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FC Bayern: The deep cracks between Tuchel and Kimmich

Bundesliga FC Bayern

“Hard to mend” – the deep cracks between Tuchel and Kimmich

As of: 12:01 p.m. | Reading time: 4 minutes

“FC Bayern last managed to lose three games in a row in 2015”

FC Bayern is slipping even deeper into the crisis: against VfL Bochum they suffered their third competitive defeat in eight days. “Now we have to wait and see what happens against Leipzig,” says WELT reporter Paul Klinzing in Munich.

The FC Bayern coach and one of the most motivated players in the squad no longer see eye to eye. Thomas Tuchel and Joshua Kimmich only have an alliance of convenience. The reason for this is also a public debate.

Basically, the misunderstanding started during summer preparation. At least from today’s perspective, the debate about a lack of a so-called “Holding Six”, i.e. a defensive-minded player in front of the defensive back four, can be seen as the starting point of the dispute between Thomas Tuchel and Joshua Kimmich. Because unlike his boss on the bench, the national player in the service of FC Bayern saw and sees himself in the same role that he successfully held for years with the German soccer record champions.

But with the public discussion, the club not only weakened one of its most motivated players on the field. It also left him permanently unsettled. Tuchel stuck to his stock-taking and called for new personnel for the defensive midfield.

Strained relationship: Coach Thomas Tuchel (l.) and Joshua Kimmich

Quelle: picture alliance / SvenSimon

The club had almost already reached a commercial agreement with Joao Palhinha from Fulham FC – but at the last second the planned commitment for 65 million euros on the last transfer day of 2023 failed due to the veto of the English, who were unable to find a replacement for the Portuguese. The fact that since then a Kimmich has been seen on the field with unsightly regularity, who radiates little of the sovereignty of days gone by, is to some extent a home-grown problem for Bayern.

How much the relationship between Tuchel and Kimmich has now become disturbed was evident on Sunday evening in Bochum’s Ruhr Stadium. Bayern’s 2:3 (1:2) defeat against eleventh-placed teams reduced their chances of winning the twelfth championship in a row to a minimum – and also revealed some of the inner workings of the Bayern squad on the one hand and their coaching guild on the other.

Kimmich was not very pleased that he had to leave the field after an hour of play for winter signing Bryan Zaragoza – after he had only played the last 30 minutes in the groundbreaking game against leaders Bayer Leverkusen (0-3) following a previous shoulder injury may. And then he also clashed with Zsolt Löw, Tuchel’s most important confidant. On the way to the dressing room he had a heated argument with Bayern’s assistant coach and had to be calmed down by captain Manuel Neuer.

Kimmich is just one of many

Tuchel also saw that scene, but didn’t want to overestimate it. “I know what was going on,” he said and spoke of a “pretty normal incident after a defeat,” which, however, said nothing about the general atmosphere within the team: “We are a football locker room.” Jan-Christian made a similar assessment Dreesen the incident: “Josh must have been fairly well served on the substitutes’ bench,” said Bayern’s CEO. “But that’s normal, he always gives his all and wants to win and that’s why he wants to play.”

Kimmich is allowed to do that, but no longer with the outstanding values ​​of previous seasons. This season he has one goal and three assists in 16 league games for Bayern. In 2022/23 there were five goals and six assists after the end of the season, compared to three and twelve in the previous season.

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It seems all too obvious that Tuchel’s handling of one of Bayern’s stars is largely responsible for the loss of form, which can also be seen in numbers. While Kimmich was an extended arm on the pitch under his predecessor Julian Nagelsmann, he is now just one of many under the current very controversial coach.

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A club legend also sees it that way: Lothar Matthäus can understand Kimmich’s frustration with his gradual loss of status. “He had to be brought into contact every week with the topic of whether he was not good enough for the ‘Holding Six’ or whether his qualities were no longer sufficient. “That’s not what a player wants to hear,” said the 1990 world champion on Sky.

“When he doesn’t play, he has to eat it. But the fact that he is being questioned by the coach because he always only wanted other players, I think that can hardly be fixed, at least not 100 percent,” continued Matthäus. “But I don’t want to say that that’s why a player is playing against the coach.”

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