The defeat at FSV Mainz 05 was the next low point for FC Bayern Munich – currently you don’t even recognize the proud club anymore. Coaches Thomas Tuchel and Thomas Müller were at a loss, the CEO Oliver Kahn attacked the team.
During his rather sad press conference after the 1: 3 at FSV Mainz 05, a smile flitted across Thomas Tuchel’s lips – because of a significant slip of the tongue. “We have three and a half years,” he began, pausing briefly and smiling. “Three and a half years … that’s how it seems. We’ve had three and a half weeks without a day off.” That is why it is now “urgently necessary to get a little distance”.
After three and a half weeks in which FC Bayern lost two and a half titles, Tuchel gave his players three days off. Three days to recharge your batteries before the final sprint in the Bundesliga. Three days to process the past three and a half weeks.
This phase, so catastrophic from Munich’s point of view, started at the end of March in Leverkusen. FC Bayern lost 2-1 and with it the lead in the table. The club leadership around the CEO Oliver Kahn reacted, shortly thereafter dismissed Julian Nagelsmann and replaced him with Thomas Tuchel. What has happened since then can be seen as an anti-trainer change effect.
At that time, the Munich were still represented in all competitions, they secretly hoped for the triple. Since then they have failed in the DFB-Pokal at SC Freiburg, in the Champions League at Manchester City and lost the lead they had regained in the Bundesliga to Borussia Dortmund. Tuchel has lost three of his first seven competitive games and thus just as many as Nagelsmann in the entire season up to that point. If the team under Nagelsmann only presented itself inconsistently, they now seem half dead physically and mentally.
FC Bayern in Mainz: The worst thing was the body language
The draw against TSG Hoffenheim last week and, above all, the 3-1 draw in Mainz were absolute lows in the club’s recent history. The Munich team took the lead again through Sadio Mané, but then fell apart completely within a very short time (three goals conceded in 14 minutes ) and didn’t even begin to rebel.
Traditionally, FC Bayern is in top form under pressure. But now it’s the other way around: the players seem to be collapsing. Or are you maybe just fed up after ten championship titles in a row and can no longer push your performance limits in the Bundesliga? At the moment you can no longer recognize the proud FC Bayern.
The worst thing about this game in Mainz was not the athletic performance itself, but the accompanying body language and charisma. It’s been a long, long time since a Bayern team was as helpless and defenseless as they were in the closing stages. When ever?
Actually, leading players would be in demand, but just the sprayed in Mainz instead of fighting spirit only powerlessness. Significant: Immediately after the 1: 2, Tuchel replaced captain Thomas Müller and his deputy Joshua Kimmich. Apparently he didn’t trust them anymore.
Müller and Tuchel displayed helplessness
After the game, Müller, like Tuchel, remarkably openly displayed his helplessness. Neither of them seemed combative, but rather resigned. The physical exposure was followed by the verbal one. “Today I realized that we no longer had the strength or the energy to come back. We couldn’t cope with the setbacks in the past few weeks, which were also psychologically difficult,” said Müller, adding: “I’m a bit at a loss.”
In his remarks, Tuchel kept coming back to his players’ lack of energy and concentration problems, and his most frequently used adjective was “exhausted”. Tuchel’s sentences sounded alarming, for example: “We can’t stand up anymore. It’s not possible. I don’t know why.” Or: “We are not able to reach our level of performance, neither emotionally nor technically.” Or: “At the moment we look like a team that has already played 80 games this season.”
Were these perhaps small swipes against predecessor Nagelsmann? After all, there were occasional complaints about his allegedly too intensive training sessions.
In his remarks, Tuchel chose the third extreme of the communication keyboard within a very short time. After the 3-0 defeat in Manchester (“very satisfied”, “in love with shock”), the palliative speech was followed by harsh but rather substantive criticism of the team after the Hoffenheim game last weekend. His statements in Mainz now conveyed helplessness.
FC Bayern: Oliver Kahn attacks the team
Meanwhile, CEO Oliver Kahn seemed similarly helpless, but much more agitated and angry during his speeches in the mixed zone. Together with sports director Hasan Salihamidzic and President Herbert Hainer, he has a significant share in the devastating situation and is therefore now said to be at his disposal.
Perhaps also because he feels this pressure, Kahn protected the newly installed coach and his club management – and instead attacked the already hopelessly insecure team. “What have we tried in the second half of the season? Conversations, players, systems, tactics, change of coach,” Kahn listed. “In the end there are 11 men on the pitch who have to work their butts off for the goals of this club.”
In a way, Kahn is right about that. But at the same time one can also question whether all of the partly actionist attempts he listed were actually necessary and correct. For example, did the transfers made by the club management and, above all, the change of coach, have a really positive influence on developments? One thing is clear: FC Bayern’s toughest opponent in the fight for the title is not BVB – but FC Bayern itself.