After watching his Bayern Munich side demolish Borussia Dortmund 4-0 in the season’s first Der Klassiker, Thomas Tuchel wasn’t finished.
Aided by a Harry Kane hat-trick, one that counted even in the humourlessly pedantic German definition of the term, Bayern swept aside opponents with such ruthless ease that you suspected the Dortmund players had rewatched last season’s epic title collapse before entering the field.
Bayern were dominant. Playing with an arrogance that made the 1982 West Germany side appear like wallflowers in comparison, the perennial Bundesliga champions got Dortmund in a headlock and didn’t relent for the entire 90 minutes.
The Yellow Wall, one of the most iconic stands in Europe and part of every MUNDIAL reader’s bucket list, was reduced to silence. A sulky, tearful silence, much like a small child whose trip to the zoo has been cancelled because they refused to finish their dinner.
Finding himself in a position of strength, in terms of a single match rather than the actual league table, Tuchel removed a small rifle from his pocket and took out both Lother Mattheus and Didi Hamann.
“Why did we win today?,” Tuchel asked Sky Sports in a delightfully rhetorical manner. “Despite the cracks in the team and no development? Lothar definitely knows.
“If not him, then definitely Didi. I’m very happy with my team, everything was great.
“It was a top game, we put in a top performance. I’m happy for the team. We created a lot of chances to score and fully deserved to win here.
“We did a lot of things well today, it can’t be as bad as what was written (in the media). Today we won 4-0, now you (journalists) have to do a 180-degree turn.
“Have fun. You can do your job now, but without me!”
The former Chelsea manager would also say: “For a team without progress and which is experiencing a difficult situation internally, things were fine today. For the rest, you can ask the experts Didi and Lothar.“ Yikes.
Standing on the Westfalenstadion pitch, Tuchel delivered a masterclass of passive aggression, spikiness and belligerence to an increasingly frazzled presenter and assorted pundits. It needs to be seen to be believed.
— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) November 5, 2023
For those without the inside track on Bundesliga drama, a phenomenon so relentless and regular it makes Coronation Street look like a nondescript village in the Outer Hebrides, Tuchel came into Saturday’s match under increasing pressure.
As mentioned above, Bayern are trailing Bayer Leverkusen in the league and were knocked out of the German Cup by third-tier Saarbrucken earlier in the week. For a club of Bayern’s expectations, that simply won’t do.
“Something doesn’t seem right,” Bayern and German legend Matthaus had said previously. “Where is the dominance, the strength and the belief to control everything and everyone on the pitch?
“What is the match plan? [Jamal] Musiala, [Leroy] Sane and [Harry] Kane will sort it out and that’s it? That won’t work.
“He (Tuchel) made many statements that unsettled players like Joshua Kimmich and that hasn’t contributed to the team’s success to this day. He could still be a success — but to do that they have to win the league and the Champions League.
“Just winning the league won’t be enough. They already won the title last season and that too with a lot of luck.”
Yesterday’s thumping win over Dortmund offered the best retort in Tuchel’s eyes, ascending him to the hallowed turf of the moral high ground. And he made sure everybody knew it.
By Michael Lee
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