myHe had already been sitting in the press room on Säbener Straße for more than 13 minutes when the event that was usually talked about there first arrived: the next match. “Serge is still out, Phonzy is absent, Sacha Boey is absent, Nous Mazraoui is absent, Kingsley Coman is absent, Upa is unfortunately suspended and Konni returns to training after six and can be in the team,” that's what it says Thomas Tuchel. the football coach said FC Bayern Munichwho will be with his team on Saturday afternoon (6:30 p.m. in FAZ live ticker for the Bundesliga and on Sky) against RB Leipzig, fifth in the Bundesliga.

But this Friday afternoon no Säbener Strasse journalist wanted to know from Tuchel who could play instead of central defender Dayot Upamecano and what would really happen this week. Thomas muller because everyone knew that it couldn't be the next game yet.

So from the beginning.

When Thomas Tuchel and Dieter Nickles, club spokesperson, entered the press room, they couldn't help but smile. “Is there a place for everyone?” Nickles asked, looking at the 20 black chairs, which, unlike usual, were all occupied. And Tuchel, the football coach, who knows this week that he is leaving FC Bayern, a club where he has worked since March 2023, I have to leave again after this season.? Meanwhile, she poured water into her glass and took a long sip. She then answered questions for almost 25 minutes and gave her perspective.

A look at Tuchel's thinking

The first interrogator Nickles gave the floor to was Torben Hoffmann, a former professional football player and now a reporter for the Sky sports channel, who wanted to know how “this event” came about. Tuchel responded like this: “How did it come about? We spoke on Tuesday, we informed the team on Wednesday and then we informed you.” And although Tuchel did not want to speak on Friday about all the topics that were discussed on Tuesday and Wednesday (“Those responsible know my analysis. It is also a very self-critical analysis. It is not an analysis for the public”), he addressed enough topics to give an idea of ​​his thinking.

In his first response, he explained why he thought the decision was made against him: “We are not happy with the way we are playing. We are not satisfied with the total points and the three defeats in a row.” He then explained why he does not see it as simply a decision against him. “I think it is not a clear picture. I think that if there was a clear picture and a clear culprit “In this case: the coach, then someone else would be sitting here today. I think that's also what the decision implies.”

And now? It is a new situation, Tuchel said, for him, for his coaching staff, for his team. He hopes the situation brings freedom. And then he said one of the most interesting phrases, which he repeated later in a similar way: “It definitely brings it to the coach: a freedom in decisions, a freedom in the way of acting.”

It was about Joshua Kimmichthe midfielder who sees himself as a six-man, but who was never the six-man that Tuchel wanted (“Josh is an extremely important player, a leader and I think that not even in the last few games Josh has reached his peak form , and “There is nothing to say.” It was about a possible loss of authority as a result of the decision (“That would say more about the player than about my authority.”) And then the new freedom of choice was talked about again.

“The situation is definitely changing,” Tuchel said. “There is no longer a need to weigh your decisions and what their long-term effects will be. Now everything can be trained like in a cup match. From match to match. A team decision, a substitution, a substitution, that no longer has any long-term effect on me personally.” And as he said so clearly more than once, this Saturday afternoon people will pay special attention to who they let play , and who doesn't.

The man who was allowed to ask the first question was allowed to ask the last: Torben Hoffmann. He was interested in the influence of long-term impact on a coach's decisions. “Whether someone plays at 18 or 19, at 25 or at 30, it's a different way of interaction,” Tuchel said, addressing Hoffmann and everyone else directly: “If Thomas Müller is on the bench, is he What are the questions?” When Hoffmann responded to this, Tuchel became a little emotional for the first time during lunch. “You are the first to make a difference: who is replaced? Did you replace it? Then there will be a special program about it for a week and writing about it for a week.”

And let's put it this way: if Thomas Müller doesn't play this Saturday, Tuchel will have to answer questions about Thomas Müller. And if his team does not win the game, the question may be completely different: whether Tuchel will be able to continue until the end of the season.

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