FC Bayern: Max Eberl on a possible change of coach

On the summer evening after the debacle, those responsible were frustrated. Coach Thomas Tuchel complained in an interview with Sky that he had to speak to the reporter after his FC Bayern’s embarrassing 2:3 (2:0) in front of the 1. FC Heidenheim fan curve.

And Max Eberl, FC Bayern’s sports director, said in the ZDF sports studio that he would have expected “a little more manliness” from the players. “Everyone is always demanding, everyone wants, but actually on the pitch when it matters, that’s not how we know Bayern Munich.”

The German football record champions are experiencing one of the worst seasons in their history. The game at newly promoted Heidenheim on Saturday afternoon was a new low: leading 2-0 at half-time, collapsing defensively and giving up the victory that was believed to be certain. After the 0-2 defeat against Borussia Dortmund in the top game of the Bundesliga, it was the second sobering performance in seven days. The hoped-for reaction after the defeat against BVB did not materialize – at least when viewed over 90 minutes. It was a historical embarrassment.

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The result: They are now 16 points behind league leaders Bayer Leverkusen, who can become champions next weekend – around a month before the end of the season. What a humiliation for the people of Munich.

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The mood is correspondingly bad before the all-important first leg of the quarter-finals in the Champions League at Arsenal FC in London on Tuesday (9 p.m., Amazon Prime). There is even public discussion about an immediate change of coach. Record national player and Sky expert Lothar Matthäus said on Saturday evening: “The result says a lot. Thomas Tuchel no longer makes the team. There are strange press conferences, strange statements. There are strange criticisms from him. That’s why I could imagine Bayern reacting in the next 24 to 48 hours.”

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Former national player Dietmar “Didi” Hamann sees it similarly: “Bayern have been playing the same uninspired football under Tuchel for twelve months. Dortmund did Bayern a favor by winning in Munich. Bayern would have had ten days to prepare for the Arsenal game under a new coach.”

The fans wouldn’t even whistle and complain anymore: “They haven’t been used to anything else in the last twelve months. “Those were signs of dissolution today,” said Hamann on Sky on Saturday.

No assistant coach for an interim job

But there is no assistant coach who could take over. Everyone on Tuchel’s staff is an integral part of the 50-year-old’s coaching team and is his confidant, having already worked with him at previous clubs. In addition, the champions are separating from Tuchel in the summer anyway. Bayern are looking for a successor and want to have him found by the end of April. One option is the return of Julian Nagelsmann, who was released in March 2023, as national coach at least until after the European Championships in Germany (June 14th to July 14th).

There will be no change of coach before the game against Arsenal. “No, I didn’t have that thought. “That’s definitely not the way,” said Eberl. “Bayern have already fired the coach, but they are still where they are. It’s not always just a coaching problem.”

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Eberl rightly criticized the team: “Thomas put everything in the meeting room during the week. If something like that comes back from the players, it’s not what Thomas deserves.”

The 50-year-old sports director also said: “They are all national players, they are German champions and Champions League winners. That is not the face of FC Bayern. If Bayern Munich thinks you can get through a game with three percent less – you won’t get shit!” That’s not enough.

Already the sixth defeat of the season

Club president Herbert Hainer did not comment on Saturday in Heidenheim. CFO Michael Diederich, who rarely appears otherwise, listened to Eberl and Tuchel’s interviews in the interview zone in the promoted team’s stadium.

The Bayern team has lost one of its most important character traits this season: the winning mentality. She radiates far too little defensiveness. World champion Thomas Müller is the only player the others can rely on. There is a lack of professionals to lead the team. She keeps breaking in.

The numbers are dramatic by Bayern standards, the second half of the season has been a debacle so far. Bayern didn’t even score half of the possible points in the second half of the season (16 out of 33); the balance sheet: just five wins, one draw and five defeats. It was the sixth defeat in the league this season – the last time there were that many defeats was in 2011/12, Bayern’s last non-champion season to date.

Thomas Tuchel has come under enormous criticism as coach of FC Bayern

Source: Getty Images/Alexander Hassenstein

Tuchel is the focus of criticism. Before the game in Heidenheim, he changed the central defense, letting Dayot Upamecano and Minjae Kim play instead of Matthijs de Ligt and Eric Dier. The two new guys played poorly, like all of Bayern. Even though the head coach always has a lot of responsibility, this team is letting him down. She keeps giving out guided tours. She doesn’t live “Mia san Mia”.

Eberl admitted on Saturday evening that he couldn’t think of a lot of encouragement for the game against Arsenal. Especially since the Premier League title contender, who won 3-0 at Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, is “a little bit better in terms of football, with all due respect to Heidenheim,” said the Munich sports director.

The fear of the Champions League

In the Bundesliga, Bayern now have to move downwards; their lead over fifth-placed Borussia Dortmund is now just five points. When it comes to coaching changes, Eberl also made one caveat.

At the weekend he was asked: Will Tuchel stay until the end of the season? “I can’t answer that conclusively right now. We have to make sure we reach the Champions League,” emphasized Eberl. “We should get rid of arrogance. “We should first see that we come second,” said the sports director clearly.

In the league, Bayern face relegation-threatened 1. FC Cologne, Union Berlin, Eintracht Frankfurt, Champions League candidates VfB Stuttgart, VfL Wolfsburg and finally against TSG Hoffenheim.

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Matthäus recently brought up 69-year-old cult trainer Hermann Gerland as an interim solution. Eberl is now even worried that the poor performance will have an impact on the search for a coach starting in the summer. “What can I say to the coach? Are we playing the Champions League or not? We have to answer these questions right now,” said the sports director. And indicates a major upheaval: “I have the feeling that a lot needs to be changed …”

The players are trying to focus on the game against Arsenal. “Thanks to my many years of experience, this result means I’m almost back in fighting mode heading into Tuesday,” said Müller. “It’s no use picking on ourselves anymore. Accordingly, the resentment in me is almost smiling again.” The world champion announced: “I would only resort to general criticism – if at all – when we really have nothing left worth fighting for.”

Pure frustration: Thomas Müller from FC Bayern in the game at 1. FC Heidenheim

Source: Getty Images/Alexander Hassenstein

The Champions League is the last chance for the reeling FC Bayern to give a happy ending to this so far unsuccessful and chaotic season. The final will take place on June 1st at the legendary Wembley Stadium. “We don’t need any explanations, that wouldn’t change the outcome,” said Müller in Heidenheim. “It is clear to everyone involved that we are not in the best phase of the club’s history.” They will give everything in London. “It’s not like we pick our noses and don’t care.”

It was still unclear at the weekend whether the recently injured national goalkeeper Manuel Neuer would be able to play against Arsenal. The stakes of Leroy Sané, Kingsley Coman, Aleksandar Pavlovic and Noussair Mazraoui are also open. Eberl said about the game in London: “You have to do the turnaround so you don’t really get hit on the nose. We should be a bit ashamed and represent the Bavarian coat of arms in a more dignified way.”


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