Can Thomas Tuchel inspire Bayern Munich to a treble? The stats behind his incredible Chelsea start
The German coach lifted the Champions League within months of taking over at Stamford Bridge and will be expected to deliver instant success again.
Last week Bayern Munich shocked the world by sacking head coach Julian Nagelsmann after just 18 months in charge, appointing former Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel in his place.
Bayern were just a point off the top of the Bundesliga and boasted a perfect record in the Champions League, winning all eight of their fixtures in this season’s competition.
But despite securing a league title in his first year in the job, Nagelsmann’s lack of defensive solidity worried the Bayern hierarchy ahead of crucial games against Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City. The club acted swiftly to bring in Tuchel, who made a pretty impressive impact after taking over at Chelsea mid-season.
Thomas Tuchel’s first six months at Chelsea
Just as he has at Bayern, Tuchel’s appointment at Chelsea saw him take over from an attack-minded young coach whose side had displayed defensive frailties. In 2021 the Chelsea side that Tuchel inherited from Frank Lampard were a lowly ninth in the Premier League and had conceded 1.2 goals per game.
By the end of his first season at the club, Tuchel’s Chelsea were averaging just 0.53 goals conceded per game and they clinched fourth spot on the final day of the season.
With thanks to our friends at Sofascore, here’s a look at Tuchel’s first six months at Stamford Bridge…
Tuchel improved Chelsea’s defensive solidity almost overnight and his side recorded a clean sheet in nearly a third of all games played during his first six months in charge. He became the first manager to not concede a single goal in his first five games in the Premier League and his impressive domestic record was more than matched in Europe.
Tuchel lifted the Champions Leagues in first season at the club
When he took over securing Champions League qualification for the following season was Tuchel’s number one priority. But not only did the German guide the club to a top four finish, he also ensured that they qualified as reigning champions after an astonishing run to lift Europe’s premier club competition.
After taking over in January, Tuchel led the team past Atletico Madrid, FC Porto and Real Madrid to reach the final. Chelsea beat Manchester City 1-0 in Porto to be crowned European champions for the second time in their history.
It was the crowning moment of Tuchel’s career to date and one made even more impressive by his appearance in the previous year’s final with Paris Saint-Germain. In doing so he became the first manager to take two different clubs to the final in consecutive seasons.
Can Thomas Tuchel achieve success with Bayern Munich this season?
Quite what constitutes a successful season at Germany’s most illustrious and impatient club is, frankly, anyone’s guess. Nagelsmann won the Bundesliga in his only full season at the helm but after ten consecutive league titles that barely registers as an achievement in Bavaria.
His side’s vulnerability on the break was ultimately Nagelsmann’s undoing and Tuchel will be tasked with bringing back the sort of certainty that Bayern have come to expect.
On Saturday Bayern face Borussia Dortmund, Tuchel’s former club, in a crucial top-of-the-table clash. The new coach will be expected to secure a victory in Der Klassiker to reassert Bayern at the top of the table. Anything less than a title win will be deemed a failure.
The following week there is a DFB-Pokal fixture against SC Freiburg but it is the upcoming Champions League tie with Manchester City that will spark the imaginations of Bayern fans. Pep Guardiola has praised Tuchel’s defensive set-up in the past and he will be expected to bring that solidity to Bayern in time for the trip to the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, 11 April.
At most, Tuchel will have 17 matches before the end of the season and he will be expected to mount a serious challenge in all three competitions. In his first press conference as head coach of Bayern Munich, Tuchel made clear that he understands what is expected of him.
“Bayern is about winning, also about the way of winning,” Tuchel said. “The squad is one of the most talented and best squads in Europe. I’m really looking forward to working with this squad.”
“You’re a contender for every trophy with these players. It’s also a big commitment.”