The mess in Munich! All of the issues facing new Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel

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Thomas Tuchel Sadio Mane Joao Cancelo Bayern Munich 2022-23 GFX
The former Chelsea boss is adept at making an instant impact at clubs but he has plenty of work to do to calm the tension at the Allianz Arena.

Everything looked very jovial at Thomas Tuchel's first training session as Bayern Munich's newcoach. Pictures emerged of a beaming manager strolling out onto a pristine pitch, warmly greeted by eager players.

It was everything the club needed: a fresh start, and a fresh face, striding in to lift a stagnating side.

But this won't be a simple assignment for Tuchel.

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While Julian Nagelsmann didn't exactly leave the club in bad shape – Bayern are second in the Bundesliga and in the last eight of the Champions League – the sudden and shocking nature of his exit underlined that all is not well at the Allianz Arena.

And Tuchel is the man tasked with clearing up the mess in Munich.

So, where to start in all of this? GOAL takes a look at some of the pressing issues the new boss will have to resolve as quickly as possible to salvage a season that could easily go off the rails...

  1. Fix the Bundesliga form
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    Fix the Bundesliga form

    For the first time in years, Bayern find themselves playing catch up in the Bundesliga. If they lose to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, their arch-rivals will have a four-point lead and the upper hand in the title race.

    Right now, it's hard to see this Bayern side, in their current league form, closing that gap. The priority for Tuchel, then, is to bring a sense of calm to the tense situation he now finds himself in.

    The Bavarians don't have to play barnstorming football – at least, not immediately. But they need to avoid the panic of a title race from setting in.

    One of Naglesmann's biggest faults towards the end of his tutelage was an inability to settle on a consistent XI. It is obviously more complex than putting the best 11 players on the pitch, but Tuchel needs to settle into a regular side.

    With all the talent Bayern have, anything resembling consistency should be enough to carry them to an 11th straight Bundesliga crown.

  2. Utilize the attacking talents of Cancelo

    Utilize the attacking talents of Cancelo

    It has been three months since Bayern Munich signed JoaoCancelo on loan from Manchester City, and it's now unclear why they did it.

    Certainly, a player of Cancelo's calibre is worth taking a punt on – especially on loan. But he is a complex case, a game-changing talent that can excel in the right circumstances, rather than being thrown into a system that does not suit his interests.

    Pep Guardiola worked his tactical magic to get the best out of Cancelo at City, stripping him of defensive responsibilities and deploying the Portuguese as an inverted full back. From there, he became something of an assist machine, a crucial cog in one of Europe's best sides.

    He will not have that kind of freedom under Tuchel, but the German manager loves his wing-backs, and developed Reece James into a top talent during his spell at Chelsea.

    If there's another manager that can figure out Cancelo, it's Tuchel.

  3. Get Mane firing
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    Get Mane firing

    Sadio Mane has been rather unlucky this season. The former Liverpool man was just about rounding into form before he picked up an injury that required surgery back in November. And he's been a shadow of his former self since his return.

    Granted, it has only been a few weeks since he worked his way back to the training pitch, but there are real concerns inside the Bayern camp that the Senegal international has lost his edge. This is all rather bad news, considering Mane was supposed to be the big signing that was going to step up to replace the outgoing Robert Lewandowski.

    Tuchel will have some tactical tweaking to do here and it's difficult to see where Mane fits into his preferred 3-4-3 system.

    Perhaps he can be used as an inside forward, playing off Eric Maxim Chuopo Moting. Or, alternatively, Tuchel could make him the focal point, playing the kind of advanced, modified false nine role that he entrusted Kai Havertz with at Chelsea.

    Regardless, Mane is a world-class talent, and a true match-winner. Tuchel needs to figure out how to get him back to his best.

  4. Calm a turbulent dressing room

    Calm a turbulent dressing room

    Nagelsmann's sacking seems to have been met with mixed feelings in the dressing room.

    Clubs are complex, and for a Bayern side that wasn't exactly struggling, it's difficult to know exactly what was going on. Still, as Chairman Oliver Kahn suggested, there was a certain amount of unsettlement in the camp.

    And not everyone was on the same page. Joshua Kimmich, for example, insisted that the team hadn't done enough for Nagelsmann, and was loath to speak with any excitement about the new manager.

    But it was also well-known that senior figures such as Manuel Neuer had a broken relationship with the former boss.

    Bayern were not exactly in complete crisis, but there was a definite air of uncertainty around the Allianz Arena. That is something Tuchel will have to address.

    The Bavarians aren't a side full of egos or poor characters. But they are, for the most part, an immensely experienced group that knows what dressing-room harmony looks like.

    Tuchel, fortunately, represents a chance for everyone to start over – but he will need to get everyone singing from the same hymn sheet right away, given Bayern are facing a couple of weeks that will define their season.

  5. Help Sane find form
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    Help Sane find form

    LeroySane has been a curious case for Bayern. The Bavarians signed him not far removed from a knee injury that saw him phased out at Man City, an admittedly puzzling decision at the time.

    Still, he has been a regular source of goals and assists since he arrived in Germany, and remains a devastating one-on-one player. But he's lacked a killer instinct in front of goal this year and hasn't quite been at his best.

    Tuchel isn't necessarily the poster child of attacking managers, but he has worked with similar profiles of players before, and gotten results.

    His success with Angel Di Maria at Paris Saint-Germain, for example, suggests that he can get the best out of attacking wingers or inside forwards. Bayern will be hoping he can have a similar effect on Sane.

  6. Piece together the ideal front line
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    Piece together the ideal front line

    Bayern have a number of enviable talents, complemented by some imperfect pieces up front.

    Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has become a reliable goalscorer, but he lacks mobility. Thomas Muller's age seems to be finally catching up to him. Meanwhile, Sane, Mane, Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman could all be worked into the XI.

    Add to the fact that Jamal Musiala probably needs to be deployed as an attacking midfielder, and Tuchel has a problem. It's something that Nagelsmann never solved himself. Choupo-Moting and Sane were regulars, but those around them shifted.

    That doesn't mean it didn't work. Coman was, at one point, used as a wing-back to great effect as Bayern dispatched PSG in the Champions League. But it was, at times, out of sync, with the club's best players never hitting their stride at the same time.

    The reality is, Tuchel will not be able to keep everyone happy. But there's plenty of attacking talent to harness here. It just needs to be configured correctly.

    Over to you, Thomas...