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Thomas Tuchel starts at Bayern



Thomas Tuchel starts at Bayern

Kick-off for Thomas Tuchel: He only has four days to prepare FC Bayern for the duel with his former club Borussia Dortmund.

Thomas Tuchel was a bit late. Six minutes after the announced start of his first session as Bayern Munich coach, he entered the pitch – because of the uncomfortable temperatures of three degrees above zero, he came thickly wrapped up, with a hat and gloves. Tuchel hung a stopwatch and whistle around his neck, gave a short speech in front of the 13 players, including some from the youth – and off we went.

Time is pressing for Tuchel, on Saturday evening (6.30 p.m.) he has to prove against the leaders and his former club Borussia Dortmund that things are going better with him than under Julian Nagelsmann. But will he be able to move much by then? BVB sports director Sebastian Kehl considers that unlikely: Tuchel “doesn’t have that many opportunities to work on any tactical things,” he said on Tuesday.

At the same time, Tuchel was in his element. He gave Leroy Sane a friendly kick on the buttocks while warming up, and Bouna Sarr later got a headbutt. Above all, however, the new trainer immediately intervened energetically in the first exercises. He corrected the young players, but also Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who was well known to him. But: Thomas Müller and Joao Cancelo were the only field players from the professional squad.

Kehl on Tuchel: “It doesn’t matter”

480 kilometers as the crow flies from Säbener Strasse in Dortmund-Brackel, Kehl emphasized that none of this would “play a role”. “I don’t know if FC Bayern will be better with Thomas Tuchel on Saturday than before under Julian Nagelsmann.” From his point of view, the change will “not really affect the game” anyway, because, just like in Dortmund, “many national players are still on the road and many training sessions cannot take place”.

Kehl was already trying not to push the Tuchel personnel into the foreground. The BVB sports director quickly dismissed the fact that the new Munich coach was once unloved in Dortmund. “It doesn’t matter at all,” he said, “I think the issues from back then have long been forgotten and cleared up.” On Saturday it was “not a game against Thomas Tuchel, but a measurement of first place with second place”.

For the coach of second-placed FC Bayern, “the challenge” on Saturday “couldn’t be any greater,” says Tuchel. The game, he said, “has taken on a whole new level of explosiveness” due to “we’re behind in the table and BVB’s extraordinary run of results”. Yes, said Kehl, “it’s nice that we’ve gotten ourselves into this situation over the last few weeks, that we can make it such an exciting game”.

Dortmund, Kehl added, will be able to go to Munich “with a lot of confidence”, but one thing is clear to “everyone”: “The championship will not be decided at the weekend.”