It’s now been just over a week since Bayern Munich made the shock decision to axe Julian Nagelsmann and replace him with former Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund and Mainz manager Thomas Tuchel. The “Tuchel shadow” had been looming large in the background for managers of top clubs across Europe ever since Chelsea let him go back in the fall after a Champions League loss to Dinamo Zagreb.
Tuchel has since admitted that he was shocked to have been let go by Chelsea, but it’s clear that Nagelsmann, despite having been well-poised to guide Bayern to a potential treble, was not impervious to the aforementioned Tuchel shadow. Bayern’s board and front office ultimately felt that there wasn’t enough growth under Nagelsmann and that he was to blame for slipping behind Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga table, which is the first opponent Tuchel will face as Bayern manager in what will sort of be a baptism by fire.
In his first pre-match press conference as Bayern manager, Tuchel looked forward to der Klassiker, as it will be an absolutely momentous installment of Germany’s biggest fixture with how much weight it bears in terms of the title race. He’s also had a home in Munich as well as some of his family members, but he said that he’s been all work and business since he’s taken over for Nagelsmann, even with most of the squad not present at Sabener Strasse due to the international break for friendlies and various qualifiers.
“Work, sleep, eat, repeat. That was my first week. Of course, there were a lot of impressions. It felt like a month’s work. I was always tired in the evening and ready again the next day,” Tuchel explained of his first full week as Bayern boss. “It was exhausting, but at the same time it was the best thing there is. I’m very grateful to be part of this club,” he added.
He’s already had some one on one, face to face conversations with a handful of players, and the meeting with Leroy Sane seems to be getting most of the attention. He feels the former Manchester City attack is better suited to a wide role and plans on making sure he implements that moving forward, as Nagelsmann had been using him in more central roles as of late before he was dismissed.
Having a matchup against Dortmund as your first fixture as Bayern manager is quite the tall task, but Tuchel’s already demonstrated with his work ethic since he’s arrived at Sabener Strasse that he can start with a bang. Even without having most of the squad for his first days as Bayern boss, he has clear ideas of what he expects from each player and the collective.