Straight after Carlo Ancelotti’s wife telling Vanity Fair he’s going to “recharge his batteries” after being fired by Real Madrid, it looks like Jürgen Klopp is now calling a time out after leaving Borussia Dortmund.
“After seven intense and emotional years, I think it’s a good idea to let the numerous memories settle in before I take on a new challenge with my coaching team, refreshed and fully motivated,” Klopp said in a statement. “I’m going to take a break until further notice.”
Now, “further notice” could come next week, or next month, for all we know. Ancelotti might soon return to AC Milan. And Klopp’s words might be code for “there’s not a job out there right now that appeals to me.” If Barcelona came calling tomorrow, it’s easy to imagine he’d suddenly feel very refreshed and motivated.
Yet these days it seems acceptable for leading coaches to say they’re burnt out and ready to step away from the game, when years ago such an admission might have led to skepticism about their energy levels and commitment from clubs considering hiring them.
With so much competition for so few jobs, would clubs want to appoint a man who’s admittedly feeling tired and questioning his own commitment? A sense of perspective and public honesty have never been helpful qualities in professional soccer.
Men like Ancelotti and Klopp, though, have such high profiles and reputations that they know spending a season out of the sport won’t harm their prospects of getting a top job when they’re ready to return. And with coaches’ salaries now as high as players, they don’t need to work.
Pep Guardiola took a year’s sabbatical after leaving Barcelona, chilling out in New York, and this was a man who basically won everything. Yet he still felt ground down by the job.
After years of media talk about the pressurized, 24-7 world that head coaches inhabit, looks like the coaches themselves agree and aren’t afraid to talk about it any longer