Marcello Lippi and Jurgen Klinsmann both quit as coaches of Italy and Germany today. Coincidence? Probably, but these were two of the most successful coaches at the World Cup. The problem seems to have been the pressure they were both under prior to the tournament.
Klinsmann, especially, was heavily criticised in the German media due to the host nation’s poor run of form prior to the tournament. Indeed, had Germany not beaten what was effectively the US’s second team 4-1 in a friendly in Dortmund, he would have probably been sacked. Lippi’s name too had been dragged through the mud due to his links with the “calciopoli” scandal.
Yet suddenly they are both heroes who can do not wrong and all is forgotten/forgiven. While the press may have short memories, Klinsmann and Lippi do not. They know that at the first signs of things going wrong the press will turn on them again - too much success does not make an interesting story after all.Need examples? Otto Rehhagel - worshipped following Greece’s unexpected Euro 2004 victory but now “useless” after Greece’s failure to qualify for Germany. Eriksson hailed following England’s 5-1 victory in Germany in 2001, to the extent that a song was written about him, but now a waste of money for failing to inspire England’s “golden generation” who (according only to the English media) should have won the title with ease. No question of underperforming players or overhyped expectations - no, no, it was the coach’s fault on both occasions!
Marcello, Jurgen you have done the right thing!