When Mabbsy met Jurgen - Part Four
18 November 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Having looked back at Jurgen Klinsmann's memorable two spells at the club in the 1990s, in the final part of 'When Mabbsy met Jurgen', Gary Mabbutt turns back to the present day.
The two Spurs legends were back together last week as 'Mabbsy' welcomed Jurgen and the USA national team to our training facilities at Hotspur Way.
Having spoken about Jurgen's arrival at the club in the summer of 1994 in Part One, his fantastic first spell in 1994-95 in Part Two and his second spell in 1998 in Part Three, Gary, who turned interviewer, spoke to Jurgen about the US team - and found the German striking legend aiming high...
Mabbsy: "Things were so different in our day, like our training facility at Mill Hill. You are here with the USA national team at our new facility. What do you think of it?"
Jurgen: "This is unbelievable, overwhelming actually. It’s world-class. It gives you the feeling that time has moved on and this is the future. The Academy is connected to the first team and that inspires the young kids to come here, one year at a time, towards the big goal of becoming a professional player at Spurs. This an amazing recruiting facility. It’s a clear sign towards the future and I’m very impressed."
Mabbsy: "I know your main passion is the development of young players. I watched your training session and there are some good youngsters - and you joined in! You look as fit as you did before! Obviously, management is good for you."
Jurgen: "For me, the enjoyment is working with people, working with people with ambition, with drive, with a goal to do better. I'm comfortable communicating with them and telling them there are ways to get better but they have to do that themselves.
"Our main role as drivers of the next generation is to inspire them hopefully to wake up their inner drive and make them understand that they have to take things in their own hands, not just depend on other people.
"They have to be the main driver in their career and this is what we are trying to do at Team USA. We want players who are hungry, who want to do well."
Mabbsy: "Team USA did so well at the World Cup, that must have been a great occasion for you."
Jurgen: "I think we sent out signals to the world that we are a nation that is ambitious and wants to do well not just in NFL, basketball, baseball and hockey, the US want to do well in football as well. I think we’ve sent out those signals.
"Leaving Portugal and Ghana behind in our group (in the World Cup) was big. We should have been through after two matches but conceded an equaliser in the last seconds against Portugal. I think everyone woke up and thought ‘what’s going on with the Americans?’
"Now our goal is to build on that foundation (USA reached the last 16) and do even better at the next World Cup. We have a four-year cycle working towards that. We have set a very high goal. We’ve said we want to get into the semi-finals in Russia. That’s a very high benchmark we’ve communicated and I did that purposely because I want the players to be hungry for that and want to prove it. If we don’t, there will be reasons but at least we have a goal in mind."