Thomas Tuchel – the man-eater?
Every week there are new rumours about Thomas Tuchel and FC Bayern. In terms of technical and tactical expertise – there’s not much to discuss – Tuchel is one of the country’s top three coaches. Of all the candidates, he is the coach who could best continue Guardiola’s philosophy. Additionally, he is the only coach who has seriously jeopardised FC Bayern’s title run in recent years.
He collected 78 points in his first year at Borussia Dortmund before losing his entire spine. Thomas Müller once told Mats Hummels that this BVB was very exhausting and annoying. It was an unbelievable achievement for FC Bayern to keep BVB at a distance week after week and so it was that the Dortmund team finally collapsed late in the season.
Nevertheless, Tuchel proved that he was able to implement development and change in a very short period of time. He turned Klopp’s Counterpressing-Borussia into his Ball-Possession-Borussia in a few weeks. It would have been exciting to see where the development would have gone if he had been able to keep at least two of his key players.
But why does Bayern not strike when there is such a perfect sporting solution on the market? Quite simply, because Tuchel has not gained a good reputation at both Mainz and Dortmund from an interpersonal perspective.
Especially the stories from Dortmund allow for justified doubts. These stories are all the more believable since they came not only from possibly frustrated substitute players, but from many different sides of the club. Given this history, FC Bayern has to consider whether Tuchel is capable of developing his character.
From the external point of view, it is therefore not possible to evaluate the discussions the club has already had with him. If they were not fully convinced that Tuchel might fit, then the community would have to accept that.
And yet the thought remains that van Gaal was not an easy character either. He brought a revolution to Munich and laid the foundation for an era. Such a cornerstone is needed again. Someone who can establish the tried and tested and build through new ideas and thoughts. That may well be Tuchel. Maybe that’s why this risk would be worth it. However, he would then also need some room to maneuver, which he would have to be granted by the board of directors.
We have also talked about other alternatives that would not be available in 2018. Therefore, Tuchel could either become a longterm solution, or the club may realize in time that he does not fit in Munich. In this case, there would be completely different perspectives a year later. As much as Tuchel can be criticized for his character and his past, it is unlikely that the 44-year-old’s engagement could destroy anything in the club. There would be enough ways out of the situation.
Ralph Hasenhüttl and Jürgen Klopp – the outsiders!
The names Hasenhüttl and Klopp have also been mentioned several times. Both are, however, only to be considered as outsiders in the race for the coaching position. While Klopp is currently working meticulously on a team that is far from finished, Hasenhüttl has removed himself from the rumor mill. According to the coach of RB Leipzig, he is by no means ready for a bigger club and felt that this season, especially in the Champions League. These statements make him interesting for the future because he demonstrates a healthy self-reflection.
However, there is also the question of the tactics for both. Klopp’s counter-pressing football is certainly an exciting game, but it would require more radical change than is actually planned. The Bayern squad is designed for dominant possession football. It would therefore also require a medium-sized personnel restructuring. It is doubtful whether this is the way to go.
Hasenhüttl is a bit closer to reality. He has been able to bring creative elements of the possession game to his team. There would also be a tactical change with him, but it would not be as big as with Klopp. This remains an exciting alternative for the future, if and when he feels ready.
Tried and tested or daring? There is a risk either way.
FC Bayern has several alternatives, but all of them have their disadvantages. If Heynckes could actually be persuaded, he would not be a bad solution, but still one that is terribly uncreative and potentially dangerous. Even if he were to be trusted with everything, a difficult year could threaten. Tuchel, on the other hand, would not only be a new idea, but also a coach who fits in with the club’s recent past. For him, the risk results from the interpersonal problems of recent years. Can he develop and learn from it? Hasenhüttl expressed himself relatively clearly, but perhaps FC Bayern may still be able to convince him. He could be a little surprise in the race for the coach’s chair.
If the record champion does not want to take the risk with Tuchel and if Hasenhüttl insists there is no chance, they may need an alternative that has not been mentioned anywhere. Abroad, there are also options, but the language seems to be an important factor for Bayern. Löw would be the ideal candidate because he embodies a path between Heynckes and Tuchel. However, his commitment in 2018 is even more improbable than an extension of Jupp Heynckes. It is an unbelievably complex and accursed search for a coach, which FC Bayern is operating or rather should be operating.
If one only looks at his own front door, one is forced to come back to Tuchel as the best solution. A new van Gaal that could lay the foundation for a new era.
Heynckes is publicly named as the only option, but can Hoeneß really be so naïve that he does not draw up any other plans in the background? If that were the only solution, you’d have to question the whole club. Not only because of the 10% probability, but also because it gives other candidates the impression that they are only second choice. Professionalism looks different.
Whether it’s an unnecessary smokescreen in the media or lack of a plan – both are bordering on a level of shame that can hardly be surpassed. The fact is that the future of the club will be decided in the summer. There will be many personnel decisions. One of the most important ones is the coach’s position, and the club would do well to announce the course it has taken for the next few years.