Klinsmann's fortunes take a dive

Bayern's legendary former player faces the sack – unless he can overturn Barcelona's 4-0 lead tonight. Tony Paterson reports from Berlin

The writing is on the wall for Bayern Munich's hapless manager, Jürgen Klinsmann. His side may have flattened their Bundesliga opponents Eintracht Frankfurt with a crushing 4-0 victory on Saturday night, but the Bavarian fans were in no doubt as to what they thought about the man they once affectionately nicknamed "Klinsi."

The outcome of the match left them cold. As the players walked on to the pitch the fans shouted "Klinsmann Raus!" (Klinsmann out) and the chant that reverberated from the Bayern terraces after the victory was identical. Despite an attempt at jubilation over his team's easy win over struggling Frankfurt, Klinsmann looked the colour of chalk as he sat on his trainer's bench.

The fans could hardly have been chastised for their chanting any more than the Bayern trainer could have been criticised for his colour. Both have endured a nightmarish week, which appear to have finished the former Tottenham striker's chances of staying on as Bayern manager after next year.

The clincher came on Wednesday night when Bayern were subjected to a humiliating 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Barcelona in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. The defeat came four days after the Bavarians were beaten 5-1 by the current Bundesliga leaders, Wolfsburg.

Bayern have been through a series of crises since Klinsmann was hired in July last year. But the "Night of Shame" in Barcelona appears to have tipped the balance firmly against the 44-year-old, who only three years ago was being feted almost as a national hero for his work with Germany's 2006 World Cup side.

Barcelona will be in Munich tonight for the return match, but the Bavarians are more than pessimistic. "We might have a chance if Barcelona turn up with eight players," said Bayern's captain Mark van Bommel. After the "Night of Shame" Bayern trainer Udo Lattek was pictured on television in tears.

Until Barcelona, the Bayern Munich management had been willing to back Klinsmann. But not any more. In a statement released after the game, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Bayern's general manager, was withering in his criticism. "I am not sure what I feel most: shock, sadness or fury," he told reporters after apologising profusely to Bayern fans.

Yesterday, Günter Netzer, Germany's chief television football commentator added insult to injury by declaring: "Jürgen Klinsmann has failed. The side has become independent of him, he has lost the team."

Klinsmann has faced similar criticism before. After he became national team coach for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, he was attacked for making flying visits to Germany from his home in America. Then he was criticised for using bizarre training techniques, such as making players clasp hands and put their heads together for "bonding purposes."

But by the end of the tournament, with Germany having finished third, Klinsmann was credited with turning what had been dismissed as a hopelessly inexperienced team into national heroes.

But this time, the criticism is more fundamental. Klinsmann stands accused of treating the day-to-day business of German premier league football as if it were the same as running a national team. When he got the job as Bayern manager he pledged to make "every player a bit better every day". It is widely thought that most Bayern players are performing worse than at the end of last season. Then, under Ottmar Hitzfeld, Bayern were still cock of the walk.

Under Klinsmann, Bayern have been adopted new training methods with up to six coaches attending sessions. Yoga and language courses were offered to players to help them to "improve" themselves. They were cancelled due to lack of interest. Players were allowed to sleep at home before big matches, but many turned up tired so that was discontinued.

The new trainer also tried to improve the side's strike capability by switching from a tried and tested four-player attacking combination to playing three up front. The scheme was dropped after proving a failure.

But perhaps most damaging of all have been Klinsmann's difficulties with his players. He has fallen out with captain Van Bommel and he appears to have completely lost the confidence of Bayern's veteran goalkeeper, Michael Rensing, whom he dropped hours before the start of the fateful "Night of Shame."

Prospects are not good. As Bild newspaper put it yesterday: "If there is a repeat of the Barcelona debacle on Tuesday night, then Bayern and Klinsi will face the wrath of the German people."

Possible teams: Bayern Munich (4-4-2): Butt; Breno, Lucio, Lell, Lahm; Van Bommel, Ze Roberto, Schweinsteiger, Ribéry; Altintop, Toni.

Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdés; Pique, Márquez, Puyol, Alves; Touré; Iniesta; Xavi; Henry, Eto'o, Messi.

Sublime to ridiculous: Bayern's recent form

Bayern's last eight games in all competitions have produced 38 goals and some baffling scorelines, with a marked difference between home and away form.

*The Sublime:

7 Mar: Bayern 5-1 Hannover 96

10 Mar: Bayern 7-1 Sporting Lisbon

11 Apr: Bayern 4-0 Frankfurt

*The Ridiculous:

4 Mar: Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 Bayern

4 Apr: VfL Wolfsburg 5-1 Bayern

8 Apr: Barcelona 4-0 Bayern.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
fashion
News
news
News
people
Travel
Warner Bros released a mock-up of what the new Central Perk will look like
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments