With all the criticism that Klinsmann has been getting, this interview (int two parts) shows he is not going to be a pushover.
Who have been the biggest influences on you as a player and as a coach?
I was very lucky. For almost 18 years as a professional player, I worked with people like Franz Beckenbauer and Berti Vogts, both World Cup winners and successful coaches. I also worked with Otto Rehhagel, Giovanni Trapattoni, Ossie Ardiles, Cesar Luis Menotti, Arsene Wenger - an amazing number of high-profile coaches. And I picked up something from them all I learned a lot from Arie Haan during my time in Stuttgart, and with Arsene Wenger at Monaco, such as the way to handle people and to be respectful because the person comes first. I am very thankful for the opportunities I have had. Each coach had his own style and I learned from them that it is much more than just thinking about the result at the end of the week. If I think back to my time in the national team, I was impressed by Franz BeckenBauer's easy way of handling things and how he was always positive. Above all, he was incredibly charismatic. Berti Vogts was such a detailed worker - he was extremely well prepared for every training session. Arie Haan was very influential in my early years, but all the others gave me something. The way Arsene Wenger developed players was very impressive - at the time in Monaco, I often wondered why he did certain things but then later I would see the positive results of his work with particular players.
You were a great striker -to what extent has that background influenced your philosophy as a coach?
It definitely has had an influence on my coaching philosophy because I am definitely more attack-minded than I might have been. To make sure I was not on the wrong track, I asked the national team coaching staff and the players if they agreed with my view. They accepted that it is our mentality to put people under pressure, to be very physical, to be very dynamic and attack-orientated. We defined our style in discussions with the team. The key players, that is the leaders in the team, have a big influence on how we play, especially with so many youngsters in the squad. In my day, we were more playful, probably because we learned to play in the streets. Today's young players are more focused - they are planners. They are more calculating in their attitude towards their performance and careers than we were.
The man has substance, right Gerd?