The man who was lined up to steer the German national soccer team from behind Jürgen Klinsmann's public facade has decided not to work with the new head coach.
Can I stop smiling now?
Just when it looked like everything was signed and sealed and the shame consigned to the annals of history, the German Football Federation (DFB) took another blow on Wednesday when veteran coach Holger Osieck opted out of the Klinsmann revolution.
The man targeted as the experienced, guiding hand behind new head coach Jürgen Klinsmann's public face announced that he will not join the German national side as an assistant, shattering the DFB's plan to bring in Osieck as the new coach's number two.
Deal collapses at the last
Klinsmann and Osieck, who was Franz Beckenbauer's deputy during Germany's 1990 World Cup-winning campaign, failed to reach an agreement over a collaboration, the DFB said in a statement. It is a shock that may increase the continuing woe in the DFB corridors of power. Both the governing body and its new coach believed the deal on the partnership to be finalized.
In what has become an almost standard phrase over the past month, the DFB announced that a final decision on the new leadership of the national team would be made on Thursday.
New coaching team now lacks experience
It is unclear how the 55-year-old Osieck's decision will change the set-up. Klinsmann has signed a two-year contract after agreeing to coach Germany until after the 2006 World Cup on home soil, replacing former strike partner Rudi Völler, and has been joined in inking the page by another ex-international attacker Oliver Bierhoff (photo)who takes on the role as team manager, a liaison job between the coach, media and DFB officials.
Neither have any coaching experience and the DFB will be looking to appoint a tried and tested man with international credentials to steer the newcomers from the stern.
A former Germany striker and captain, Klinsmann, 39, scored 47 goals from 108 internationals and lifted the World Cup in 1990. He has been living in the United States since ending his playing career in 1998.