Bayern Munich set to fire coach
BERLIN. — Julian Nagelsmann has paid the price for Bayern Munich’s poor performance in the German Bundesliga football, with the German coach set to be replaced by Thomas Tuchel.
Nagelsmann took over as Bayern boss less than two years ago, guiding them to the Bundesliga title last season. But he will now leave his job over the international break, with Bayern sitting second in the German top-flight, behind Borussia Dortmund.
A defeat to Bayer Leverkusen proved to be Nagelsmann’s last game in charge, though the 35-year-old did not feel his job was at risk. In fact, he jetted off to Austria for some skiing before planning for Bayern’s run-in to the end of the season.
Those plans will not be needed now though, with Bayern bosses taking the surprise decision to fire the coaching wonderkid.
According to BILD, club chiefs were left feeling Bayern were at risk of missing out on winning a treble.
They have reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a perfect record and have also reached the last eight of the DFB-Pokal. But 10 dropped points in 2023 have left Bayern chiefs fuming and they have concluded Nagelsmann is ‘primarily to blame’.
The international break has presented the perfect chance for Bayern to make a change in the dug-out. Tuchel will be the man to replace Nagelsmann and will take up his post from Monday.
Nagelsmann was left ‘’completely surprised’’ by the decision, which he was informed about on Thursday evening. Bayern are set for a run of decisive games when they return to action in April.
They will take on title rivals Dortmund in the Bundesliga, Freiburg in the DFB Pokal and Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final within the space of 10 days.
With such a season-defining run of games coming up, it was felt that a change in management was needed. And with fears Tuchel could be snapped up by Real Madrid or Tottenham, Bayern have moved fast to bring in the German.
It appears to players have also been left surprised by the speed at which Nagelsmann’s sacking has happened. Joao Cancelo admitted he had only been told after Portugal’s win over Liechtenstein on Wednesday.
“I’ve only found out now. I know I won’t find Nagelsmann when I return to Munich. He wanted me at Bayern, I’d like to thank him. As for Tuchel, he made me lose a Champions League final, so I hope he will win it for me this year!” Cancelo told Sport TV.
According to Sky Sports Germany, Nagelsmann’s decision to fly out to Austria for a skiing holiday also left players and club chiefs surprised. With his side struggling, it was felt his decision to go skiing sent out the ‘’wrong signal’’ internally.
The warning signs for Nagelsmann were ringing loudly at the weekend, following the defeat to Leverkusen.
Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic was left furious by the defeat and delivered an extraordinary broadside at the players, with Nagelsmann now paying the price.
“That wasn’t what Bayern Munich means. We missed everything. We let ourselves be overrun by a team that was still playing on Thursday. Bayer was better in every respect,” he fumed.
“I’ve rarely experienced so little drive, so little mentality, so little duel, so little assertiveness. This team is so good when they have a mentality from the start and go 100 per cent.
“But [they can be] just as bad when they don’t do it and think that they can do everything with [their] quality. We were inferior in all areas.
“Confidence or not, we have to bring [our] mentality and greed to the pitch. This is a championship [race].” — AFP.