Bayern Munich have sacked Julian Nagelsmann and appointed Thomas Tuchel as the new manager, with the 49-year-old contracted until 2025.
Julian Nagelsmann has the highest ‘points per game’ ratio from a sacked manager in Europe’s top five leagues, and leaves Bayern Munich with a Bundesliga title and two German Super Cup’s to his name after just 20 months in charge.
The manager was so young with such promise and had been signed on a five-year deal due to the long-term project himself and the club wanted.
After the World Cup, the performances and results became ‘less attractive and successful’ according to Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn. A loss last week to Bayer Leverkusen saw the Bavarians drop one point below Borussia Dortmund with nine games to play.
That was enough for a reaction from Bayern Munich, and with other European clubs sniffing around Thomas Tuchel, they reacted fast and direct, capturing his signature and parting with Nagelsmann and his long-term plans.
The appointment has been greeted by a lot of uproar by the fanbase, with many claiming that Bayern Munich act like ‘Hollywood FC’ and have no loyalty. The decision itself has been called disgusting, disgraceful and groundless by some.
Despite this, the appointment of Thomas Tuchel is exciting. He has an awe-inspiring CV which stirs hope around the Munich fanbase.
The German will be thrown straight into the deep end and his whole tenure could be defined in his first month in charge. It is crucial he establishes an effective working relationship with his star-studded squad as early as possible.
Tuchel’s first game is against his former club and Bayern Munich rivals, Borussia Dortmund, in an early title decider where the winner will claim top spot before the final eight games.
Just over a week later, he will go head-to-head with Pep Guardiola in the Champions League. Tuchel took over Chelsea half-way through a season and won the Champions League the same year, beating Guardiola’s Manchester City in the final – can he do it again?
His CV doesn’t just include his Champions League win that proves the instant effect he can have on a football club, but he also boasts success at PSG and Dortmund.
He won six trophies in Paris, signed superstar Kylian Mbappe and took the Parisians closer than they’ve ever came to a Champions League – all under the chaotic ownership of Qatar Sports Investments.
He won the Champions League with the Blues, as well as the Super Cup, Club World Cup and finishing runners up in the FA Cup twice and the EFL Cup.
He did all of this in a short space of time, whilst having to deal with ownership change at Chelsea due to the war between Russia and Ukraine which ultimately resulted in his sacking; which was deemed harsh by many.
He won the DFB-Pokal at Dortmund and individually has won the Bundesliga, German, FIFA, and UEFA ‘Coach of the Year’ awards across his career.
So how does Tuchel CHANGE Bayern? Can he win the triple within his first three months in charge?
The new manager has a lot of pressure for success at Bayern Munich, which is solely what he was brought in for. There certainly be expectation after what his CV boasts, the fantastic squad at his disposal and after the huge risk Bayern Munich took sacking Julian Nagelsmann in order to get him in.
In his first press conference, Thomas Tuchel sounded optimistic of his chances of winning trophies: “They (Bayern) are one of the best clubs in the world. Their DNA is about winning and the way (that they win), but firstly about winning,
“The responsibilities are clear and there is absolutely no misunderstanding. The squad assembled by Bayern is one of the most talented and best squads in Europe. You can challenge for every title with this squad,
“That puts me under pressure but at Bayern it’s about winning all the titles. We are here to win all the titles.”
Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn added to the inspiring nature Tuchel has had, commenting: “He led Paris Saint-Germain to the Champions League final, at Chelsea he was successful from the start, won the Champions League. That’s an impressive CV.”
The scene is set, the hype is there, but how does Tuchel achieve this tactically? Can he deal with a squad that has struggled with injuries and can he get the best out of players like Sadio Mane?
Nobody knows how Tuchel will line-up because although he has been relatively stubborn at times, he has shown great flexibility to adapt to the players at his disposal, hence why he has great short-term success.
He could use a 4-2-2-2 like he did at times at PSG, he could use a 3-4-3 like his tactical approach at Chelsea, or he could use a 4-2-3-1 which seems to be most popular among fans and the board at Bayern Munich.
The 4-2-3-1 seems more likely, because Lucas Hernandez has an injury which leaves him side-lined until the next campaign, leaving Tuchel with less depth at centre-back than he had at Chelsea.
The 4-2-3-1 also allows him to get the best out of Mane, who could play out on the left similarly to his position at Liverpool, or more centrally. With Sane, Coman, Musiala, Muller, Gnabry and Choupo-Moting all wanting minutes, having four players tasked with attacking suits the Bavarians.
The 3-4-3 could also work, with Pavard slipping into centre-back. The strengths of this formation is how important Alphonso Davies and Joao Cancelo can be. They are both full backs who like to get forward with the pace to get back and if Tuchel can get them playing at their best – they could be too hot to handle.
A 4-2-2-2 would allow the creative sparks in the team, like Musiala, to excel. All the above formations would have Goretzka and Kimmich to keep the midfield balanced and controlled.
As far as signings go, there are many reports coming out suggesting that Tuchel could be looking to raid his former club Chelsea who are looking to balance the books after their huge influx of signings under Todd Boehly. So, who could Tuchel want?
He could look to get the best out of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Mason Mount. Aubameyang is reportedly desperate to get out of West London and has worked with Tuchel before. Mason Mount has had rumours circling around his future for a while now, with Liverpool reportedly interested.
Another player that Tuchel has worked with at Dortmund and Chelsea, is Christian Pulisic. The American international netted 19 times and registered 22 assists during Tuchel’s reign at Stamford Bridge and could be out of favour at Chelsea this summer.
Kai Havertz has scored crucial goals under Tuchel’s management but hasn’t quite cut it yet in the Premier League, and a move to Bayern and Germany could really suit him. Kovacic is another midfielder who is technically excellent but could be offloaded soon from the Blues.
Tuchel’s reign at Bayern will be interesting from every angle. How will he set up, who will he sign and what will he achieve is all unknown, but his first month at the club should be a good indicator to whether the sacking of Nagelsmann was worth it.