Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel is looking for a response from his team against Union Berlin on Wednesday.
After a brutal 1-0 defeat at the hands of Werder Bremen on Sunday, Tuchel knows it will not be easy against a somewhat resurgent squad from The Iron Ones.
“It’s not a case of simply flipping a switch. It’s not easy. We’re very aware of the state of play. It’s our job and my responsibility to influence it. We’re actually very positive, but we’re falling well short of our expectations in matches. We will continue to demand it until it works, and we’re ready to show the desire that will also spark the fans. We’re below our expectations,” Tuchel said (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “We can do a lot better. There’s a lot of room for improvement. The explanation in terms of passion, bite, tackling and enthusiasm remains the same. For 70 minutes that was below the level we expect of ourselves.
“That will always remain the foundation for every football match, that these virtues are clearly recognisable and set you apart. It’s the foundation for all tactical things. We haven’t shown that and we’ll try to do so tomorrow.”
From a defensive standpoint, Tuchel said that his center-backs Dayot Upamecano and Matthijs de Ligt have scuffled with having to deal with formations featuring two strikers over the past two games.
“It was very difficult for the center-backs in the last two games because both opponents had two strikers on the pitch, which made it difficult to dribble and pass into space. We should always be prepared to take attacking risks in situations where the numbers are equal,” said Tuchel. “We’re currently making too many mistakes and are too impatient in the opposing half. We’re good enough individually, quick enough, so we need more movement in the final line. We have to be more on the lookout for a small number, a two-v-two is easier than a six-v-six.”
Tuchel also has some interesting lineup decisions to make against Union Berlin — and whatever he decides will be highly scrutinized. The coach specifically addressed the situations surrounding Leon Goretzka and Alphonso Davies.
“Everyone who was there against Bremen is available. We always have to win. It’s the crucial question: will the players get another chance or is it time for a change? We’ll wait for training and decide tomorrow,” Tuchel said. “(Against Werder Bremen) Leon was ill, Raphaël Guerreiro played really well against Stuttgart together with Aleks Pavlović, and then also against Wolfsburg and Basel. He trained very well. It was a decision in Rapha’s favour, there was no reason to take him out. It doesn’t at all mean that we don’t trust Leon. We need every player and also players who draw positive strength from the ‘injustice’ of the coach’s decision.”
When asked if Davies would be dropped, Tuchel did his best to — seemingly — soften the blow should the Canadian start tomorrow on the bench.
“There’s competition, of course. But just because someone is on the bench doesn’t mean we don’t trust him. At the moment Phonzy has played every game and there’s competition for him, too. But even if he doesn’t start, it doesn’t mean we don’t trust him,” Tuchel said.
As for how he plans to approach the game, Tuchel plans to rely on his gut feelings.
“I’ll react based on my experience and intuition and how the team is feeling. We’re the first to scrutinise ourselves. That includes the message, the training, simply everything. The message always changes with the situation,” Tuchel remarked.
Looking for some thoughts and analysis of Bayern Munich’s upcoming Bundesliga match vs. Union Berlin? Check out our Bavarian Podcast Works — Preview Show on Spotify or below: