A couple of days ago, I read with interest the report that Jürgen Klinsmann was on his way to Toronto. He had been hired as an consultant (or adviser, whichever term you prefer). The term itself is interesting. In and of itself, “adviser” is a meaningless term, especially for a team with neither a general manager nor a coach. The question, then, is two-fold: first, what is TFC trying to do here? Second, what about Klinsmann’s desire for control?
It seems relatively obvious that TFC is pandering to its fans. By appointing Klinsmann as an adviser, it gives the illusion of action when, in reality, there was none. In short, TFC did nothing, except pay for a plane ticket and possibly some wages, with this appointment. I’d like to think that the club’s fans are a little savvier than MLSE thinks and are not, in fact, fooled by this appointment. Klinsmann should be given a proper title and a proper place in the organization if ownership wants to prove it’s doing something.
Now, how much control does Klinsmann actually have? Famously, the lack of control is why he is not currently the manager of the US national team. Apparently, Bob Bradley is more pliable (what that says about Sunil Gulati and the USSF is another post). So what’s Klinsmann’s role in Toronto? Is he going to hire the GM and manager and then step aside? Something tells me that’s a no. Klinsmann wants to be on the sideline. He wants to be in control. Will TFC’s players respond to someone with no real title? His name guarantees instant respect, but his odd ways might rub some players the wrong way (though he did have success with Germany in 2006).
Klinsmann is, in my opinion, a talented manager. He has a lot to learn (don’t we all?), but he should be given a chance. If TFC wanted to make a bold step, it would hire him in an official capacity. As it stands, Klinsmann is smokescreen, designed to distract people from looking at the fact that the organization is in shambles.