Just over a month has passed since the surprise departure of Julian Nagelsmann from Bayern Munich. The young coach had guided the German giants to a Bundesliga title in his first season and had just overseen the club’s progression to the Champions League quarter-finals by defeating the star-studded Paris Saint-Germain.
His sacking reportedly came down to a number of the club’s key stars becoming disillusioned but there's no argument in saying that the 35-year-old was underperforming domestically. At the time of his departure, Bayern were one point behind Borussia Dortmund in the title race.
Nagelsmann was immediately replaced by former Dortmund and Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel and one month later the team is in no better a position. In fact, they're arguably worse. As we reach the final five matches of the Bundesliga campaign, one point still separates Dortmund and Bayern and momentum is currently with Edin Terzic’s side.
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Dortmund registered a thumping 4-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt at the weekend, with Jude Bellingham opening the scoring with a delightful turn and finish. Bayern on the other hand suffered a big upset at Mainz, losing 3-1 despite going ahead. Mainz’s three goals came in the space of 15 minutes, reflecting a huge collapse from Tuchel’s team. Since he took over from Nagelsmann, FCB has only won two out of the seven games Tuchel has overseen.
Under his stewardship, Bayern have crashed out of the DFB-Pokal and the Champions League, with his team’s first-leg performance at Manchester City causing huge embarrassment. The reigning champions have now lost as many games (three) under Tuchel as they managed under Nagelsmann in 37 matches this term. The decision to let Nagelsmann go looks more ridiculous with each passing game.
The lack of an immediate bounce since his departure reflects well upon Nagelsmann, and it suggests either that there are problems with the players themselves or the board acted too rashly when removing the young coach from his position and replacing him with Tuchel.
As most of the footballing world was shocked by his sacking, his reputation as one of the most promising coaches has remained intact. He has since been linked with the Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur vacancies and should any other big jobs pop up in the coming months, he will be in the frame for those roles too.
Meanwhile, Tuchel’s reputation is currently at huge risk of evaporating. There is already speculation surrounding his future at the Allianz Arena and if he cannot revive Bayern’s title charge you can expect him to be handed his second P45 of the season.
The early exit at Stamford Bridge did his reputation no favours and if he were to get sacked for the second time in the space of a year, his stock could plummet and his chances of landing another big job in the near future would diminish. As for Bayern, they could end up looking back on this season as a catastrophic one, but a catastrophe of the board's making.
Nagelsmann appears to be enjoying the last laugh in this saga and he is looking ahead to a bright future with endless possibilities.