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Japan’s Urawa Reds sack German boss Osieck

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From Yahoo.com

TOKYO, March 16 (Reuters) - Asian champions Urawa Reds ditched German coach Holger Osieck on Sunday, just two games into the new J-League season.

The 59-year-old guided Japan’s best-supported side to the Asian Champions League title last season but was fired 24 hours after Urawa were beaten 2-0 at home by Nagoya Grampus Eight.

Osieck’s dismissal followed an emergency meeting by Urawa officials, still smarting from the team’s failure to defend their J-League title in 2007.

Assistant coach Gert Engels, 50, will take over as manager. (Writing by Alastair Himmer in Jeju, South Korea; Editing by John O’Brien)

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Some good insight into the Holger firing - anything sound at all familiar?

"Fujiguchi, who hired Osieck as Guido Buchwald's successor last year, claimed the sudden switch was not simply due to two quick losses, but because the rift between the manager and the players had grown too significant.

"I felt strongly after two games that the relationship between the coach and the players had become too distant," Fujiguchi said. "And once it becomes this distant, it becomes very difficult to repair. Just by watching training, you could tell that the team was suffocating. We felt the best option was to change the scenery, and so we decided on the coaching change."

As president, Fujiguchi has every right to decide who manages Reds and who doesn't. But if he made the decision on irreconcilable differences (pardon the use of Hollywood divorce speak) between coach and players, he probably should have not brought Osieck back for a second season.

After all, the players were griping as much about Osieck last year as they are now, and this was hardly classified intelligence. Right or wrong, everyone from Washington to Shinji Ono to Marcus Tulio Tanaka publicly criticized Osieck's management skills. Anyone who was around the Reds camp could tell you the player-coach relationship was frostier than when Buchwald was in charge."


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