Interview with our head coach
Wed, 09/08/23, 09:30
Thomas Tuchel: Bayern have always been full of grit
Thomas Tuchel's first competitive match of the new season is the Supercup final against Leipzig on Saturday. In our interview, the FC Bayern head coach talks about his drive, his philosophy and his goals this season.
The interview with Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel, you haven’t really been on holiday at all, instead you continued to come to Säbener Straße on a regular basis as part of the transfer committee. How do you recharge your batteries?
"By spending time with my family, my children, our dog or friends. I also like to get out into in the great outdoors, I like to be near water - and I also like to be on it too. In fact, just a few hours on the water often feels like a whole week's holiday to me. I also really like getting up early in the morning and swimming in a bay in the sea or in a lake when there there’s no-one around. It's the perfect start to the day. I also love it in the mountains - I'm not in the worst place for that in Munich."
How did the season analysis go?
"For me, the analysis always runs parallel to the events. You shouldn't think of the summer break as reading a book to the end and then starting to reflect, rather it's more a permanent comparison among us in the coaching team: what impressions, what observations do we have? In general, we can’t be satisfied with the past season: we didn’t manage to stabilise the team as much as we’d have liked."
How do you manage to never stand still - even if you have already won the Champions League?
"I have to confess - it really is curious. You work hard for a dream, at some point it becomes a concrete goal - and when you have the Champions League trophy in your hand, it suddenly affects you much less than you'd have thought. If someone had told me that before, it might have shocked me. It's a fleeting moment, you can't hold on to it for long - but I want to experience it again, absolutely. It's something that's inside me. After a few days, you automatically start looking forward to new goals again."
You used to spend your nights studying videos of football matches.
(smiles) "That can still happen. In the past, the technical circumstances were completely different, you still had to fast-forward and rewind, today every game sequence is a single click. I just love to immerse myself in the game - our own team's and other teams', which then inspire me to come up with new ideas. I sometimes sacrifice a night or two to studying my own game, especially after our matchdays."
What makes a good game for you?
"It has to be intense, fast and attractive for the fans. Creating chances, scoring goals, winning the ball a lot in the opponents’ half. But for me, good football is always associated with control. It shouldn't be you just attacking head-on, you can't ignore what’s happening on the pitch at any point. Football is multi-faceted: just attacking doesn't make me happy, just controlling doesn't either. Overall, people should feel an energy being transferred from the team to the stands. The basic values of football must also be recognisable: a team that physically exerts itself, a spirit that there's a team operating down there, where the players support each other. If one makes a mistake, the other makes up for it. I want to be able to feel that commitment. And that everyone wants to go the extra mile for the common goal."
What does FC Bayern stand for in your eyes?
"I’ve been interested in football since I was little. With FC Bayern, it was always the case for me that this club always won. That's the identity here: winning, against all odds, even if you don't play well sometimes. As I got older, I realised how much it all has to do with mentality, tenacity, will, absolute belief in yourself. You can force luck. And then the famous luck often associated with Bayern turns into a quality. Since Louis van Gaal, the club has combined this always-win gene with an attractive and dominant style. But for me, FC Bayern's football has always been full of grit, always been muscular, always been full of self-confidence. It’s always developed on this basis."
How important is it, especially in this day and age, for players to identify with their club?
"I believe the high level of identification the players have with the club here is a very big asset, helping FC Bayern to be competitive at the highest international level. It can make all the difference when players identify with the values of their club, when the club is strong and it's evident what it stands for - on and off the pitch. That's very distinct here. FC Bayern commands the highest respect abroad and is also feared, because clubs all over the world know exactly what kind of united team you always come up against. FC Bayern, with its strength that has grown over decades, gives its players a sense of direction."
Where will FC Bayern be at the end of the season?
"I don't think any Bayern coach in the course of history has given any other answer than: right at the top! We want to become champions, finally make it to the cup final in Berlin once again, and in the Champions League, FC Bayern are always among the title contenders. In all of this, we want to please the fans. Compared to last season, there's room for improvement, we're all aware of that. We didn't meet expectations then."
fcbayern.com has taken a look back at four of Bayern's biggest Supercup successes: