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Sacked Toppmöller Turns on Hamburg

Klaus Toppmöller savages his former employer and accuses players of making excuses; Bundesliga prepares to limit foreign players; Klinsmann gives Deisler no time limit for recovery.

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Klaus Toppmöller is not one for quietly accepting his fate

Sacked Hamburg coach Klaus Toppmöller has criticized his former players and management team in the acrimonious wake of his forced departure. Toppmöller, Germany's Coach of the Year in 2002 for leading Bayer Leverkusen to the Champions League final, second place in the Bundesliga and the German Cup final, said the HSV players had a complete lack of self-criticism and were always making excuses.

He told Sport Bild newspaper: "Sometimes the 'lack of support from the coach' was to blame; sometimes it was because they had international matches, or sometimes it was because their wife was ill."

Hamburg sacked Toppmöller on Sunday, the day after Hamburg lost 2-0 to Arminia Bielefeld, a result which consigned the 1983 European champions to the bottom of the Bundesliga with six defeats in eight matches. He was replaced by former Germany international Thomas Doll on Sunday almost a year to the day he was hired.

"Hamburg is a world city and that's the way they all feel in the club," Toppmöller said. "So they assume HSV is a world club. But they lack realism. The team is being rebuilt. They need to be patient. But no one here was patient."

Bundesliga to limit foreign players

German Football League (DFL) president Werner Hackmann admitted Thursday he had given his backing to reduce the number of non-EU foreigners in the Bundesliga from five to four by the 2006/2007 season.

The DFL and the German Football Federation (DFB) have held talks over the move aimed at allowing more German talent to blossom. "Wolfgang Holzhauser (DFL vice-president) and myself have come up with this suggestion and spoke with the DFB about implementing the new rule," Hackmann told Die Welt newspaper.

Franz Beckenbauer, president of the 2006 World Cup organizing committee, and former national coach Rudi Völler are just two figureheads to call for a reduction of the number of foreigners in German football.

Combo: Evanilson und Dede

Evanilson und Dede

An influx of South Americans in recent seasons has certainly raised standards in the German top-flight but the DFL and DFB fear it is to the disadvantage of the national team. Borussia Dortmund often field Brazilians Evanilson and Dede (photo) in its line-up, VfL Wolfsburg have four Argentines in their squad while Schalke 04 have three Brazilians and two Uruguayans on their books.

Klinsmann to give depressed Deisler time

German national coach Jürgen Klinsmann promised to give midfielder Sebastian Deisler all the time he needs to recover after the Bayern Munich star suffered a minor relapse of depression. Deisler, 24, was readmitted to the Max-Planck-Institute for Psychiatry in Munich on Tuesday after jetting back from Turin where Bayern were facing Juventus in the Champions League.

Sebastian Deisler

Bayerns Mittelfeldspieler Sebastian Deisler, aufgenommen am 06.11.2003 auf dem Vereinsgelände des Fußball-Bundesligisten in München. Tags zuvor hat der FC Bayern München das Gruppenspiel in der Champions League gegen Olympique Lyon verloren (1:2) und muss nun um das Weiterkommen bangen.

"We have to be careful with him," Klinsmann said in an interview with newspaper Die Welt. "Sebastian will progress at his own pace and Felix Magath (Bayern coach), Uli Hoeness (Bayern general manager) and myself will accept that. We know that Sebastian has good people around him and will be well looked after."

Oliver Bierhoff, Klinsmann's assistant, claimed it was vital that the former Hertha Berlin midfielder was not put under any pressure. "We can not put any pressure on him whatsoever," explained Bierhoff. "We just have to wait for him to recover and show him he has our full backing."

Back in November 2003 Deisler was diagnosed with depression and the playmaker was forced to sit out six months of last season and Germany's disastrous 2004 European championships in Portugal. He looked to have completed his recovery after making his international comeback against Brazil on September 8 but some poor recent displays have rocked his fragile self confidence.

"It is a shame that I could not prevent the pressure from getting to Deisler," explained Bayern chief Magath. "It was important that he had time to stabilize. He wants too much too soon."

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