One of the challenges of managing a top-tier squad like that of Bayern Munich is juggling the playing demands of a roster loaded top-to-bottom with stars.
So far, so good. Thomas Tuchel seems to be handling the challenge with aplomb.
Tuchel trotted out a rotated roster against VfL Bochum on Saturday after a high-octane Champions League clash with Manchester United on Wednesday, and it resulted in Bayern’s most emphatic win of the season — a 7-0 stampede of goals. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Konrad Laimer, Matthijs de Ligt, and Noussair Mazraoui all earned starts and youngster Frans Krätzig had a Bundesliga debut as a substitute in relief of Alphonso Davies.
On the wings, Kingsley Coman rotated in for Serge Gnabry as well. As a result, Thomas Müller, Leon Goretzka, and Dayot Upamecano all started from the bench, while Jamal Musiala was an unused substitute.
“We played Choupo because we decided for a two-striker formation to block Bochum defenders as we expected high pressing,” Tuchel explained in his post-game interview, as captured by Sport1 (via @iMiaSanMia). “Matthijs and Nous deserved to play. Kingsley for Serge is normal as we always need to change in order to keep a certain freshness. They all did well because it’s not always easy to come in without a rhythm and deliver straight away, and they delivered. Big compliment.”
For all the concerns Bayern fans may have had about Tuchel’s history with locker room relations, the 50-year-old seems to be pushing all the right buttons in Munich so far. Upamecano celebrated Choupo-Moting’s opening strike joyously, and the Cameroonian striker himself shared a warm embrace and laugh with his coach after being substituted off in the 65th minute.
And how about Thomas Müller with some pep in his step as the substitutes warmed up?
With a long season ahead, playing time should be plentiful. And the continued harmony in the dressing room will be important.
Looking for more thoughts and analysis of Bayern Munich incredible 7-0 victory over VfL Bochum? Check out our Bavarian Podcast Works — Postgame Show on Spotify or below: