Bayern Munich: Thomas Tuchel Replaces Julian Nagelsmann – Forbes

Thomas Tuchel (l.) is set to replace Julian Nagelsmann (r.) at Bayern Munich (Photo credit should … [+] read SASCHA SCHUERMANN/AFP via Getty Images)
Bayern Munich is set to replace head coach Julian Nagelsmann with Thomas Tuchel. An initial report by Fabrizio Romano was quickly confirmed by various German outlets, including Bild, Kicker, and Transfermarkt. Nagelsmann, who is currently on a ski holiday in Austria, will be officially informed by the club on Friday, and at that point, a club statement can also be expected.
The sacking of the 35-year-old head coach ends an expensive experiment by Bayern. The Rekordmeister signed Nagelsmann in 2021 from rivals RB Leipzig for what was a record transfer fee at the time for a coach understood to be in the region of €25 million ($27 million).
At first glance, the move to fire Nagelsmann at this stage seems surprising. Bayern is just one point behind Dortmund in the title race. In the Champions League, the German giants won eight out of eight games, conceding just two goals and keeping a clean sheet against giants like Inter Milan, Barcelona, and PSG—the only team to score against Bayern was tiny Viktoria Plzen from the Czech Republic.
In fact, of the remaining Champions League games, Bayern would undoubtedly be considered the favorites to win the competition. Under Nagelsmann, Bayern has dominated every opponent, and the recent tie against PSG, in particular, was impressive.
But there is also a flip side. As good as Bayern has been in Europe, there have been several instances this season where the Rekordmeister stumbled in the Bundesliga. Most recently, the performances against Gladbach and Leverkusen come to mind.
While Dayot Upamecano’s red card can excuse the defeat to Gladbach, the performance against Leverkusen, particularly, concerned the Bayern bosses. In that game, Nagelsmann was outcoached by Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso. Although Leverkusen has struggled at times this season, and Alonso still makes mistakes at times, the game highlights that a clever tactician seems to see through the still-inexperienced Nagelsmann.
Expectations are that Bayern Munich will announce on Friday that they have sacked head coach Julian … [+] Nagelsmann (Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
“This is not what FC Bayern is all about,” Bayern’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said after the game. “There was so little drive, mentality, duels. This team is so good when the mentality is there right from the start, but just as bad when they don’t show mentality and think they can do everything just with their quality.”
The Leverkusen game, in fact, may have sealed a process that has been going on for some time. Too many times this season, Bayern seemed to fall off their very high standards. Good performances in the Champions League were followed by poor games in the Bundesliga.
Then there is talent development. Bayern signed young up-and-coming Mathys Tel and Ryan Gravenberch last summer. Neither has been given the time by Nagelsmann to show their talent. But it was not just the talent that struggled to make their marks. João Cancelo, considered a steal within the industry, struggled under Nagelsmann, adding further consternation among the decision-makers at the Säbener Straße.
Listening to people in and around Munich, it becomes quickly apparent that this might have been a decision that was not made overnight. Tuchel, who has been available since September, has lived in the Bavarian capital for a few weeks. As reports grew that he might take on another club soon, Bayern might have just made an opportunistic decision to secure the right coach now rather than being without an alternative later this season.
For Tuchel, it is the second chance to take over the Rekordmeister. The 49-year-old was already closely linked to Bayern in 2018, but a move did not materialize. This time the deal appears to be done, but whether all sides will be happy with the decision remains to be seen.
After all, Tuchel, just like Nagelsmann, is a man of his principles and can be controversial off the pitch. But Tuchel has also successfully navigated difficult projects like PSG and Chelsea. Perhaps that will be different as Bayern has secured an older, more experienced version of Nagelsmann at a moment when all goals this season are still within reach.
Manuel Veth is the host of the Bundesliga Gegenpressing Podcast and the Area Manager USA at Transfermarkt. He has also been published in the Guardian, Newsweek, Howler, Pro Soccer USA, and several other outlets. Follow him on Twitter: @ManuelVeth







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