FC Bayern Munich beat BVB 4-2 and everything is fine again? Thomas Tuchel sees things differently. Also because the coach knows that he has to close some construction sites at FCB in the coming weeks. SPOX shows five of them.
Thomas Tuchel spoke of a “mood dampener” after Bayern Munich’s 4-2 win over Borussia Dortmund. The coach was referring primarily to the two unnecessary goals conceded in the final phase. In any case, Tuchel tried not to get too euphoric. He was satisfied with the result, but only partially with the performance.
“He internalized this club in two days,” said Uli Hoeneß in the table football about the new man on the sidelines – even though the honorary president went a long way before he could get used to the idea of Tuchel coaching his club. In 2018 he described those who “wanted to talk Thomas Tuchel or whoever he wanted as a dream coach” in the AZ still as a “smart guy”.
It took two press conferences and a commanding victory over BVB for FC Bayern’s world to be in order again, at least on the football field. For the moment. Because Tuchel’s cautious analysis shows that he is aware of the seriousness of this challenge. This victory was a “good first step”, said the 49-year-old sky.
With the result, he gained more hours and days in his tight schedule to tackle the many, at least minor, problems that he encountered despite the success.
FC Bayern Munich: Ball possession game “jittery and wild”
On the sidelines, Tuchel didn’t even celebrate the 1-0, which was the result of a mistake by Gregor Kobel. Again and again he pressed his hands down to signal the team to remain calm. Unlike his predecessor, however, he did not use every opportunity to communicate with the players. It wasn’t particularly active coaching. Tuchel’s motto at the beginning: keep things simple. Clear roles on the pitch, no complicated tactical guidelines.
And yet what FC Bayern brought to the pitch was too “jittery and a bit too wild”, as he later admitted: “We wanted more dominance.” The ball possession game is his top priority, even if that was often not evident against BVB with only 48.5 percent ball possession.
But Tuchel is also tackling a task that is likely to be difficult, at least in the short term. After all, since Pep Guardiola, no FC Bayern coach has placed much value on a calm and dominant ball presentation. A very dynamic and vertical style of play was developed under Hansi Flick and Julian Nagelsmann.
FC Bayern did not define itself primarily through footballing qualities, but rather through athletic qualities. Counter-pressing and powerful attacks on good days became the hallmark of the team, which is led by players like Leon Goretzka. Born in Bochum, he stands for a change in Munich’s transfer policy. In midfield in particular, more and more players were signed who are very active between the penalty areas, fight a lot of duels and ideally also pose a goal threat. When Thiago left the club in 2020, the last player of his kind left: a real pacesetter and director.
With Tuchel, a return could now take place. Or at least the attempt to combine the athletic qualities with more elements of the calm ball possession game. Because that will be necessary with players like Goretzka. If he doesn’t come up with experimental ideas – like moving João Cancelo to midfield. Against Dortmund, Tuchel saw that the line between fast offensive play and hectic pace is fine. Calmness, patience, a somewhat stricter positional play and more ball control – that’s what he wants to see from Bayern now. For this, one or the other player will have to act more disciplined. For example Joshua Kimmich, who noticeably reduced his offensive drive against BVB.
The initially positive chaos that Flick brought with his extremely offensive philosophy led to many titles under favorable circumstances. But when the frenzy was over, Bayern lacked stability. Nagelsmann couldn’t bring her back. Perhaps Tuchel’s game idea is more suitable for this.
FC Bayern Munich: Loss of rhythm due to change
Just like Nagelsmann, Tuchel also had to accept against Dortmund that he cannot make a change without the rhythm of the Bayern game changing. The squad of Munich is as wide as it hasn’t been for a long time. After all, the coach did not bring any youth players, but Serge Gnabry and Sadio Mané. He later followed up with Cancelo and Jamal Musiala, and Ryan Gravenberch, who got a few minutes, is anything but your average kicker.
Nevertheless, Bayern once again noticed that the changes didn’t give them any momentum. On the one hand, the clear lead may have played a role. On the other hand, this has also been a problem in tighter games in the past.
Actually, a bank like this should be able to keep the promise to increase the pace again in the final phase. But this season, changes seem more like a risk. It will be Tuchel’s task to use the squad in its breadth and to ignite this additional energy that has been lacking so far.
FC Bayern Munich: Form dents of important players
In addition to tactical issues, the 2021 Champions League winner will also be challenged on an individual level. He seems to have found a connection to Leroy Sané in a short time. Even if not everything worked for the attacker, he was one of the decisive players against BVB. Now it will be a matter of doing the same with Mané, Gnabry or Cancelo.
Tuchel emphasized several times that it is important to him to put the players in positions in which they feel comfortable. The time factor will make his work more difficult. In the coming days there is no game in which any experiments or building actions would be possible.
And so Tuchel has to hope that these players will regain their self-confidence and their form through bets from the bench. Here, too, it could be beneficial that the former Chelsea coach initially relies on simple measures to ensure a structural framework. This can bring one or the other player back into a kind of comfort zone where it is easier to bring in your own strengths. On the way to more stability, Tuchel will need exactly that from those who recently had too much form fluctuations. “We have to make sure that we get as many players as possible in as little time as possible,” he explained at the press conference before the Freiburg game.
FC Bayern Munich: Problems with the squad?
Having so many players available to him can also be a curse. Nagelsmann should no longer be a Bayern Munich coach because he failed to give every player the feeling that their role was right for them. Dealing with such a wide squad is not easy as a coach.
Tuchel has the experience to do it. But he too will very soon be confronted with one or the other problem. Benjamin Pavard recently seemed to be the big winner under Nagelsmann. The Frenchman played as a central defender again. “He promised to let me play as a central defender in the back three, which is where I’ve always wanted to play,” Pavard said in an interview Telefoot. Under Tuchel he had to play on the right defensive side again. A role he didn’t really want to play anymore. This is one of the reasons why there were always rumors of a change. Is this unrest threatening again?
There is at least one full-back in the squad in João Cancelo. And the Portuguese was noticeably pissed off after beating BVB 4-2. No party with the fans, a quick walk to the dressing room and finally he was the first player to leave the stadium – Cancelo is not happy with his situation. “I love João Cancelo, I’ve had to play against him too often,” said Tuchel: “He has absolutely the highest quality, left foot, right foot, passing. He’s a different type of player than Benji Pavard. He can also play on the left in the back four.” He will be needed and he is “convinced that he can play at the top level for us”.
The coach already has a keen sense of who he needs to focus more on and when. As long as the results are correct, Tuchel will have all the arguments on his side anyway. But it gets exciting when he experiences his first low in Munich. Even against BVB there were the first small signs of possible unrest.
FC Bayern Munich: Thomas Müller is still (still) playing
One sentence apparently never gets old in Munich: Müller always plays. Louis van Gaal once coined this motto when the attacker was still considered a young talent. Over the years, Müller has become the leader of the offensive, playing an important role even under Pep Guardiola, although there were initially doubts about it.
But the Catalan appreciated the qualities of the space interpreter. Especially since Müller is underestimated almost worldwide, especially technically. He is an excellent passer and playmaker. Almost all coaches then failed because of Müller. Either they didn’t find a suitable role for him or it didn’t seem to work out as a person.
But his debut under Tuchel was promising. Here, too, Tuchel has returned to what Guardiola once did with Müller: In the 4-1-4-1 he created a very freely interpretable role as a half-right eight. There, the FCB veteran can influence all phases of the game. And indeed, against BVB, a lot revolved around him. Not only because of his two goals, but also and especially because of that.
Realizing that Muller is one of the main keys of this squad is the first step to success for a new Bayern coach. What was once true under van Gaal is apparently still true in 2023. The question is what impact this will have on someone like Jamal Musiala. “It’s a lot of fun working with him,” Tuchel gave an insight into his plans with the top talent: “He’s good at stealing balls. He has many ways to play, whether on the eight, the ten or the Wing.”
It’s the mixture of confidence and smaller “mood dampeners” that makes Tuchel’s second week at Bayern much more exciting than the first. Every coach has managed to win at home against BVB in recent years. You could almost say that it was the perfect game to start with. But even now it counts. Because in the two upcoming games against Freiburg, Munich must show the stability that they have been missing recently.
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