Bayern Munich’s 3-1 loss to RB Leipzig on the penultimate matchday of the Bundesliga season was perhaps the most massive blow since Thomas Tuchel has taken over as manager of the club for Julian Naglesmann. The club did fall out of both the DFB-Pokal and Champions League shortly after the board and front office decided to make the managerial switch so abruptly, but the Bundesliga title potentially slipping away is an incredibly bitter pill to swallow.
This would be the first time since the Jurgen Klopp era at Dortmund that a club besides Bayern would be lifting the Meisterschale. All of Bayern’s shortcomings this season, whether under Nagelsmann or Tuchel’s watch, would be compounded into Bayern’s first season since 2012 without silverware, but even then, they finished second in all three competitions. That wouldn’t be the case this time around if they lose out to Dortmund in the league after getting knocked out of both cups before the semi-finals.
After the defeat to RB Leipzig last weekend, tensions were at their highest — the highest they’ve been since Tuchel took charge back in March. The Bundesliga title was put in to serious jeopardy and harsh questions were asked by the press following the loss, but Tuchel started to come out in defense of himself, saying that a lot of the problems at the club already existed before he even arrived midway through the Rückrunde.
“We lost this game, completely lost and that’s because of our behavior. If we lose, I want to lose against a better team, a better form of the day. I don’t want to lose because the game just slips through our hands. Because nobody does what makes us strong and what also makes a team strong,” he had ranted after the Leipzig loss, suggesting that his players lacked the right mentality to close out the game, resulting in the 3-1 loss (via Tz).
In the same line of questioning Tuchel faced about the teams sputtering performance levels, Tuchel slightly absolved himself of some blame, at least indirectly, by explaining that the root problems existed well before he took over as manager of Bayern. “If everything had been fine, there would have been no need to change coaches,” he said, insinuating that he had little to do with the pre-existing problems at the club.
Sport Bild’s Christian Falk was recently on “Lage der Liga” and analyzed Tuchel’s remark about the club making the decision to bring him in to replace Nagelsmann because of the problems that were already evident. “That was the first time that there was a small tip against Nagelsmann. Translated, that means: what there is now, everything to work through, Tuchel just does not manage in the short time,” Falk said.
“Tuchel has never kicked up a fuss. But now you notice how thin-skinned he becomes and that it slowly comes up. He always says he’s in charge now, but it’s already come through that he’s not responsible for everything that’s happening now, because he’s only been there for a few weeks,” Falk continued in his assessment of the situation.