The news of the resignation of Julian Nagelsmann from the post of head coach of Bayern Shocked the football world. The parting with the specialist was announced at a time when Bayern Munich occupied the second place in the Bundesliga table and had eight victories in the last ten matches, two of which were over Paris Saint-Germain in the 1/8 finals of the Champions League. But, despite this, the club decided to take a new course and put another German in charge of the team - Thomas Tuchel, who was without work after leaving Chelsea. The contract is signed until June 30, 2025.
The reasons for Nagelsmann's dismissal are not as simple as it may seem at first glance. Yes, Bayern bosses focus on not the highest results in 2023 and the loss of attractiveness in the team's game. I can partially agree with that. Last year, the team finished in first place in the German championship and was ahead of the nearest competitor - Freiburg - by four points. But after the resumption of the draw, he gave a series of three draws, and subsequently supplemented it with two disappointing defeats against Borussia Mönchengladbach (2: 3) and Bayer Leverkusen (1: 2) - on paper strong opponents, who, however, are having extremely unsuccessful seasons. At the moment, the "foals" are only tenth in the national championship, and the "aspirin" are slightly higher - on the eighth line.
It is also important how Bayern suffered these setbacks. In both confrontations, Nagelsmann's charges lost not only in score, but also in the game - this is confirmed by the more than twofold advantage of the opponents in terms of expected goals (xG). Yes, the match against Borussia Dortmund was affected by the sending off of Dayo Yupamecano in the eighth minute, but it was hardly considered a serious excuse in the management.
As a result, in two months, Bayern Munich scored only 18 points in ten rounds and missed Borussia Dortmund in first place. And although Nagelsman could return the team to the lead on April 1 (a full-time duel with the "bumblebees" is scheduled for this date), Oliver Kahn and Hassan Salihamidzic did not give him the opportunity to correct the situation.
This suggests that the coach's resignation was not solely related to the results on the field. Especially given what has surrounded his tenure with the Reds for the past year and a half since his appointment in July 2021. During this period, conflicts between Nagelsmann and his star wards were repeatedly reported, including Robert Lewandowski, who had already left Germany, and Manuel Neuer, who is now recovering from a severe injury received while skiing.
And that's a little ironic. After all, according to Sky Sport Deutschland, Nagelsmann's decision to go to a ski resort in Austria added fuel to the fire, while the whole team continued to train. This allegedly outraged both the athletes themselves and the functionaries.
And although this situation was hardly a reason for resignation, but once again illustrated the existence of problems between the mentor and the wards. During his stay in Munich, there was regular news about dissatisfaction with Nagelsmann's methods of work and tactical decisions, allegedly not allowing the team to reveal its potential. Rumours of friction have surfaced intermittently, particularly following a draw with Borussia Dortmund in October. Then Bayern led 2-0, but at the end of the match allowed Dortmund to recoup and lost important points. According to Bild, Julian was criticized for his inability to influence the course of the meeting, for the choice of the squad and ambiguous substitutions, as well as for impulsivity.
The last aspect manifested itself a little later - during the very game with Borussia Mönchengladbach, when Nagelsmann fell on the main referee. The specialist was so outraged by the work of the referee's team that he called them soft-bodied and almost broke into the referee's room. As a result, he was fined € 50 thousand, and only a public apology helped him avoid disqualification.
Perhaps it was the character of Nagelsmann that largely provoked quarrels with his wards. And although many believed that with the departure of Lewandowski, the degree of tension would decrease slightly, this did not happen. Back in the autumn, information appeared about the intention of Benjamin Paward to leave Bayern Munich due to disagreements with Julian, later it was said about the difficulties in relations with Thomas Muller and others.
As for the situation with Neuer, the reason for the quarrel was the decision to stop cooperation with goalkeeper coach Toni Tapalovic, who had worked at the club since 2011. Again, because of a conflict with a mentor. Then Manuel was so indignant that he even gave a resonant interview, where he walked Nagelsmann. But, according to Bild, the parties managed to find a consensus.
It is noteworthy that the German newspaper appears in this story in a different capacity. According to rumors, the athletes were seriously concerned about the romance between Nagelsmann and the journalist of the publication Lena Wurzenberger, which became known in the summer of 2022. It is noted that for her sake he divorced his wife, although he was in a relationship with her for 15 years and had two children. According to former Bayern Munich midfielder Marcus Babbell, the players were afraid to openly express their thoughts in a conversation with Julian, as they feared that all this could become public.
It is all the more curious that in March another scandal broke out, when Bayern's tactical plans for the game with Bochum were leaked to the press. Nagelsmann himself expressed extreme dissatisfaction with this fact and expressed the opinion that there is a "mole" inside the team.
Perhaps all this together forced the bayern management to refuse the services of Nagelsmann. And this is despite the long-term contract, calculated until 2026, as well as the regalia of the specialist. After all, a few days ago, club president Herbert Heiner called him a top coach and praised him for his triumph in the confrontation with PSG, and the authoritative portal FourFourTwo recognized him as the best mentor in the world among those who have not reached the age of 40. In this list, he surpassed Ruben Amorim, Domenico Tedesco, Vincent Kompany, Wayne Rooney and others.
However, the future of both Bayern Munich and Nagelsmann is unlikely to raise concerns. Tuchel, who replaced him in office, has already demonstrated his ability to rebuild the team in the shortest possible time and achieve tremendous success with it. In 2021, he took charge of Chelsea during the season and led them to victory in the Champions League. Although the Londoners were then in crisis and could not boast of either coherence or balance.
Julian himself is also likely to be in high demand. It has already become known about the intention of Tottenham to invite a star coach, and in fact there are still Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, who soon risk being left without a helmsman. Madrid are allegedly unhappy with the results this season and are thinking about sacking Carlo Ancelotti, swinging chair under Christophe Galtier.
However, the current situation makes it clear that a new trend has emerged in football, according to which the opinion of players becomes more important than the results on the field. Despite local setbacks, Bayern had a fairly successful competitive year and still claimed three titles, knocking out one of the main contenders for victory in the Champions League. But all this was not so significant when the situation inside the team heated up to the limit.
There is almost nothing more to reproach Nagelsmann for. No one is immune from recessions, especially against the background of the restructuring caused by the departure of the team leader and one of the best scorers of our time. And the reproaches that under the leadership of the German his charges did not progress enough seem strange. Under him, Josua Kimmich finally transformed into a star, Leon Goretzka and Alfonso Davis significantly improved, and Eric Choupo-Moting gave one of the best stretches in his career.