Herzog interview - Telling the "Lutscher" story again

15.03.2012, 08:48:01 Uhr

German champion in his first season with Bremen: Andi Herzog returned to his old stomping grounds on the weekend.
Werder's former championship winning playmaker Andi Herzog made his way to Weser Stadium on Sunday to observe Hannover defender Steven Cherundolo in his new function as assistant coach to U.S. national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann.

Which tasks do you have exactly in your job as assistant coach to the U.S. national team?
Andreas Herzog: I am the man for the European players. Last week I was in Verona, now in Bremen and on Thursday I will be with Jozy Altidore in Udine. Then on Saturday I will be at Berlin against Bayern Munich. Hopefully Bayern are not as good as against Hoffenheim because then I don't even need to meet up with Otto (Rehhagel).

You have already experienced a real highlight as the Americans surprisingly beat Italy.
Andreas Herzog: Yeah, I guess you have to become assistant coach in America before you beat Italy for the first time in your life. It was only a test match, but you would rather win than lose. And there is so much emotion in the Americans' game. It is absolutely amazing what goes on on the bench.

"Lutscher" Frings and "Lutscher name giver" Andreas Herzog celebrating with Marco Bode. "Lutscher" Frings and "Lutscher name giver" Andreas Herzog celebrating with Marco Bode.
You are the man who gave Torsten Frings his nickname "Lutscher". Can you please tell us if you gave him his nickname or if he always called you that, making him "Lutscher"? Just how did that all happen?
Andreas Herzog: So, for once and for all, here are the details. When he came to Bremen from Aachen, he was one of the really good ones. You could tell that right away. But he also was one of the really cheeky ones. He was often allowed to play the circle game with the oldies, which included Oli Reck and myself. One time, Oli Reck played the ball to Torsten and he made an error. When Oli Reck ordered Torsten to go into the middle, Torsten shouted back: "Be quiet you dummy (Lutscher). If you can't make a decent pass then go to (then Bremen coach) Kalli Kamp and get warmed up." That happened with a number of older players. And then one day, I told Torsten: "Torsten, you know what, it's you who is the dummy (Lutscher)." Things had turned on him. And the name was born.

One final question: On Saturday, Werder travel to Dortmund. Are you pushing for Werder against Dortmund?
Andreas Herzog: For sure.

Interview by Michael Rudolph

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