Bayern Munich and Thomas Tuchel- the inevitable parting

With many observers waiting for an instant knee-jerk reaction on Sunday, the seemingly inevitable announcement has dropped that Thomas Tuchel and Bayern Munich are going to be parting ways- but at the end of the season. After three successive defeats and with an eight-point deficit behind Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, the writing was on the wall, but yet again interesting times lie ahead for FC Bayern.

The news that the Rekordmeister are parting company with Thomas Tuchel is the end of one disappointing chapter at Bayern, and the start of a new one. The reign of the former Mainz, Borussia Dortmund, PSG and Chelsea coach has always been one that seemed strained from the very start. The circumstances surrounding the sacking of Julian Nagelsmann meant that Tuchel (although the first-choice of Uli Hoeneß) was not a universally popular choice with fans and in a way he was always going to be compared to his predecessor. It is as if Tuchel has had a Sword of Damocles hanging over his head from day one with the pro-Nagelsmann crowd willing it to fall so they could be proved right.

That this season has been far from ideal for Bayern is however not all of Tuchel’s making and the Bundesliga triumph of last season only really papered over the cracks and the title was in effect lost by Dortmund as much as it was won by the Bavarians. The warning signs were there last season and the squad (even with the additions of Harry Kane and Kim-Min Jae) has not been one optimally set-up for the trainer. There is a revamp needed, and this is more of a board issue than any fault of Thomas Tuchel. He requested a ‘proper’ defensive number six and didn’t get one, while the club’s policy regarding the full  back berths has been odd to say the least.

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Bayern actually have four more points now than they did at the same stage last season, but no-one could have fully predicted just how awesome Bayer Leverkusen have been this season. For many years now we have been waiting for a club to raise their game to the level where Bayern can be properly challenged and it looks like this season we have had our wish granted. The rise of Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen has also shone a light on Bayern’s deficiencies in terms of squad, mentality and tactics. Injuries have been a real issue this season, but that is only part of the reason for the current crisis. 

“In a good, open discussion, we came to the decision to end our working relationship by mutual agreement in the summer,” club CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen explained. “Our goal is to pursue a new footballing direction with a new head coach for the 2024/25 season. Until then, every individual at the club is expressly called upon to achieve the maximum possible in the Champions League and Bundesliga. 

“I also explicitly hold the team accountable in this regard. In the Champions League in particular, after losing 1-0 in the first leg at Lazio, we are convinced we will reach the quarter-finals at a packed Allianz Arena with our fans behind us.”

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This is another way of saying things can’t go on like they are under Tuchel next season, faith in him has been lost, but sacking him now is just not feasible given that they don’t have a Plan B in their back pocket like they did with Nagelsmann. 

“We have agreed that we will end our working relationship at the end of this season,” Tuchel added. “Until then, I will of course continue to do everything I can with my coaching staff to achieve maximum success.” 

Dead man walking?

While not a complete surprise, the announcement does beg the question as to where this leaves Bayern going into the final stage of the season. There are already rumours that a group of players are against Tuchel and the knowledge that he is on his way could just further undermine him as Bayern still compete for the Bundesliga and the Champions League.

The news could be a big boost for Leverkusen with Bayern already starting to focus on next season, but on the other hand we often see teams improve when they are released from uncertainty. It would be hugely ironic if the Werkself suffered a collapse in form and Bayern somehow managed to claw back the title. 

Bayern will of course have Xabi Alonso firmly in their sights as their potential next coach, but they will face extremely stiff competition with another of the Spaniard’s former clubs Liverpool also hugely keen on him. Leverkusen will also do all they can to persuade him to stay and continue his amazing work at the Bay Arena.


About Mathew Burt 1058 Articles
Former writer at and JustFootball, I've been doing my thing for Bundesliga Fanatic since 2015. A long-suffering Werder Bremen fan and disciple of the Germanic holy trinity...Bier. Wurst und Fußball

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