Rumours have it that FC Bayern have to find and announce a new coach soon as Jupp Heynckes is expected to stay only until this summer. There have been conflicting reports who will take over. Here is why Thomas Tuchel would be a good fit for the Bavarians.
A master tactician
Thomas Tuchel may be a divisive character in German football, but there can be no question regarding his abilities. He is a man who can organize his team and get them to play some great football, and he can adapt to many situations. If you did not enjoy his clashes with Pep Guardiola while Tuchel was on the other side coaching Borussia Dortmund, you probably do not like football that much.
Those were some of the most intense and interesting tactical battles in recent years in the Bundesliga and games were often decided by one player’s individual brilliance. Tuchel did not actually have a great record against Guardiola, but no Bundesliga manager did at the time. He was one of the few managers in Germany who were able to make things truly interesting and take the game to Bayern when they were arguably at their peak.
His teams tend to be very flexible as well, which is something Bayern’s most successful coaches in recent history have done. Both Jupp and Pep will sometimes switch a formation in a match if something is not going right. Tuchel was well known for changing things up with both Mainz and Dortmund to the game at hand.
If Bayern learned anything from the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti, it is that they will always benefit from a tactician who has a clear plan and philosophy. The Italian’s relaxed approach simply did not suit the Bavarians, and someone like Tuchel can add to the attacking philosophy the club has tried to push for.
A pedigree of success
At the end of the day, this is important. Tuchel wins matches and has elevated every club he has been to so far, always leaving as one of their historically most successful coaches. Granted, he has not managed a club as big as Bayern but this should not diminish his accomplishments.
He has been the most successful coach in Mainz’s history, averaging 1.41 points per game. He also left Dortmund with a tremendous record of 68 wins, 23 draws, and 17 defeats in 108 games. That gives Tuchel a win percentage of 62.96%.
Not bad, considering that when he had taken over BVB they were 7th in the Bundesliga.
Thomas Tuchel also performed well in Europe with Dortmund, beating both Porto and Tottenham in the knockout stages. While he never won any titles in Europe, his Dortmund side performed well and did it with style, playing attractive attacking football.
A manager and a coach
Sometimes, a coach is a great manager and tactician but not exactly the best coach on personal terms. Even the best can handle the personalities of their players and have a system set in place, but struggle with individual players or at adapting their play to a new system.
A great recent example of this is James Rodríguez. When Zinédine Zidane took over Real Madrid, he brought in a specific kind of football and has largely had nothing but success in the Spanish capital. A massive casualty to his style was James. Zidane simply saw the Colombian as a #10 or perhaps an inside winger, neither of which he had much use for.
Since James arrived in Munich and has worked with Jupp Heynckes, his game has completely changed. Jupp worked with him closely and diligently and his game has evolved such that he can now play as a central midfielder. Ironically, someone who might fit in quite well into Zidane’s system.
The point to all this is to say that a truly great manager can also coach individual players to spark fantastic improvement. Jérôme Boateng would probably not be the player he is today without Pep Guardiola, and Pep brought many players up individually at his time in Bavaria.
Thomas Tuchel is a coach who can do this as well. He was a very key component in the development of one of Dortmund’s current midfield gems, Julian Weigl and Christian Pulisic, all of which was required after the massive turnover in players as Mats Hummels, Ilkay Gündogan, and Henrikh Mikhitaryan all ended up leaving Dortmund.
Even though their stars kept leaving, Tuchel always managed to find a solution and he left Dortmund in good shape when he eventually parted ways with the club. A big reason for this was his ability to coach players individually.
He ticks all the right boxes
Outside of all the footballing reasons, Tuchel fits the bill in other ways as well. The Bayern bosses have said that the next coach will be German, and they clearly want someone who has experience in both the Bundesliga and in Europe. They also will want a coach who has a history with some of the bigger clubs.
There are lots of great candidates for the job, like Julian Nagelsmann. If we are going with the most likely criteria that Bayern is looking for, he probably does not make the cut simply because he has not had much success or time in European competition… yet.
Thomas Tuchel ticks all the boxes. He is German, he has been very successful, he has produced good results in Europe, he plays good attacking football, and perhaps most importantly he currently does not have a job. Not only that, but if reports are accurate, both Jupp Heynckes and Pep Guardiola, the two most successful managers in recent history, believe he is the right man.
It just makes too much sense.
The purpose of this article is not necessarily to say that it is a for sure thing that Tuchel will be the next manager of Bayern Munich, but there are many legitimate reasons to want him.