Thomas Tuchel launched an explosive rant at his Bayern Munich stars after they suffered a dismal 1-0 defeat at home to Werder Bremen on Sunday.
The German giants have endured a mixed campaign under the former Chelsea boss as, despite qualifying with ease from their Champions League group, they are now languishing seven points behind Bayer Leverkusen at the top of the Bundesliga.
This means Bayern are in danger of missing out on the title for the first time since 2011-12, having won it for 11 consecutive seasons.
Harry Kane’s 26 goals have helped to drag Bayern along through poor performances, but there were increasing murmurs of discontent surrounding Tuchel before yesterday’s loss to their 14th-placed opponents.
And, following the game, Tuchel went full Jose Mourinho and hit out his players for their application and performances.
Thomas Tuchel launched an explosive rant at his Bayern Munich stars on Sunday evening
Bayern are languishing seven points behind Bayer Leverkusen at the top of the Bundesliga
The Bavarian side lost 1-0 at home to 14th-place Werder Bremen at the Allianz Arena on Sunday
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‘That is our responsibility,’ he fumed post-match. ‘I’m also tired of saying that we’re training well. Nobody believes that anymore.
‘I’ve been doing the job long enough to be able to judge whether the training was at the level we want it to be. This has really been the case for many weeks.’
Reflecting on the performance against Bremen, Tuchel similarly hit out at his stars as he said: ‘It was clearly not enough. For over 70 minutes I didn’t have the feeling that we were playing for victory. Afterwards I noticed it. Not until there.
‘We were extremely static in the first half. We lost a lot of the ball, allowed a lot of counterattacks, and were sloppy in possession. Deserved defeat!’
He continued: ‘We didn’t play for 70 minutes like a team that wanted to force a win, that was playing for the championship, that wanted to give an answer. We only did this for 20 minutes.
’20 minutes are not enough to achieve the goals we set ourselves! That’s not what we’re signing up for here.
‘When you sign for a club like Bayern Munich, you sign for one hundred percent. That applies to the coach, that applies to the players. We didn’t deliver that today.
‘We played as if we were 10 points ahead and still had a Champions League game on Tuesday.’
Bayern return to action on Wednesday when they take on a resurgent Union Berlin in what is their game in hand, providing Tuchel’s outfit with an opportunity to reduce their deficit to Leverkusen to four points.
And the 50-year-old called for his side to improve. Tuchel added: ‘We will hold the team accountable. On Wednesday we have the opportunity to do better – and we have to do better.
‘If you play for Bayern Munich and have a game on Sunday, you don’t have to be top on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday – but you especially have to be top on Sunday. We certainly weren’t. We are clearly lagging behind our demands!’
Bayern’s players were similarly critical at their own performance after the match, as Thomas Muller said: ‘We were far too sluggish, there was no life in it. We begged for the goal. That was a slap in the face, but we also helped a lot.’
Muller’s words were echoed by Joshua Kimmich, but the midfielder seemed to put the pressure firmly on Tuchel by appearing to criticise the coaching staff’s tactics.
He explained: ‘In general, you have to question the approach. You could see almost the whole game that we were too static. You don’t get the feeling that we know what it’s about!
‘Especially with the situation in the table and now in the season, it is incredibly important for us that we win every game – we have to broadcast that, you have to notice that we are aggressive in the duels.’
Tuchel’s harsh words towards his stars had echoes of a Jose Mourinho rant from years gone by
Midfielder Joshua Kimmich appeared to criticise Tuchel’s tactics by ‘questioning the approach’
Xabi Alonso is doing a fine job at Bayer Leverkusen and has been linked with replacing Tuchel
Bayern’s defeat was just their second league loss of the season. However, they also suffered an embarrassing cup exit to third tier Saarbrucken in the DFB-Pokal, while they were hammered 3-0 by RB Leipzig in the German Super Cup.
And BILD reported how the scrutiny is increasing on Tuchel – delivering a warning that his future is far from secure at the club.
When he took over in March 2023, it followed speculation about how he was waiting in the wings to replace predecessor Julian Nagelsmann, given his availability.
And now, not only does Tuchel have a Xabi Alonso problem in the fact his Leverkusen side are well on their way to stopping Bayern win a 12th-successive Bundesliga.
There is also increasing support in Munich for the former midfielder, who ended his career at Bayern, to one day take up the managerial hot seat, with the Spaniard now waiting in the wings.
With Bayern out of the DFB-Pokal too, Tuchel needs his side to return to league form, while hoping for a strong showing against Lazio in the Champions League last-16.