The United States will head into World Cup qualifying with three straight losses and, for the first time in more than 60 years, four consecutive home losses to CONCACAF teams. The skid, and preceding lack of progress, has left Jurgen Klinsmann under fire and after their loss to Costa Rica on Tuesday night, he addressed the situation.
"We’ve got to go through some rain right now and it’s not sunshine, but sooner or later the clouds will pass by and we’ll find some sun again," said Klinsmann. "This is part of life. It’s definitely not part of my character to give up because, as we’ve said, a couple of bad results with the outcome of the (CONCACAF) Gold Cup and obviously the Mexico clash. That sits in your stomach, but it drives you even more."
Klinsmann went on to say that the way he and the team were going to get through this was to "work even harder."
That's nice from Klinsmann. Saying you're going to work harder is a go-to when things go wrong and comes across very well, but nobody ever questioned his work ethic. It's abundantly clear that he is all-in on his job as both technical director and manager. He's working his ass off and it's probably impossible for him to work harder. He's already working as hard as he can.
Klinsmann doesn't need to work harder. He needs to work smarter.
Smarter begins with self-evaluation and recognizing where things have gone wrong. Is it player selection, the handling of the players, tactics or something else? Maybe it's a combination of them all, but he has to acknowledge his faults and implement a realistic plan to change those.
Maybe Klinsmann goes public with his faults and how he plans to change them. Odds are that he won't and that's okay, he doesn't need to tell the fans everything. But he does have to come to terms with mistakes privately. Working harder won't fix this problem. That's just PR bullshit. He has to work differently -- smarter.