared up before the Cup match started so the underdogs were very hard to beat them. This is one of the good ways to stimulate the competitiveness of the match.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bayern Munich Season 08-09 Preview

The 2008-2009 season of Bayern Munich will be started with the DFB Pokal this Sunday, 10th Aug. The major change of this season is Klinsmann takes the coaching job, succeeding Ottmar Hitzfeld, who is now coaching Switzerland national team. Before the start of the season, I would like to make some briefs of the team.


Defence: The major change is Oliver Kahn is already retired and be succeeded by Michael Rensing. Rensing has potential to be one of the best goalkeepers in Germany. His consistency can convince Klinsmann and the board of directors that he can take the job well. Bayern had signed Hans-Jörg Butt as the second goalkeeper and it can bring an adequate cover. The key of the defence will be the centre backs. Lucio is not very consistent in the last two season, he made mistakes when he was holding the ball too long in the back field. Moreover, the whole defensive line sometimes lose concentration and the opponents have chance to score goals. Since the lineup has not changed, the problem may still remain this season. Martin Demichelis (picture) and Philipp Lahm will take the job on stabilizing the defensive line and assist in the attacks. Key player: Martin Demichelis.


Midfield: The midfield is the strongest part of the team. Mark van Bommel is confirmed to be the first foreign captain of the team history so he will sit one of the four spots of the midfield. He will be the vital part of the central defense as he is very aggressive in tackling in the middle of the park that helps the team to keep the possession. Franck Ribery (picture) will be the most important in the offense. However, the team last season were too concentrated on him so when he was injured or suspended, the midfield attack has lost the variety. So the team must do now is to find the second man to organize the attack. Bastian Schweinsteiger is the good choice after his excellent performance in Euro 2008. His runs can bring variety of the attacks and help to relief Ribery. However, the competition of the starting place in the team is really intense, it is not guaranteed he will be the regular starter. He needs to work extra hard to gain his place. Key player: Franck Ribery.


Offense: The biggest change of the team is the forwards. Jan Schlaudraff has gone to Hannover 96 this summer in order to save his career, the team only have 3 forwards under the circumstance that the team hasn't pruchased any new forward. Luca Toni will be the regular starter, and his only prupose is scoring goals. Miroslav Klose may take the second spot. However, he is not fit at all in 2008, no matter in the second half of last season and the Euro 2008. Lukas Podolski is challenging his place as he picked up the scoring feeling in Euro 2008 and the pre-season warmups. Moreover, the wunderkid, Toni Kroos (picture) may act as the position of second striker of the team. The recent warmups showed that he played well in the middle of the park, far better than playing at flanks last season. So I believe he will be assigned to play at the center for the attacks when the team needs some changes during the match. Key player: Luca Toni, and Toni Kroos.

Overall: The past experience in World Cup 2006 told us that Klinsmann (picture) is the coach who dares to try and gamble. I believe he will bring the new breath and passion to the team, which the team never had in the last few seasons. He prefers player to have courage and passion during the game, it can be proven by appointing Mark van Bommel to be the new captain. Also, it can be predicted that the players like Lukas Podolski, Christian Lell, Toni Kroos, and Andreas Ottl will have more chance to play compare with last season as Klinsmann is the coach that believes in rotation system. It can help the team keep fresh and unpredictable to the opponents comparing with last season, as Hitzfeld only used about 16 players out of 25. However, it is doubtful about his tactical knowledge. As the team going into the Champions League, which requires him lot of tactical variation, it seems he is still a newbie in this chess game. To wrap up, it should have not a problem to achieve success in the domestic competition, but in the Champions League, the key point will be his passion and his dares can cover up the tactical problem to achieve success.

Monday, August 4, 2008

How successful was Klinsmann's effect in football coaching across Europe?


In 2004, Jürgen Klinsmann has taken the coaching job for Germany national team that surprised everyone. He brought lots of changes to the national team in order to regain the pride of the national team. Even though there were failures before the World Cup 2006 started, the final result proved that the change had success. This season he coaches Bayern Munich in order to help the club to win the Champions League. To acheive this, it can be predicted changes will be happened to Bayern Munich. Now the fans and the players can see the changes such as more personalized training system to the individual player in order to boost up their morale and fitness. Before seeing more changes in Bayern Munich in the coming months, here I would like to talk a bit about how successful was the effect from Klinsmann in football coaching across Europe. There are some examples as follows:


Joachim Löw: Löw succeeded Klinsmann to coach the national team after the World Cup 2006. He continued the philosophy what Klinsmann was and implemented to the team before the Euro 2008. He kept trying new players to the team in order to keep the team fresh. More importantly, he tried to keep the team young as what Klinsmann did in order to remain the team to be more energized. I believe he is a successful example as Germany reached the final of Euro 2008. Many of people aruged that he did not do a lot to help the team into the Euro 2008 final and the team had the greatest draw ever. I believed what Löw did was keeping the team in high morale and fitness to face the challenge to the opponent. What Löw gave the player was the never give up spirit. He might not as passionate as Klinsmann, I believed what Löw did in the dressing room was encouraging the players to go through. This is the most important thing the coach should have done, and he did it. The match against Turkey in semi-final could prove that.



Dunga: Since Brazil had a tragic World Cup matches, they decided to change. They hired Dunga, the inexperienced coach, to coach the national team. Similar as Klinsmann, what he had was time, he had about a year to prepare the Copa America. During that period, the national team did not have any competitive matches so Dunga had space and time to try what he wanted to try. Dunga was dared enough to drop Ronaldinho and Gilberto Silva off the national team in order to allow the other players such as Diego from Werder Bremen more chance to play. Also, he created the national team to be more disciplined and more practical. It led the team to win the Copa America in the end. I believe the main reason of success is time, he had time to prepare and try, so the players and Dunga himself could adept each other before the important matches.


Roberto Donadoni: After Italy won the World Cup, the coach Marcello Lippi stepped down the position and they hired Roberto Lippi to take over the job. I believe the team would like to bring some changes to ensure Italy winning the World Cup was not a fluke. Unfortunately, it seemed it was a fluke. Donadoni did the right job to change the team as the main squad was getting old. However, time was against him. Donadoni did not have time to implement and experiment his philosophy to the team as the Euro 2008 Qualifier was around the corner. So he did not have chance to try his new thoughts thoroughly as he needed to take care about the result. Be frank, if the team could not qualify to Euro 2008 Finalists, his plans were not useful at all no matter how good it was on paper. Base on the reason of not having time to change, Italy failed to do well in Euro 2008 and he was sacked a month ago. Guess what, Marcello Lippi took over again!


Steve McClaren: This was tragic! Maybe it was because the upper management did not allow him to change the team thoroughly. I am not talking about that as there is not a solid root to prove that. McClaren did try to change, such as dropping out Beckham and allowed more young players to play, such as Micah Richards and Aaron Lennon. What he failed to do was to solve the fundamental problem of the team. In terms of formation, he failed to solve the problem of Steve Gerrard and Frank Lampard. Both of them did the same thing in the midfield and McClaren was not dared enough to drop one of them out. This is what he did not see or did not want to see. Beckham was not the main issue to make the team failed to qualify the Euro 2008, The combination of Lampard and Gerrard was one of the main problems. Meanwhile, what he failed to do was tactic change during the match. The last qualifying match against Croatia proved this. He failed to make change before the match and led the team trailed 2 goals. Also, he failed to make change to protect the draw when the match went on 2-2, as this result could bring them to the tournament. This is the main reason to make England failed last year. So he deserved to be sacked.



Pep Guardiola: Different from the previous coaches, he coaches Barcelona this season, not any of the national teams. Barcelona needed to change, so they dared to hire Guardiola to coach the team as his only experience was coaching the youth Barcelona team. I believe the upper management saw the successful examples and they wanted to be one of them. Guardiola had shown he is a coach who is dared to change. He sold Ronaldinho, Deco, Zambrotta, and dos Santos, then brought in the more practical players such as Keita, and Dani Alves. It seemed there will be more changes in the team and let us see how successul he is.

Why Klinsmann was so successful? He had time, he had 2 years to prepare the World Cup without any distraction from the qualifier matches, so he could use this period to try what he wanted to try. So I believe the successful factor is time. Löw maybe the exceptional, but we could not see what he did in the dressing room with the players.