Tuchel needs to create smart solutions for Dortmund clash
Berlin, Nov 3 : Ahead of Saturday's 'Der Klassiker' against Borussia Dortmund, tensions around Bayern Munich have grown to new heights.
What was meant to be an intermediate step on the way to the Bundesliga clash against the Black and Yellows became an unpleasant DFB-Pokal knockout, triggering debate about the Bavarians' condition, reports Xinhua.
Questions and doubts arose as the reigning German champions suffered a painful midweek exit in the second round of the Cup against third-tier Saarbrucken.
The question of who is to blame seems to deliver several answers.
The poor performance, Thomas Tuchel's line-up, and most players' hasty getaway into the dressing room without greeting the fans seemed to be the most pressing issues.
Did Tuchel choose the wrong line-up by leaving cornerstones such as Harry Kane, Kingsley Coman, Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala on the bench?
Was the coach correct when demanding additional players to increase the squad's depth in order to fight on all fronts?
Thomas Muller delivered the answer in a late-night posting after returning to Munich, apologizing for his teammates' behavior after only five players appeared in front of the fans after the final whistle.
"We need to show respect as fans traveled hundreds of kilometers on a weekday," he said.
Matthijs de Ligt's knee injury increased Bayern's woes, as the Dutch defender is set to be sidelined for up to six weeks.
15 goals conceded in 12 games have triggered a debate about Bayern's defense, despite the investment of 160 million euros for defenders such as De Ligt, Dayot Upamecano and Kim Min-jae. Due to Kim's injury and Joshua Kimmich's red card, Tuchel will again be forced to come up with smart solutions.
Several injuries over recent weeks have made the Bavarians lose their balance. While the attacking line around Kane has delivered 34 goals, the defense seems to waver alarmingly.
Rumors talk about Bayern trying to sign new arrivals during the upcoming winter break, as several players will attend the Africa Cup of Nations and the Asian Cup at the beginning of 2024.
Both Bayern and Dortmund have slipped into the role of challengers, as they are respectively two and four points behind early leaders Bayer Leverkusen.
While Dortmund are living out a new pragmatism and grinding out a series of narrow victories, the pressure around Tuchel is increasing as the coach faces the challenge of keeping a wavering side together and securing a leading position until new arrivals come in to close any gaps.