Klinsmann: 'England often beats itself'
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) - Jurgen Klinsmann says England's soccer fortunes are hampered by negative fans and media
"England often beats itself. It's not the opponents necessarily,'' the current U.S. coach and former German coach said Tuesday.
Klinsmann sat at a podium next to American goalkeeper Tim Howard, the starter for Everton in the Premier League, and explained to a group of largely American and Brazilian reporters the philosophy he used when he coached Germany in the run-up to 2006 World Cup that it hosted. Klinsmann claimed domestic media have two choices when it comes to national teams.
"It is very simple. In a soccer-driven country, which Brazil is, Argentina is, Germany is, England is, where Tim plays, it all depends on how much you all go in the same direction,'' Klinsmann said. "What we tried to do in Germany before the World Cup was to get everybody behind their team and say it's everybody's World Cup. It's the whole nation, every fan, every Brazilian person's World Cup. It's not only the team that plays hopefully successfully.
"So they have two choices. You can say, I support my team, from the media perspective, too, or I give them trouble and I give them doubts and I give them, I don't know, nasty comments or whatever.''
American forward Clint Dempsey increasingly sounds as if he will leave Fulham after 5 1/2 seasons with the London club.
The 29-year-old Texan is coming off the most accomplished season by an American attacking player with an English club, scoring 17 Premier League goals and 23 overall. Only Arsenal's Robin van Persie (31), Manchester United's Wayne Rooney (27) and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero (23) scored more league goals.
"The transfer window is open until Aug. 31. It's no secret that I would like to play Champions League one day in my career,'' Dempsey said Tuesday, ahead of the Americans' exhibition against Brazil. "It it's meant to be, it will be.''
After three seasons with the New England Revolution, Dempsey joined Fulham in January 2007 for a $4 million transfer fee. He has scored 50 EPL goals in 184 league matches for the Cottagers and 60 in 225 games in all competitions.
His contract has one season remaining, meaning an offer from another club would create pressure for Fulham to sell him this summer rather than risk him leaving without a fee a year from now.
"What I do is focus on the teams that I play for and I give my heart to them, work as hard as I can to try to make the most of my time and make the most of the career that I have left,'' Dempsey said.
Klinsmann has encouraged Dempsey to sign with a bigger club.
"His goal is the right goal,'' the coach said last week. "If he has the opportunity to go a Champions League team, that's the creme de la creme in the world of club soccer, then you've got to do that.''
Dempsey has recovered from a groin injury that caused him to miss Fulham's season finale on May 19. He said he's not ready to play 90 minutes against Brazil, but could play a part as the Americans prepare for the start of World Cup qualifying on June 8 against Antigua and Barbuda in Tampa, Fla.