King Otto: is he dropping the Crown?


  Griechen-Trainer Otto Rehagel.

2004 coach “King” Otto was the hero of millions of Greeks. He had just  led the Greek National Team to win Euro 2004, the European Championship title.

 After the ugly defeat 0-2 from South Korea last Saturday King Otto began to feel his throne trembling and his crown shaking.

Then it was Otto Rehhagel, who gathered all the fire and criticism of angry Greek fans and dissapointed media, who accused him of grave mistakes and  wrong choices. 

 The truth is that in a soccer game while only 22 players run behind the ball, there are some millions of fans coaching them. But a fan is a fan and he deserves to see his team play decently. Not to forget the national pride, of course.

I saw the Saturday game on TV. I watched the Greek players losing one opportunity after the other; I watched them in fact not to create any opportunity at all. They left it up to South Koreans to do the game. Since the camera was focusing on their faces I could clearly see the sweat of failure and despair. With such a team, you can’t win!

I have got the impression that the King has grown older. Can a 72 years old adapt himself to new circumstances and tactics, apply radical but essential changes? Can players with average age of 29, successfully compete?

Unfortunately as we grow older, we can be proud of the experience we have gathered but at the same time we are stuck to the past, to the past where we got our experience from.

I used to and still  admire Otto Rehhagel . When I was living in Germany I watched him coaching a weak Werder Bremen to a full- power football team, establishing it to main teams of Bundesliga.

To say it simple: I always preferred King Otto to Emperor Franz (Beckenbauer).

Sad to see King go

Anyway, after the 2 South Korean goals rumors started that Otto Rehhagel is quitting the Greeks if not in the middle of World Cup 2010, at least very soon after. Normally resignation occur upon arrival…

The German coach speaking yesterday to the players opened – at least verbally the door of his exit.

 “It is possible that a defeat spoils the mood. We had lots of experiences together. We had many fine moments. In the coming days we may not be together. But the good spirit that always existed in the national should remain” Otto Rehhagel said.

Today, player Kostas Katsouranis, 31, in an effort to refute the scenarios having Rehhagel dropping the bench of the National Team, said in a press conference ahead of the match with Nigeria.

“There is no issue about the staying of Otto Rehhagel. We talked and he didn’t let it be known that he intends to leave. Right now all he wants is that we give our best to the matches with Nigeria and Argentina.”

I consider Thursday’s match against Nigeria to be very crucial for Otto and the Greek National Team. Another defeat will ruin them psychologically. It will be extremely difficult then to play against Mundial favorite Argentina.

 I do  hope for the best.

But the time for changes has come. The question is When?

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2 Responses to “King Otto: is he dropping the Crown?”

  1. Domingo Loree Says:

    Buenas Tardes. Me gustaría saber como va a desenvolverse este mundial ya que se esta viendo a algunos equipos que estan jugando muy bien, ustedes que piensan ?

  2. keeptalkinggreece Says:

    Hi Domingo
    Do you ask…. What I think who will win Mundial? sorry, I don’t speak Spanish.

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