Kahn absolves Tuchel of any blame as Bayern relinquish top spot to Dortmund

By Sports Desk April 22, 2023

Oliver Kahn criticised Bayern Munich's players for their display in Saturday's 3-1 loss at Mainz but absolved head coach Thomas Tuchel of any blame for their current slump.

Bayern dropped points for the second Bundesliga game running to relinquish top spot to Borussia Dortmund, who beat Eintracht Frankfurt 4-0 later in the day.

Tuchel replaced Julian Nagelsmann last month but has already overseen Bayern's exits from the Champions League and DFB-Pokal at the quarter-final stage of both.

Despite winning just two of his opening seven games in charge, Bayern CEO Kahn does not believe Tuchel deserves any criticism for results over the past month.

"Thomas Tuchel is the last person we need to talk about now," Kahn told reporters. "He is doing everything he can to help the boys progress. 

"There are 11 men on the pitch who have to work hard to achieve the goals of this club. What the team showed on the pitch is not enough."

Kahn and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic are under growing pressure, with Bayern at risk of missing out on the Bundesliga title for the first time since the 2011-12 season.

"I have no problem with criticism," Kahn said. "I have been through a lot in my career and I know what it means when things are not going well at Bayern. We are all responsible. 

"Despite this poor performance, we can still become German champions this season. My only objective is to finish the season as champions and to set off again next season."

Sadio Mane gave Bayern the lead at Mainz, but goals from Ludovic Ajorque, Leandro Barreiro and Aaron Martin in the space of 14 second-half minutes stunned the visitors.

Bayern have now gone four games without a win across all competitions, and Kahn was particularly concerned by his side's collapse at Mewa Arena.

"We played a catastrophic second half," he said. "Who was the team that wants to become champions? It will be very difficult to become champions with such performances."

According to German outlet Sport1, Kahn, Salihamidzic and president Herbert Hainer spoke to the Bayern squad for 15 minutes in the dressing room after the game.

Echoing the views of Kahn, Hainer accepts something has to change with Bayern's mindset if they are to catch Dortmund – one point better off – in their final five matches. 

"We had the game completely under control in the first half, were 1-0 up and forgot to score the second goal," he said. "After their equaliser we broke up completely.

"The second half was disappointing – I have to say that very clearly. When you see two halves that are so different and we collapse like that, it's really difficult to explain.

"You've seen that a few times in the last few games, and I don't know why. The coach will work on it. You can tell there's no security. There's more when they're a goal down."

Bayern return to action a week on Sunday with a home match against bottom side Hertha Berlin.

Related items

  • Sergio Ramos to leave Sevilla after brief return to boyhood club Sergio Ramos to leave Sevilla after brief return to boyhood club

    Sergio Ramos is leaving Sevilla following a one-year return to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, the club have confirmed.

    Ramos came through Sevilla's youth system before joining Real Madrid for €27million as a 19-year-old in 2005, going on to win LaLiga on five occasions and the Champions League four times with Los Blancos.

    Following an injury-hit stint with Paris Saint-Germain, Ramos returned to his boyhood club as a free agent last September, 18 years on from his initial departure.

    Ramos played 28 times in LaLiga last term, scoring three goals and contributing to seven clean sheets as Sevilla pulled away from the relegation zone to end a turbulent season in 14th.

    In a statement released on Monday, the club confirmed Ramos was to depart and said he would speak at a farewell news conference on Tuesday.

    Sevilla added: "The club wishes to thank Sergio for the commitment, leadership and dedication that he has demonstrated this season, and wishes him the best for future."

    The former Spain international is not thought likely to call time on his glittering career just yet, with MLS expansion team San Diego FC having been linked with a move.

  • Rangnick says Austria must believe in hopes of France upset Rangnick says Austria must believe in hopes of France upset

    Ralf Rangnick says self-belief will be vital as his Austria side hunt a major scalp in their Euro 2024 opener against France on Monday.

    France are viewed among the favourites to win the tournament, having won the 2018 World Cup and finished as runners-up at Euro 2016 and the 2022 World Cup under Didier Deschamps.

    However, Les Bleus have been tasked with a tough draw, with Austria tipped as potential dark horses and the Netherlands beating Poland 2-1 in Group D's first match on Sunday.

    Austria finished just one point behind Belgium in their first qualification campaign under former Manchester United boss Rangnick, who has needed little time to implement his preferred high-pressing style.

    Austria allowed their opponents fewer passes per defensive action (8.3 PPDA) than any other team during qualifying, also attacking with the fastest direct speed, moving the ball upfield at a speed of 2.03 metres per second.

    Rangnick plans to take the game to France in Dusseldorf, telling his players there can be no inferiority complex if they are to earn a result. 

    "That is crucial, that we will be courageous, that we are convinced of our own strength," Rangnick said at his pre-match press conference.

    "What's really vital is the way that we perform, not the way that France plays, or whether they are a little bit better or a little bit worse, it's only about us.

    "We prepared for over two years for this day. It's finally starting for us. We're really excited. There's joy above everything else."

    One of Austria's most pressing tasks will be to shut out Kylian Mbappe, who has scored 12 goals in his last three international tournaments (four at the 2018 World Cup, none at Euro 2020, eight at the 2022 World Cup).

    Harry Kane is the only European player to match that figure, and the England man was also the only player from Europe's top five leagues to equal Mbappe's 44 goals in 2023-24. 

    However, Rangnick says Austria cannot afford to focus entirely on any one player, such is the strength of the France squad.

    "With our style of playing we have to counter him and the whole French team, we have to make sure that he doesn't receive as many balls as he likes," he said.

    "We know from our own strengths that we can win this match."

     

  • Rashford did not deserve England spot for Euro 2024, says Ten Hag Rashford did not deserve England spot for Euro 2024, says Ten Hag

    Marcus Rashford's poor form for Manchester United meant he could have no complaints about being left out of England's Euro 2024 squad, believes his club boss Erik ten Hag.

    Along with Manchester City's Jack Grealish, Rashford was a surprise omission from Gareth Southgate's party for the tournament in Germany.

    Anthony Gordon, Eberechi Eze and Jarrod Bowen were among the wide players preferred to Rashford, who had been a mainstay in the Three Lions' squad since making his first tournament appearance at Euro 2016.

    Rashford scored just seven goals in 33 Premier League appearances in 2023-24 as the Red Devils limped to an eighth-place finish – their lowest in the competition's history.

    Only in 2015-16, 2016-17 (both five) and 2021-22 (four) has Rashford scored fewer goals in a top-flight campaign. 

     

    Speaking in his role as a pundit for NOS on Sunday, Rashford's club manager said the forward had not done enough to be considered for his country.

    "Grealish and Rashford were both lacking this season. And when you are lacking, you risk not getting picked for your country," Ten Hag said.

    Ten Hag's job was thought to be under threat as United enter their first full season under the Jim Ratcliffe regime, but it was confirmed last week he will stay at the helm.

    He was asked on Sunday whether he had any desire to manage the Netherlands in the future, but he maintains he is content at Old Trafford.

    "I've never been chasing anything," Ten Hag said. "I'm very happy with where I am now. And I want to make the most of it."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.