This certainly doesn’t feel like the Bayern Munich of old. Heck, there is a shocking difference between the team at present and the team from just over a month ago. Bayern Munich is effectively out of 2 competitions, and not looking very comfortable in the Bundesliga either. Since Thomas Tuchel’s arrival, Bayern Munich has won 2 games, lost 2 games, and drawn 1.
In that short span, the team has been dispatched from the DFB-Pokal, and received a drubbing at the hands of Manchester City, meaning the team is also all but out of the UCL. Having just drawn vs. Hoffenheim at home, Bayern Munich looks no better domestically. And what changed between then and now?
Of course, it would be short-sighted and quite unfair to pin this all on Tuchel. However, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that this is completely on the board. The board took a massive gamble, shook everything to its foundations, ditched its long-term vision with Nagelsmann, didn’t take player relationships and locker room morale into consideration, and now has nothing to show for it.
A treble could’ve actually saved the board quite a lot of face. Now, it just looks like a circus. An absolute clown show. And they absolutely have to be held accountable for this decision.
Team morale is at a new low. The players didn’t seem too happy about Nagelsmann’s sacking. Bayern Munich has also potentially burned bridges with Nagelsmann with the way the sacking was handled. So now, the club has to rebuild again. The construction was well on its way to fruition, but now there would be a need for a new coach hunt for the next “era” (which would probably last a season or two) since Tuchel is clearly a stopgap solution.
Everything’s back at ground zero, and next season should see quite a few changes. Sacking the manager has exacerbated Bayern’s short and long-term problems, and signing expensive players in the summer may not solve them. Besides, the club has fiscal limitations, unlike the massive vaults that supply clubs like Manchester City, Chelsea FC, PSG, and the like with endless wealth.
This season is damaged goods. The board has shot itself in the face, and there’s no going back now. However, this should be a good lesson; being trigger-happy and firing managers mid-way through the season, only to have everything end up in flames? Chelsea is probably not the best club to follow in terms of management philosophy.
Take a look at that photo. That was the squad morale right after the PSG victories. This is the Bayern we’ve been treated to in recent years. The players fight and give it their all, and the opposition, even during victories, never had it easy. It has been a while since we’ve seen a thumping of this magnitude in the UCL, though. A 3-0 scoreline in one leg? Against Bayern? What was more worrying was the way in which it was handed. Aside from a 20-minute spell early in the second half when Bayern pressed with intent, the team looked lost.
The usual Bayern attacking “blueprint” just wasn’t there.
And that was what worried me the most. I saw players that looked defeated. I saw the team looking helpless as City put goal after goal behind the net. We can single out Upamecano all we want, but that doesn’t explain why the other end of the scoreline remained dry as a desert.
I’m not blaming Tuchel completely either. Of course, as coach, he has to accept responsibility for the results, at least in part, but the board absolutely shouldn’t have sacked a solid coach midway into a season that saw Bayern in the driver’s seat to win it all.
But what’s done is done. Now it is time for a rebuild, a re-definition. And the board cannot afford to sh*t the bed again. I’m quite sure that they have lost a lot of trust already. And it is worth keeping in mind that the members of the board, just like the players and the coach, are not irreplaceable.
Anyway, on to the next game. We will continue to wave the Bayern flag and sing “Stern des Südens” despite the troubling times. Bayern Munich brings us together, and this trough will also pass. Hopefully.