Andreas Reiners
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It is a myth, an often unsolvable puzzle, always a challenge, but also a place of refuge and, ultimately, the most sacred thing in a Bundesliga team: the dressing room. There the team is sworn in, tactics are discussed, alliances are created, a hierarchy is formed and the mood is set. You could say a dose of daily soap. Especially in Bayern, because the dressing room of the record holders is notorious and has another coach on its conscience: Thomas Tuchel BCB also failed because of the star-studded locker room.

The peculiarity of the Bayern dressing room: no other team in Germany has so many top players on its roster that create a special squad. “There are many players who have won endless titles, and everyone thinks they are the greatest. And, unfortunately, this success is often associated with a certain arrogance and lack of teamwork,” says sports psychologist Matthias Herzog in an interview with our editors. .

It depends on the status

As for the coach, in this mixed situation his status largely depends: the respect shown to him, recognition from the team coming from previous successes, but also his aura, his natural authority. Without much success, you may be questioned more quickly as a coach, “and that of course makes it extremely difficult if you’re not taken seriously as a coach,” Herzog says.

Jupp Heynckes And pep Guardiola are positive examples, both controlled the Bayern dressing room and united it behind them. Carlo Ancelotti lost, despite his reputation. And Niko Kovac “could never win her over,” Herzog said. “And then, of course, it’s very easy for you to lose your team, especially if you make unclear decisions or don’t really communicate with the team.”

Or if the tone doesn’t suit you. “A lot of players today are very sensitive, almost wimps to put it bluntly,” Herzog said. And coupled with the Mia san mia mantra, the club identity, the club’s DNA and a sense of community that is quite unusual for a global club, you as a coach must serve the team and the environment in a way that the Bayern family achieves. “Otherwise, it will only be a few weeks before you lose the team,” Herzog said.

Communication and traceability

During his time in power, Tuchel lost his dressing room not in the short term, but in parts, according to the newspaper “Bild”, recently there were even two camps. One for, one against Tuchel.

“Players always ask, ‘Why?’ Why is the coach making this decision now? Why am I allowed to play now or why am I not allowed to play? If you do this through communication, then you have a better chance of achieving this. The players recognize it too,” Herzog said.

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“As a coach, you have to be a good friend on the one hand, but also make clear statements on the other,” says the psychologist. Be strict, but at the same time fair and objective in your assessments. It would also be useful to have important people, managers, sitting behind you in the salon. But Tuchel makes it very clear that he doesn’t value the opinions of others, says Herzog: “He doesn’t care about them at all, he has his own point of view. He does his job selfishly, and others have to do what they have to do. He leads almost a dictatorship there. And then, of course, he loses players.” Don’t underestimate the dynamics that can arise between people.

The fact is: Tuchel was irritated by many of the statements in the interview. When he found himself at a loss after defeats and publicly condemned the team. When he subtly responded to criticism or almost dismantled worthy players like Joshua Kimmich with the eternal discussion about Holding Six. Or too often made personnel decisions that were difficult to understand. “And from my point of view, he never took responsibility, his self-reflection is zero, which, of course, is even more deadly,” Herzog said.

Absolute power

Since such a dressing room has “absolute power” in the club, they can do whatever they want. As a coach, you usually don’t have a chance at that,” Herzog says. Because as a coach, you are the weakest link right now, “and unless there is unconditional support from the board, the players can force the coach to leave in very short order,” Herzog says. Which is theoretically still true for Tuchel, even if the decision to part ways was made in the summer.

What’s especially dangerous is that the mixture in the cabin is “totally toxic,” Herzog says. “They are oversaturated because the biggest enemy of success is actual success plus complacency, arrogance and arrogance,” Herzog says. According to the motto: Yes, we are probably too bad for the Champions League, but we will still win the championship in passing. “You actually have to work with completely different goals,” Herzog says. Instead, it is a “self-fulfilling prophecy principle,” the expert said.

The question automatically arises: is Tuchel not the right guy for this team? Herzog is a little surprised by this development as Tuchel is not considered an easy man, but on the one hand he has developed even more in recent years and has also celebrated sporting successes. From a psychological point of view, Tuchel is the type of doer, a power-obsessed perfectionist, but he acts too focused on the past, so he continues to open barrels that have actually already been closed, says Herzog: “And the level of the relationship with him is fatal. And it’s common for these personality types to resist advice,” says Herzog.

The important ability to admit mistakes

But the ability to admit mistakes is one of a manager’s greatest strengths. “But many coaches don’t understand this because they are so obsessed with power that they are afraid of losing power if they admit certain mistakes,” Herzog says. The expert emphasizes that winning should not be underestimated: “The coach gets much more respect and recognition if he really does it.” And most importantly, he does not lose his cabin.

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About the interlocutor

  • Matthias Herzog is a qualified industrial engineer and studied sports science with a focus on psychology and nutrition. He works as a psychologist, motivational coach and consultant and has already worked with clubs such as THW Kiel and Hannover 96.

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