At the absolute limit – Thomas Tuchel criticises packed football calendar

By Sports Desk November 23, 2023

Bayern Munich head coach Thomas Tuchel is the latest high-profile manager to take issue with the football calendar after admitting his players are physically and mentally tired.

Tuchel’s mood has not been helped by the Bundesliga scheduling their fixture at Cologne for Friday night.

Pre-weekend matches in Germany are generally designed to help teams with Champions League fixtures the following week but coming immediately off the back of an international break does not appear to have done Bayern too many favours.

“People want to see the best players play football with joy and desire,” Tuchel told a press conference.

“The calendar is at the absolute limit, if not over it. The boys are tired. They’re mentally tired, they’re emotionally tired, they’re physically tired.

“There are two more Champions League games next year, there’s a tournament in the summer (Euro 2024), that’s just at the limit.”

Some of Tuchel’s internationals only arrived back in Munich on Thursday, just 24 hours before kick-off.

“It’s our second Friday match. Minjae Kim and Alphonso Davies are only back from their travels today,” he added.

“It’s very unfortunate scheduling, particularly in a sporting sense, but it shouldn’t be an excuse. I don’t want to go on about it.

“We’ve opted for a short trip on Friday morning so that the players can sleep at home. We want to win and we’ll prepare to do that.”

Tuchel will be without defender Matthijs de Ligt and forward Jamal Musiala while defender Raphael Guerreiro is a doubt with a minor problem.

“We’re looking closely at which internationals have had a big workload like Konrad Laimer, Minjae Kim or Alphonso Davies. We’ll decide late on the line-up for tomorrow,” said Tuchel.

Veteran forward Thomas Muller is in the final year of his contract and has seen reduced playing time this season but the 34-year-old has stressed he wants to continue playing next season.

Bayern are understood to want to keep Muller but they have yet to come to an agreement.

“We want him in the team. It’s clear he wants to keep playing. He’s a footballer through and through. Why shouldn’t he keep playing at the very highest level?” said Tuchel.

“I have a very positive impression of him. He’s in top shape and it’s all good. Thomas is a club icon, a living legend. He gets the maximum respect from us.”

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