I thought that was a very good opinion piece. There are a lot of knee-jerk reactions in this forum whenever Tuchel is questioned. I always find this quite surprising….I am as supportive of Tuchel as the next guy, but find such gut-level biases rather strange. He is not historically ‘Bavarian’, he has only been here for a few months - and has understandably achieved little so far (which is not a criticism – it’s early). I’d understand the same emotions if Jupp, or maybe Pep got criticised, but for Tuchel?
Marc tries to evidence his points with numbers. Kudos for that. Others in this forum have done the same in various threads – and reached exactly the same conclusion as Marc: it’s not looking overly amazing right now for Tuchel, compared to any sensible benchmark. For those who want to compare to March 2023, that’s not a sensible benchmark – that’s a rock bottom moment. I would compare to, say, September-December 2022, when the team had a proper Vorbereitung and Choupo was healthy. But no one is arguing that Tuchel should be replaced. Marc himself says the opposite. He is simply trying to assemble the evidence.
Marc also makes other very valid points. Tuchel is a highly inflexible coach compared to most other elite ones. Is that not true? Stubborn as hell, at FCB, at PSG, at Chelsea. Man management? The evidence is mixed. Has gotten the best out of Sane (but who played great 12 months ago, too), yet the handling of De Ligt seems puzzling. Marc also points out Tuchel seems obsessed with a ‘Holding 6’ - is that not true, as well? Marc rightly points out we are much better besetzt auf dieser Position heute compared to, say, the #9 role last season. So, surely, Tuchel can’t get much of a pass just because we failed to buy Paulinha. Not to mention Tuchel got a €95M Harry Kane, so surely expectations should adjust?
But no one is arguing it’s all doom and gloom, and neither is Marc. Georg had a strong piece outlining the positives, yet we should objectively benchmark those before we get too excited. For example, many will jump to point out we control games better now – this is true and credit to Tuchel. But is that not what one should expect as a minimum from a squad like ours?
Another regularly made point in this forum: our mental resilience (i.e. ability to withstand adversity without collapsing) has greatly improved – this is also down to Tuchel. But is it also not true that what we are seeing now is fairly ‘hygiene’ level of resilience for a top-5 CL contender? Surely a team like ours should be able to come back from going a goal down away to Copenhagen, or two goals down against RBL, or score a late winner against Gladbach. If we can’t do that, how do we plan to compete with Real or City?
So Tuchel can get good credit for restoring to normal levels some elements of our game that were at rock bottom last spring, but let’s not go overboard. He hasn’t achieved much and it’s not like the team is playing particuarly great football. The rest of the year will show whether the subpar ‘numbers’ so far are just an early blip, or an early warning sign.