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Can Thomas Tuchel deliver the treble for Bayern Munich?

In an extraordinary change of managers in mid-season, Julian Nagelsmann was dismissed from his role at Bayern Munich to be replaced by Thomas Tuchel. Can he deliver the treble?

Last updated: 25.03.2023
Can Thomas Tuchel deliver the treble for Bayern Munich

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Bayern Munich sacked Julian Nagelsmann almost a week after the club suffered a 2-1 defeat away at Bayer Leverkusen in Xabi Alonso’s reunion as the opposition manager. The loss was a frustrating one, if not devastating, which prevented Bayern to move top of the Bundesliga table ahead of a crucial title-deciding Der Klassiker against league leaders Borussia Dortmund. Even with the record champions only a point off their rivals and in the running for the Champions League this season, the board decided to part ways with Nagelsmann to be replaced by another German Thomas Tuchel.

The decision taken by the club’s CEO Oliver Kahn was not anticipated and the board member for sport Hasan Salihamidžić with the 35-year-old reportedly got the news of his foreseeing dismissal from social media rather than from the board itself. Later, the club confirmed on Friday about the sacking. Along with Nagelsmann, assistant coaches Dino Toppmöller, Benjamin Glück and Xaver Zembrod have also been released.

Nagelsmann Sacked


Julian Nagelsmann was appointed by Bayern Munich for a then-world-record fee of $26 Million in July 2021 from RB Leipzig in a five-year deal as one of the brightest young managers in the world. He was a much-wanted man for his excellent work at Leipzig and previously at Hoffenheim. The Bavarians thought they had made a statement appointment to take the club to even greater heights and have someone for a longer time to create a legacy. After failing to do the same with Pep Guardiola, Carlo Ancelloti or Hansi Flick.

Nagelsmann delivered the 31st Bundesliga title and the 10th in a row in his first season at the club but suffered a disappointing quarter final exit to Villarreal in the 2021/22 Champions League season. That could have put his job in jeopardy but Bayern kept faith in him. This season, the German giants were excellent in Europe winning all of their games and reaching the last eight once again. However, domestically the club shuddered. Especially after the winter break following the World Cup. Inconsistent results allowed Dortmund to overtake them on top of the table which became a threat to Bayern’s domination in the Bundesliga. Even though it was not enough to hit the panic button yet, the board decided to part ways with Julian with the Leverkusen defeat becoming the last throw of the dice.


Tuchel at Bayern

Bayern once again went back to old ways in bringing in an experienced Champions League-winning manager Thomas Tuchel to take the manager’s role. Tuchel, himself, was relieved of his duties at Chelsea in September 2022 on the back of a slow start to this season. The 49-year-old joined the English side in January 2021 and guided a struggling squad to the Champions League title. After an outstanding debut season, the next season was more of a downfall. The club went through a change of hands because of the war in Ukraine with disagreements between new owners ultimately opening the exit door for him.

Tuchel was in high demand just in case he was needed to fill in the hot seat for the interested clubs. That wait for the next big managerial job is over for him. At last, Bayern Munich seized the opportunity of his availability. The former Dortmund boss now at their rival’s helm will sign a contract until 30 June 2025 and will begin work with the squad from Monday next week. He is set to return to the Bundesliga after six years.

Treble chase

One of the big factors or the reason that Thomas was drafted in at Bayern mid-season was the opportunity for the side to win a treble. The feat they completed recently under Hansi Flick in the 2019/20 season. This will be a big challenge for Tuchel to repeat and we look at the possibility of him winning all the competition available to Bayern Munich this season.


DFB Pokal

The German cup might not be at the top of the agenda but Bayern Munich had to win it if they desire to complete the treble. They particularly also have not done very well in this competition since winning it in the 2019/20 season. The most successful club with 20 cup titles, Bayern have not even reached the semifinals of the competition in the past two seasons. Borussia Monchengladbach thrashed them 5-0 for their elimination in the second round last season, the same stage they lost a penalty shootout to second-division side Holstein Kiel a year prior. The club has made it to the quarterfinals this time around and play last year’s finalist Freiburg in the tie next month. Should Bayern progress from the tie, either Leipzig or Dortmund could meet in the semifinals but the winners from the last four tie between Stuttgart and Nurnberg will be preferred. Either way, Thomas Tuchel will face a strong and willing opponent in the final. This looks to be the most probable title to secure this season although a cup title will mean less if others are not achieved.                      


Bayern can afford to lose anything but their domination of the Bundesliga title for a decade now. For the very first time, they feel like losing the defense of their league title because of their own performance and rivals Borussia Dortmund putting in a hot streak of form to lead the table at the moment. The Bavarians are not out of the equation as just a point separates the two mammoth clubs of Germany in one of the most exciting title races ever witnessed. Julian Nagelsmann was fired on the view of not setting the same standards inside the team in the league. Therefore, if Tuchel fails to ensure Bayern’s hold on the Bundesliga with only nine games remaining, it will be a head-scratching moment for the board and questions will be raised about the managerial decision taken. Tuchel’s era starts with facing his ex-club Dortmund in Der Klassiker next weekend while challenging games against top-four challengers in Freiburg and Leipzig also to come. Their European venture could also come into play which Dortmund does not have to balance alongside the league. However, considering their arch-rivals have a bit trickier fixture list than them, Bayern could knock the league leaders off their perch provided they are consistent on their task.                         


Champions League  

Should they miss out on the Bundesliga, only a Champions League triumph will release the pressure on the board. It looks like a long shot at the moment if not impossible. For that, the squad has to perform at their absolute best and carry a strong mentality at this stage where the stakes are a lot higher than thought. Thomas Tuchel was brought in to instill those potentials inside the team which he showed in the unlikeliest of Champions League triumphs with Chelsea the season after he almost led Paris Saint-Germain to their first-ever title success in this competition. All of these caught the attention of the Bayern board and now that they have their man, the goal will be winning the silverware this term. A crunching double-legged quarter final battle with Manchester City to come next month and one of Real Madrid or Chelsea to face if they reach the semifinals prove the path in the contest is not at all easy. Tuchel will certainly be considered one of the best at Bayern and will increase his reputation in the sport if he manages to win the Champions League again to fulfill this colossal task of winning the treble this season.

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