Leon Goretzka was not expecting to see his coach get booted midway through a season, especially before a tough run of games that Bayern Munich have to endure. “The news surprised us, no doubt. Julian [Nagelsmann] is an excellent coach and a great person,” he said (Sport Bild via @iMiaSanMia).
Like teammate Joshua Kimmich, he knows that the inconsistencies in game performances (good vs PSG, bad vs Leverkusen) contributed to a change of guard at the helm. “We had great games like PSG followed by average ones like Leverkusen. That cannot happen at FC Bayern. We all here have to do better,” Goretzka said.
Nagelsmann’s successor, Thomas Tuchel, is an established manager who knows his onions. Despite not knowing much about the second Thomas on the team, Leon is aware of his pedigree and history. “Unfortunately, I don’t know him personally until now,” the 28-year-old midfielder admitted. “But we all know and appreciate his success. We have big respect for his performances and his experience.”
Bayern are due to play Tuchel’s old club Borussia Dortmund in a potential title-deciding fixture, followed by a DFB-Pokal and league double-header against high-flying Freiburg. After that, they play the two legs of the Champions League Quarterfinals against Manchester City, with a Bundesliga fixture vs Hoffenheim in between—all in the space of 18 days. The gauntlet is tough, but Goretzka and the team are up for it. “The pressure at FC Bayern is always big,” Goretzka stated. “No doubt that it’s going to increase ahead of the upcoming games. But as a team we’re not thinking about that.”