The natural biting reflex was used to the fullest. He focused on the person in the white sports jacket and black cap and the question: What the hell was that supposed to mean?
On Saturday night, Thomas Tuchel, coach of the FC Bayern, to the too often overly cerebral (spoiler: the word will become important) Pep Guardiola, who often wanted to force something special into special matches when simple would have been more special. This time Tuchel's Bayern was destroyed by Bayer Leverkusen, 0-3, and of course that unleashed an avalanche of suspicions like Guardiola's back then.
Tuchel has to endure several accusations
So: Why did you choose Tuchel of all people? now A three-man chain that your team last practiced ten months ago? Wasn't it negligent to further confuse and disrupt an already fragile team? Furthermore, wasn't it a sign of weakness because the rival must take care of Bayern and not the other way around?
Why did Tuchel unnecessarily put the head of the stable defense, Matthijs de Ligt, on the bench to use Min-jae Kim (just returned from the Asian Cup), Dayot Upamecano (just returned from injury) and Sacha Boey (just returned signed), Boey? Also in a position he didn't even know about? Why was the experienced Raphael Guerreiro sitting next to De Ligt and why did the reaction come so late? In the 60th minute, with the score 0-2, Tuchel implemented the usual systemic basic order with the substitutions of Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Müller. He was also unsuccessful.
Müller got the best marks from Bayern, but only in the third part: when he burst into the microphones. The 34-year-old will soon replace Sepp Maier as the record champions' all-time record player; Müller has been there forever, he has won everything and then some, but you have never seen him so angry. In a sense, the man is now a kind of player-coach, and when he spoke to Sky, he not only spoke loudly, but even shouted.
Müller's interview directs Tuchel's attention towards the team
Müller disconnected: “There are some symptoms that can be seen on the field. So I'm angry. What I miss and that's why I say it publicly: in training we showed much better focus because we played with courage. But I'm missing some eggs in the game! Leverkusen simply bets, plays football and finds solutions. I expect the same from our team. You can feel the pressure, but it has to give you energy. We play from A to B, from B to C, and no one has freedom. We have a mentality in our game!
If qualities could be recognized in training, Müller shouted, then it would not be a question of tactics. “Then we also have to address the players. There were enough international-level players on the field, so we didn't need to go to the coach.” Müller was explicitly concerned with “decisions”, “a certain level of game intelligence” and “independence” on the football field. .
These were remarkable words because, although they were charged with emotion, they were not spoken out of emotion. Thomas Müller knows what he does and knows that what he says will have a public impact. Always. And especially in the form As He said it in Leverkusen.
Müller is a devastating testament to the inner workings of Bavaria
Although Müller diverted attention from Tuchel, the first and most important conclusion is: what the ennobled Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso has achieved, Tuchel has not yet achieved. He doesn't make players better. It is true that Tuchel's Bayern was the best second in the standings before the game Bundesliga-History, at least in hard currency, and that is what counts in sport. In football terms, however, the ten months in charge were mostly hard work, lacking spirit or ease.
Whoever listened to Alonso on Saturday could see a reflection of what he said about FC Bayern. In other words: Leverkusen's strengths are Munich's open flanks. “We did very well,” said Alonso, “the discipline and compactness were great, the boys' commitment was very high. We have a lot of energy, the players believe in it and that is what we want.”
In this sense, Müller's angry interview constitutes worrying, even devastating, testimony to the inner workings of Bavaria. Because it is evident that basic virtues and talents have been lacking for a long time, despite eleven championship titles, which sometimes hid problematic points. In Leverkusen, one of the most notable matches where the Munich team is traditionally in top form, captain Manuel Neuer highlighted “the worst performance in the most important match.” What could be observed was a group of individualists who gave themselves over to its dismantling, helpless, helpless and even a little apathetic.
FC Untrainable? After Flick and Nagelsmann now Tuchel
The fact that Müller used former Victory player Oliver Kahn's iconic saying “eggs” was certainly no coincidence. Capacity to suffer, resilience, will, will, total conviction: all the attributes that previous teams like the Champions League triumphs in 2001 with Kahn and Stefan Effenberg, the triple team in 2013 with Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Arjen Robben , Franck Ribéry, Müller and Neuer, as well as the 2020 Sextuple winners, seem to have been gradually lost to the club.
After Hansi Flick and Julian Nagelsmann, Tuchel threatens to become the third great German coach worn down in three years by an unbalanced and structurally difficult Bayern.
Perhaps the team's restructuring in the summer (will have to) be bigger than expected. With or without Tuchel.