Thomas Tuchel’s first full season at Bayern Munich is off to a relatively positive and stable start. But the glare of the spotlight in Bavaria is bright, and even a single poor result can turn the seat white-hot.
Such was the case after Bayern’s shocking exit in the second round of the DFB-Pokal to third-tier FC Saarbrücken. Pundits came out with their knives out in the aftermath and Tuchel hit back just as hard, bolstered by his side’s rollicking 4-0 Der Klassiker win over Borussia Dortmund in the very next match.
Is there stability at Bayern, or is Tuchel still a few poor results away from getting the can?
In what will doubtlessly be seen in some quarters as an ominous sign, Bayern’s front office is already out in full defense of their totally not embattled coach.
“It is absolutely understandable there was criticism after our Pokal exit. But as I’ve said before, the coach doesn’t lose alone, we lose together and win together,” Bayern CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen declared in recent comments captured by kicker journalist Georg Holzner, via @iMiaSanMia. “But I’m very surprised at the nature of the criticism over the past few weeks. We made our best start to the Bundesliga in seven years and won every game in the Champions League. The fact that everything has been reduced to the Pokal defeat and that wins are spoken ill of is absolutely not okay. It’s completely understandable that Thomas Tuchel won’t let this slide, and he has our full support.
So that is that, right? One aberrant result aside, Bayern does appear to be putting in solid if unspectacular performances, and growing in its command of Tuchel’s tactical vision. The coach has also been praised for his ability to make in-game adjustments, turning around matches in the second half when the start is slow or unlucky before that.
Then again, only the most cynical of critics thought Julian Nagelsmann would be sacked before season’s end at this time last year. In the end, they turned out to be right.