Thomas Tuchel via Mainz, Dortmund, Paris and Chelsea to FC Bayern Munich
EHe knew that the reporters waiting on Säbener Strasse in Munich that Tuesday morning wanted to see him. He knew they wanted to film and photograph him. He probably knew they wanted to interpret whatever he was going to do over the next 15 minutes. And although – or because – he knew that, gave Thomas Tuchel gave them a moment in the public part of his first session as FC Bayern soccer coach that you could see, film, photograph and then also interpret wonderfully: kicking in the ass.
It was of course just a joke made by the trainer (the photos and videos revealed: he pointed to the kick on the buttocks of Leroy Sane affectionately), but because he was having fun with this player, the sports reporters immediately put their interpretations on the Internet: Is Thomas Tuchel the right coach to constantly get the best out of a player like Leroy Sané, highly gifted, but also highly complicated in some respects , get out?
It has been interpreted constantly since Thomas Tuchel rose to the top of international football city by city, club by club, team by team: Mainz, Dortmund, Paris, London – and, more recently, Munich. He won the Champions League, but never in the long term the favor of the powerful men who ran his Champions League venues. As an interpreting sports reporter, you could see the latest constellation differently: Is it FC Bayernwhich this Saturday (6:30 p.m. in FAZ live ticker for the Bundesliga and at Sky) meets Dortmund in the top game, is it really the right club to constantly get the best out of a coach like Thomas Tuchel, highly talented, but also highly complicated in some respects?
At the Säbener Straße seem to be Oliver Kahn and Hasan Salihamidžić to be sure – because Tuchel, with whom they were in contact in the summer of 2018, has developed further. (The board members should also be sure, because they have continued to be criticized since they communicated the release of their dream coach Julian Nagelsmann in a very cliched manner.) “There is always a personal development behind it,” said Kahn in the first press conference with the new coach when he raved about his CV. One thing Kahn didn’t say: How did the coach develop?
You can interpret that. But you can also document it city by city, club by club, team by team – with the help of the most important events and the most important testimonies of those who worked with him there.
Chapter I: FSV Mainz 05 (August 2009 to June 2014)
When Volker Kersting, who is responsible for youth football in Mainz, hires a new U-19 or U-17 coach, he sends him to his manager’s office shortly beforehand. “Usually,” it said Christian Heidel, who works in this office, the “NZZ”, “such conversations last ten minutes”. He just wanted to know what type of coach the coach was. Does it fit, doesn’t it fit? On the day in 2008 when Kersting sent Thomas Tuchel to the office, it took more than an hour.
“I’ve never had someone like that sitting in my office before,” Heidel said. “It was the most interesting conversation I’ve had with a U-19 coach up to that point.” Why? “Thomas’ style alone: very self-confident, but anything but arrogant.” It was about football, leadership, team leadership. As early as September 2009, Heidel then released the coach of the professional team – and hired Tuchel. “I got a lot of beatings in the media,” he said: “And a few weeks later we were fifth in the Bundesliga.”