Although the majority saw it coming, Thomas Tuchel was sacked by Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday. Days after winning BVB’s first trophy in five years and following months of speculation over his future.
It’s a shame to see Tuchel depart Borussia Dortmund, regardless of circumstances. After winning the DFB Pokal against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, you could see the emotions he was going through. It’s almost as though he knew what was coming. His last hurrah was the Pokalsieger parade in Dortmund the following day.
Although a slow start to the 2016/17 Bundesliga campaign, Dortmund turned results around whilst producing attacking football. The arrival of Ousmane Dembélé has certainly pleased fans having scored ten goals and recording 21 assists in his debut season, whilst the emergence of Christian Pulisic has got the world talking.
Like all good things though, they must eventually come to an end. Let’s just hope that the next head coach that does take charge is able to carry on the wonderful work that Tuchel has done in such a short period of time.
How did the fallout start?
After just two seasons’ in charge of Borussia Dortmund, Tuchel announced via a newly established Twitter handle that he had parted ways, abandoning his project which looked so promising. But why did this happen?
Unable to keep Mats Hummels, Ilkay Gundogan and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Tuchel was furious. He was promised that they’d do the utmost to keep hold of their best players whilst arguably Dortmund are yet to replace them.
Alexander Isak was brought in from AIK, of which Tuchel claimed to know nothing of the transfer until the Sweden international was in Dortmund whilst feuds between the head scout and coach made national headlines.
“It is not the result alone that matters,” chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke wrote in an open letter to fans. “What also matters are fundamental values such as trust and respect.”
Behind the remarkable football, there’s been problems. Relationships between Tuchel and Watzke became stale since the attack of Dortmund’s coach prior to their Champions League clash against AS Monaco in April.
The German head coach revealed that neither he or his players were consulted over when the fixture should be played – which subsequently went ahead just 24 hours later. A mix of miscommunication and trust issues, Tuchel’s time at the Westfalenstadion was slowly coming to an end.
Who could be the man to replace Thomas Tuchel?
The past two weeks has seen OGC Nice head coach Lucien Favre been heavily linked with Borussia Dortmund. A decorated CV in German football, the former Borussia Mönchengladbach coach would seem like an obvious choice.
Although a different style of play to Tuchel, Favre relies heavily on attacking football, whilst he’s already coached Mahmoud Dahoud – who will join Dortmund in summer – and Marco Reus, who played under the now 59-year-old in Gladbach.
With his contract not expiring until 2019, Dortmund may have to pay around €5 million in compensation – although he’d be the perfect candidate for the now vacant role.
Another choice seems to be Julian Nagelsmann. And rightly so. However, it looks as though the 29-year-old is set to stay at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, whilst he seems to be the favoured choice to take over Carlo Ancelotti at Bayern Munich, whenever that may happen.
Outsiders for the role of head coach is 1. FC Köln’s Peter Stöger. A remarkable season for the Austrian, he’s managed to qualify for next season’s Europa League – Cologne have been absent from Europe for 25 years, so quite the achievement.
Peter Bosz of Ajax has also been linked with the position, after narrowly losing out to Manchester United in the Europa League final. Of the names mentioned, everything points to Favre being the coach the people want.
Players to follow Tuchel out of the door?
Whilst it may be worrying times for Dortmund, fans shouldn’t expect too many departures, given several them are still just in their first season at the club. Wednesday morning saw Yahoo Sport FR report that Paris Saint-Germain have reached an agreement over Dortmund for the transfer of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but other than that, we’re not expecting to see much of an exodus at Dortmund this summer.