Bayern Munich manager Thomas Tuchel’s decision to banish Thomas Müller to the bench has caused raucous debate among fans and despite the coach trying to rationalize why he is not using the veteran, some are not buying it.
When asked about the situation, sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić said it was not his call.
“It’s the coach’s decision. We speak every day. Thomas is a top professional and knows how important he is on the way to the title. He was happy and threw everything in when he came on. That’s why I’m glad he’s here,” Salihamidžić told Sky (as captured by @iMiaSanMia).
The coach and the sporting director both seem to be going out of their way to speak about how valuable Müller is...and then subsequently excluding him from the starting XI. When asked a similar question about Müller’s status on the squad, CEO Oliver Kahn also put the onus on Tuchel before Bayern Munich’s 2-1 win over Werder Bremen.
“First of all, it’s always a coaching decision. Thomas (Tuchel) has explained why he plays tactically differently today. But I was just in the dressing room, just before the guys went out to warm up, he was the one who pushed everyone and I think the two of them manage it excellently (Müller and Tuchel),” said Kahn (as captured by Tz). “I have the feeling that even though the situation is not easy for Thomas Müller, he accepts it and moves forward positively.”
For fans of Müller, the statements seem a bit ominous. Surely — at this stage of the season — the veteran is not going to throw more fuel on what has already been an inferno of a season. This summer, however, Müller could apply some pressure about what his role will be under Tuchel moving forward. If he does not like what he hears, will be “accept it and move forward” once more?
That is a massive question.