Nick Bidwell’s Notes from Germany
After months of media reports that former Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel was a racing certainty to take over at Bayern Munich next season, the wedding service has been called off.
According to reports in many German newspapers, Tuchel has rejected Bayern’s advances and instead is planning to take his laptop overseas, possibly to Paris Saint-Germain.
The long and short of the affair is that Bayern waited too long to make their move. That the power-brokers at Säbener Straße (Bayern’s HQ) were never quite sure that Tuchel was their man.
While Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and club director of sport Hasan Salihamidzic were both very keen on installing TT, president Uli Hoeness was much more reticent, hanging onto the hope that caretaker boss Jupp Heynckes would stay on for an extra year.
Unable to persuade Heynckes to change his plans, Hoeness only recently threw his weight behind the Tuchel appointment. But by then the ship had sailed. Tuchel was betrothed to another.
All this leaves Bayern in a real bind. With Heynckes and Tuchel each saying no, the Bavarian giants are now onto Plan C and for a club of such world renown, that’s never a good look.
Who will Bayern turn to? A possible contender could be RB Leipzig’s highly-rated Ralph Hasenhüttl. The Austrian has done excellent work with RB over the last two seasons and once played for Bayern’s reserves.
Also in the frame are Nice boss Lucien Favre – who has extensive Bundesliga experience with Hertha Berlin and Borussia Mönchengladbach – another ex-Bayern player in Eintracht Frankfurt leader Niko Kovac and Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino.
A much longer shot is young gun Hoffenheim ‘Trainer’ Julian Nagelsmann, still considered a little too green by the Bayern hierarchy.
What We Learned This Week
1. Kimmich crowned.
Fans of the German national team have voted Bayern Munich right-back Joshua Kimmich their player of the year for 2017. The 23-year-old was a comfortable election winner, chosen by over 45 per cent of the 52,000 supporters polled. He is the Duracell Bunny of the Nationalmannschaft, missing only one game in the last two seasons.
2. Changing the world, one kick at a time.
Taking a leaf out of the social responsibility playbook of Manchester United and Spain star Juan Mata, German international defender Matthias Ginter has made impassioned plea for more wage restraint in the pro game. “When I look at construction or heath workers and see how they have to toil to make ends meet, I have to say that we footballers earn too much,” said the Gladbach centre-back in an interview with the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. “We don’t provide essential service like doctors. They do things which are really important to a society. Playing footbal doesn’t come into that category.”