Bayern Munich: Dietmar Hamann criticises Thomas Tuchel

Bayern Munich head coach Thomas Tuchel under scrutiny for style of football this season.(Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
Bayern Munich head coach Thomas Tuchel under scrutiny for style of football this season.(Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images) /

Bayern Munich currently find themselves two points off the top of the Bundesliga table as they are yet to lose a game this season. They’re also coasting through their tricky Champions League group stage having won all three games so far, so it seems strange to hear so much criticism being directed at Bayern early in the season.

Die Roten are not firing on all cylinders, but to me in their position having not hit top gear is a good place to be in. They have looked strong in the final third, but equally vulnerable at the back. The Bavarian club has consistently struggled to keep clean sheets.

The standards are high at Die Roten. They have to win every game by playing an attractive style of football. The criticism is heavy when one of these aspects is not met by the team. One former Bayern player and current pundit has hit out at Thomas Tuchel in particular, as well as some of the early season performances.

Dietmar Hamann, who played in over 100 games for Bayern, wasn’t too impressed with the 1-3 away win in a very hostile RAMS Park in Istanbul. While speaking to Sky (via BILD), Hamann insisted that Die Roten were bailed out in Turkey due to individual brilliance.

"“FC Bayern’s 3-1 win in Istanbul involved a lot of piecemeal. Because of their individual class, they always find ways to win, but when it comes to the flow of the game and homogeneity, they leave a lot to be desired.“Bayern had two very good opponents this season, Leipzig and Leverkusen, and they were inferior to both of them, even if they scored a point each. It won’t work in the long run and maybe in just ten days it won’t be enough in Dortmund.”"

It’s hard to argue with the assessment from the game on Tuesday, the possession was relatively equal (52-48 in favour of the home side), and while the Turkish side had 20 shots, only 4 of them were on target in comparison to Bayern’s 14 shots and 7 on target. No team in world football settles well in Istanbul, if it’s not the most hostile environment to play in, it’s certainly one of them.

Die Roten enjoyed more possession and shots on target against Leverkusen and the draw was thanks to a 94th-minute penalty by Exequiel Palacious. Then against Leipzig, Bayern had 66% of the possession and limited Leipzig to two shots on target, with Die Roten Bullen scoring both of them.

So to state that Bayern were inferior to either team was a step too far. Securing a 2-2 draw away in Leipzig and being pegged back 2-2 at home against a very good Leverkusen side in the 94th minute, is far from the disaster that Hamann is making it out to be. I’ve always been told that the sign of a good team is that they can win when they’re not at their best.

Hamann reserves criticism for Thomas Tuchel

As well as the performances coming under scrutiny, Hamann is less than impressed with Tuchel, his coaching, and his transfer policy. It’s not the first time Tuchel’s has come under criticism, but again, I feel that some aspects of the criticism are unwarranted.

Bayern are a little weak in the center of the park and that has been exposed on several occasions. Tuchel had warned that Die Roten were in need of a real defensive midfielder to solidify the middle of the park, and there is no evidence to suggest that he’s not made it clear to Kimmich, Goretzka, and Laimer what’s required of them when they’re playing central midfield.

There’s a reason why Tuchel wanted a more traditional number six, he didn’t believe the players he had at his disposal could do the job and so far that theory has been the correct one.

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It’s been made clear that defensive midfield is the priority for Bayern during the January transfer window, but paying €80-€90 million for Palhinha isn’t good business. It may be time to see if someone like Pavlovic is ready for a step up to the first team.