In March, the football landscape was stunned when news broke that Bayern Munich had sacked Julian Nagelsmann and replaced him with Thomas Tuchel, ex-Chelsea coach.
Football is really unpredictable and Nagelsmann’s sack is probably the height of its unpredictability. The German tactician may have raised eyebrows in the Bundesliga — which has been dominated by Bayern Munich in recent years — but that should not take the shine off his stellar records.
The 35-year-old qualified Bayern for the Champions League quarter-finals without losing a single game, edging heavyweights such as Barcelona and PSG in the process.
More so, Bayern only lost three games under his watch this season before his unfortunate sack.
In a statement announcing his sack, the club said he was fired because the team was playing “less successfully and less attractively”.
“FC Bayern München has released head coach Julian Nagelsmann. This decision was taken by CEO Oliver Kahn and board member for sport Hasan Salihamidžić in consultation with club president Herbert Hainer,” the club had said.
“Nagelsmann will be succeeded by Thomas Tuchel. Tuchel will receive a contract until 30 June 2025 and will supervise squad training for the first time on Monday.
“When we signed Julian Nagelsmann for FC Bayern in the summer of 2021, we were convinced we would work with him on a long-term basis – and that was the goal of all of us right up to the end.
“Julian shares our aspiration to play successful and attractive football. But now we have come to the conclusion that the quality in our squad – despite the Bundesliga title last year – has come to the fore less and less often.
“After the World Cup, we have played less successfully and less attractively. The big fluctuations in performance have cast doubt on our goals for this season, but also our goals for the future.
“That is why we have acted now. Personally and on behalf of FC Bayern, I would like to thank Julian and his coaching team, and wish everyone the best of luck for the future.”
If reality is anything to go by, the club’s decision was rash and there are ample instances to justify that. On Wednesday, Bayern were dumped out of the UCL by Man City in a humiliating manner.
Currently, the overall atmosphere surrounding the club is that of anxiety as the team struggles to find its bearing under Tuchel.
There is no doubt that Tuchel remains a great coach. His heroics at Chelsea are conspicuous testimonies of his managerial and leadership acumen.
But the circumstances surrounding his appointment may take its toll on his stint at the club. Already, he has lost three of his first six games in charge of the team.
This is largely below the expectations of fans considering Nagelsmann only lost by the same margin the whole season before his sack.
Bayern must be having a sense of regret by now for parting ways with Nagelsmann.
“What happened to Bayern is really nice. They should suffer more for what they did to Nagelsmann,” Israel Igiri, a sports analyst, said.
“He (Tuchel) is a victim of a very silly and rash decision made by the (Bayern) board.”
When Bayern sacked Nagelsmann they were in three competitions.
Now they’re just left fighting for the league 😕 pic.twitter.com/tUfKaS0XaL
— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 19, 2023
Did Nagelsmann really lose 3 games all season with Bayern only to be replaced by Tuchel who goes on to lose 3 of his first 6 games?
— 𝗙𝗜𝗔𝗚𝗢 (@fiago7) April 19, 2023
The club and fans must support Tuchel to ensure the Bundesliga title does not slip away from them like the UCL.
The German champions are currently top of the league with 59 points — a narrow two-point leave over Borussia Dortmund who occupies the second spot with 57 points.
Is karma at work for Bayern Munich?