Tensions around Bayern grow, but Tuchel is talking about striking back-Xinhua

Tensions around Bayern grow, but Tuchel is talking about striking back

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-02-11 21:54:00

by Oliver Trust

BERLIN, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- The atmosphere was tense and fragile at the Bayern Munich headquarters following a 3-0 defeat to Leverkusen, leaving the team in a state of introspection ahead of their UEFA Champions League last-16 match against Lazio.

The loss seemed to weigh heavily on the squad, with only two days to recover before facing the 2020 treble winners' next crucial challenge.

In the aftermath of the match, Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel reflected on the team's spirit and their pursuit of the 2024 German league title. "It's a painful evening, no doubt. But we are far from giving up on this," he stated, conveying a mix of defiance and resilience.

Criticism quickly mounted against Tuchel and the team, with accusations of poor lineup decisions and a lack of spirit. Thomas Muller, the club icon, expressed his frustration openly, noting a mental burden affecting the team's performance.

"We are not free in our heads on the pitch. We do play joyfully in our training sessions, but as soon as we are in competitive action, we act like we are burdened by some unimaginable weight on our shoulders," the striker said.

"I expect more from us players; this is disillusioning; I am annoyed, can't tell you how much," the 2014 world cuhampion added.

While the Bayern coach's counterpart Xabi Alonso was praised for his surprising tactical approach to doing without a traditional box-striker and relying on fast wingers and an intensively pressing midfield, Tuchel faced criticism due to his appointing newcomers such as Sacha Boey while leaving out established forces such as Muller and Joshua Kimmich.

Tuchel gambled away the game, the sports magazine kicker wrote, while the tabloid Bild spoke about an "oath of disclosure."

As a fact, the upcoming Champions League encounter against Lazio has turned into a do-or-die issue for the Bayern coach. Reports say the former Paris and Chelsea coach won't survive a title-less season despite his contract at Bayern running until 2025.

Ahead of Wednesday's first of two knock-out games, Bayern's Chairman Jan-Christian Dreesen with ostentation backed their coach by saying: "We have full trust in his work."

Key players, including Manuel Neuer, Kimmich, and Muller, have voiced the need for a significant turnaround. The situation recalls 2012's pivotal moment after a defeat by Borussia Dortmund, leading to a decisive bolstering of the squad that secured 11 consecutive national titles. Now, facing a similar crossroads, Bayern is compelled to contemplate significant changes to avert a title-less season.

With 13 league games and the Champions League remaining, these competitions represent Bayern's last opportunity to salvage the season. The sentiment within the club is clear: a concerted effort is required to shift their fortunes.