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'There's no mistaking what he's achieved'

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'There's no mistaking what he's achieved'

Postby FCBayernNews » Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:00 pm

Jürgen Klinsmann and his family will spend Christmas in California, but the former world-class striker's thoughts will never be far from Bayern. "I'll be talking to Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on the phone all the time," revealed the head coach, who even feels "it's a shame we have the winter break just now." The reason is simple: Klinsmann has just begun to see a payback on his efforts since arriving in Munich.

"Jürgen has given the club a good shake-up," commented Franz Beckenbauer after Klinsmann's first six months in charge. Immediately after his arrival last July, the new boss introduced the performance centre, an eight-hour day for the players, innovative training routines, a new approach to the game, and a lot more besides. "We've made a lot of changes," Klinsmann admits, "naturally, it's not all been easy for the players."

The right balance

Beckenbauer for one is very satisfied: "Jürgen's style is bearing fruit." A patchy start has been followed by 16 games without defeat, sending Bayern joint top of the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim, and through to the Champions League first knockout round with the best record of all 32 group stage hopefuls.

"We're extremely pleased. Jürgen's doing a good job, and there's no mistaking what he's achieved," Rummenigge declared. The chairman feels the coach has found "a good balance" between the traditional values espoused by the club, and the trends in modern football. "Jürgen has come up with a good solution."

Change needs time

Klinsmann himself is satisfied with his first six months. "We're exactly where we wanted to be," commented the 44-year-old after "a very emotional and lively six months. It's been an exciting process and very enjoyable. I've never for one moment doubted coming to Bayern was the right move."

The new boss had to confront a number of problems at the start. A clutch of key players were sidelined with long-term injuries, the Euro 2008 stars arrived late for pre-season, and Klinsmann had to convince his new charges to trust in his methods. "It worked once the lads noticed: Jürgen's not here just to do his own thing. He's here to help us develop, so we can match the best, and get even better. They were convinced eventually, but it takes time."

Learning curve for coach

Klinsmann and his coaching staff also had plenty to learn. Certain changes which failed to bear fruit were withdrawn. For example, the team has reverted to spending the night before home games at a hotel, and not at home as originally conceived. "Once you notice it helps the team to make or reverse a change, that's what you do," he commented.

A combination of sensitivity and meticulous preparation has begun paying off in spades. "The team is really fit," observed Rummenigge - a consequence of intense training, Klinsmann explains. "Many games are decided in the second half or right at the end. You have to get the basics right to hold your own in Europe."

Pacy, attacking football

The new performance centre and the ultra-professional working environment allow the players to focus single-mindedly on their work. "They invest more energy in what they do. We're seeing real progress," Klinsmann said. Added Rummenigge: "Our players have come on as individuals. Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Franck Ribéry - they've all improved."

Klinsmann has always maintained that individual progress means progress as a team, a calculation that has increasingly paid off as the season went on. "Our goals were to play with more pace, focus on attack, and dominate matches. Slowly but surely, we're getting there," the coach reflected.

Ready for the run-in

However, Klinsmann's work has only just begun. He will pick up where he has left off the minute the players report back after Christmas on 2 January. Klinsmann is thoroughly looking forward to his second six months: "We've established a platform from which we can approach the new year with confidence. We needn't fear any other team in Europe now."
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