Thomas Tuchel under pressure: Examining potential replacements at Bayern Munich

As pressure mounts after a string of disappointing results, Bayern Munich ponders its future with Xabi Alonso, Zidane, and Solskjaer emerging as potential successors to Thomas Tuchel

by Sededin Dedovic
Thomas Tuchel under pressure: Examining potential replacements at Bayern Munich
© Alexander Hassenstein / Getty Images

Pressure is mounting on Bayern Munich manager Thomas Tuchel. After a string of disappointing results, including a recent 3-2 defeat at Bochum that leaves them eight points behind league leaders Bayer Leverkusen, speculation over his future is rife.

At the same time, Bayern lost in the round of 16 against Lazio in Rome 1-0 and now they have a tough job at the Allianz Arena. Although the club are currently aiming to keep Tuchel until the end of the season, they are reportedly exploring potential successors in the event of a summer break.

The news, reported by Skysports, has sparked debate among fans and pundits on Bayern's forums, with each candidate outlining their unique strengths and weaknesses.

Xabi Alonso: Rising star

The current favorite appears to be Xabi Alonso, the former Liverpool midfielder who impressed on his managerial debut at Bayer Leverkusen.

Alonso's side are currently unbeaten in 32 matches in all competitions, displaying a tactically astute possession-based approach that has drawn comparisons with Pep Guardiola. Under his leadership, Leverkusen won 18 out of 22 Bundesliga games with 4 draws, while in those games his team achieved an incredible goal difference of 57-15.

His knowledge of the Bundesliga and reputation as an "outstanding manager" from the new generation make him an attractive option for Bayern.

Xabi Alonso© Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty Images

Xabi Alonso played in Bayern Munich from 2014 to 2017.

During that time he played 117 games and scored 9 goals. He won three Bundesligas, the DFB-Pokal and the Supercup. Alonso was an important player for Bayern Munich during that period. However, his limited managerial experience and the potential disruption of his ongoing project at Leverkusen raise questions about his readiness to take on such a prominent role.

Zinedine Zidane: An experienced maestro

Another intriguing name is Zinedine Zidane, the legendary French manager who has been out of a job since leaving Real Madrid in 2021. Zidane's experience and aura are undeniable, having led Real Madrid to three Champions League titles and two La Liga titles.

His immediate availability could be a bonus for Bayern, but his style of play, known for its emphasis on the counter-attack, may not sit perfectly with the club's traditional possession-based approach. Bayern simply play attacking in every game with a lot of shots on the opponent's goal, while the legendary Frenchman in Real built a calmer type of game with shots only when a goal can be scored.

In addition, his absence from work for almost three years and potentially high salary demands may be factors to consider as we know that the Bavarians do not give big salaries easily.

Zinedine zidane© Denis Doyle / getty Images

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Unexpected spoiler

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's inclusion as a potential interim solution comes as a surprise to many.

The former Manchester United manager, who currently works as UEFA's technical observer, has a mixed managerial record, marked by promising starts and disappointing finishes. While his familiarity with sporting director Christoph Freund and his potential to provide stability during the transition period could be attractive, his lack of experience at the highest level and the potential for a backlash from fans due to his association with a rival club are concerns.

Solsker was definitely a great striker, but Bayern fans surely still remember the Champions League final in 1999, when it was Solsker who sealed their fate in the legendary game.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer© Charlie Crowhurst / Getty Images

The choice that Bayern Munich ultimately makes will depend on their long-term vision because they are interested in young managers.

As before, Bayern's management will decide which manager has specific qualities in accordance with the club's philosophy and thus determine the new head of Bayern. Are they looking for a proven winner like Zidane, a rising star like Alonso or the man who gave them a painful defeat in 1999 Solskjaer? Each candidate offers a unique set of skills and experience, and the decision is likely to be influenced by factors beyond pure managerial prowess.

Behind the big three

It is important to remember that these are not the only options Bayern have. Other managers such as Mauricio Pochettino and Julian Nagelsmann could also be considered depending on their availability and suitability.

In addition, Bayern may choose to promote from within, giving an assistant coach or another member of their staff a chance, but they still have to wait for the match against Lazio in the Champions League which is likely to determine Tuchel's fate at the Allianz Arena.

The manager-elect will face the challenging task of restoring Bayern's dominance in Germany and Europe, while adhering to the club's established style of play and philosophy. Every season, Bayern goes to win all the competitions in which it plays, and everything but the cup is a failure for the Bavarian giant.

The following months will reveal who will try to bring Bayern Munich back to the peak of success, but will ultimately determine the fate of Thomas Tuchel.

Thomas Tuchel Bayern Munich