Happy Monday, or is it? It is the dawn after debacle, and BFW’s weary and wary staff writers trudge into the office to take their shot at an imaginary Bayern Munich board meeting.
What does Bayern do now in the wake of a potentially title-losing 3-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen? And what of head coach Thomas Tuchel?
Let’s check in now with the armchair board. Thank goodness we don’t have the responsibilities — or pressures — of the actual bosses.
The way forward is obvious, isn’t it?
- Sack Thomas Tuchel.
- Hire Hansi Flick as an interim.
Honestly, I don’t see why it has to be so complicated. With the loss to Leverkusen, the Bundesliga is almost out of reach, but a good run here could help the team rally and MAYBE win the Champions League. If not that, then at least a semifinal appearance should be the goal for the season. Then, enter the summer and reassess the squad, and sign some reinforcements. The players who fail to improve under a new coach can be replaced. If Tuchel isn’t sacked soon, things are only going to get worse. We’ve already squandered two, maybe three trophies already this season. Let’s not wait and ruin our last chance.
What to do about Tuchel? Tough question. Sporting excellence is about evolution. You can’t stand still, you need to get better. I would rate his performance as pretty average or “okay” so far. So, if you want to move away from him you need someone you are sure is better.
Flick is in the rear view mirror and I would be surprised if they brought him back. Uli Hoeneß doesn’t want the team to be known as an ejection seat for coaches, so unless they have someone clearly superior in mind I think Tuchel stays.
I also can’t say he has lost the dressing room, other than perhaps Matthijs de Ligt. Joshua Kimmich, and Thomas Müller have made some supportive public statements, so I would be surprised if a change is made before the season ends.
Tuchel is simply a poor fit at Bayern, just like Carlo Ancelotti back in 2017. Kick him out now. Let an assistant finish out the season as interim and let the players take ownership of the results. In the summer, bring in a tactically creative and open-minded coach who will give the team room to breathe and reinvent themselves with a high pressing, energized attacking style of play.
What might those ideas be? More rotation to keep players, like the three center-backs (Dayot Upamecano, Kim Min-jae, Matthijs de Ligt) happy. Wing-backs venturing forward only for overlapping runs. Joshua Kimmich taking over for Leon Goretzka as the pivot midfielder, leaving Aleksandar Pavlović and Konrad Laimer as destroyers. Jamal Musiala and Leroy Sané on the wing, Thomas Müller in the middle, and Tel as a 60th minute super-sub for Muller to push Musiala inside.
Oh, and feel free to involve Harry Kane once in a while.
I think it is time to fire Tuchel. We have backed the coach and given him a squad filled with top players (some that he has demanded) and ignored the dumpster fire finish last season that saw Bayern barely escape with an arguably undeserved Bundesliga title victory.
What we received in return was an early exit from the DFB-Pokal and a Bundesliga title race collapse this season. It is time for a managerial change. We could bring in someone who knows they might only last till the end of the season and might still be willing (Jesse Marsch, Ralph Hasenhüttl, Oliver Glasner) or someone who could even be a more permanent solution (Hansi Flick).
We then aim to maintain a high footballing standard and make a good Champions League run, after which we could even pursue Leverkusen’s Xabi Alonso with full commitment. But it is almost certain that by keeping Tuchel, we write this season off.
On Saturday, the best coach currently in the Bundesliga was at that stadium — and he was on the opposing sideline. How do you let that stand?
I am a big believer in sticking by your current project and not overreacting to single results. But despite Bayern’s solid points haul, Tuchel has rarely truly dazzled with his long-term promise. He brings a steady hand to the table and I like his leadership style, but plainly it is not everything. It is not even clear it is going anywhere.
That said, the job of the board is to measure twice and cut once, or it risks blowing more toes off our feet. So Tuchel owns this season and will get his chance to show what he makes of it — the whole of it.
But I would already be working the phones with Xabi’s representatives. The rest of the year is his audition also. What he has done so far at Leverkusen is spell-binding stuff.
Right now, the situation is really dire, to say the least. It has been more than a decade since we were second-best in Germany. Having to make a decision on Tuchel through emotions in the moment, though, would bring us to the same starting point — which led to his hire in the first place.
The most logical choice would be to leave Tuchel the opportunity to save the season and prove himself. If not, a change would have to happen. The best-case scenario would be to have a proven coach waiting on the sidelines, ready to take over at short notice if the tide isn’t changing. *Looks at the picture of Jupp Heynckes on the nightstand, trying to hold back the waterworks.*
Hansi Flick comes to mind. He left because of his disagreements with former sporting director Hasan Salihamidžić, who is no longer with the club. Maybe he would find himself at home with the current directors. Flick is the kind of coach who manages to inspire and instill confidence in his players — everything they seem to be lacking now.
Whatever Bayern decides, they better plan ahead. Amateurish planning like last summer can cost big.
Looking for a more in-depth review of the game, or do you just want to wallow in our misery? Then check out our postgame podcast! Chuck and INNN talk about Tuchel’s shortcomings and why Bayern Munich were outclassed by Bayer Leverkusen. Listen to it below or on Spotify.
Where does Bayern Munich go from here? Let’s discuss it on the Bavarian Podcast Works Show on Spotify or below:
As always, we appreciate all the support!