The data reflecting Bayern’s evolution

Entre muchos factores que explican sus dudas, ¿era el Bayern un club para Tuchel?¿Era Tuchel el entrenador idóneo para el Bayern?

Published:22/02/2024

Since leaving Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel has been seen as a clear candidate for the Bayern Munich dugout. However, less than a year after signing for the German giant, it has been revealed that Tuchel will leave his position as Bayern’s coach at the end of the 2023/24 season. Beyond the possibility of there being a better team, such as Bayer Leverkusen, who are still undefeated, or the fact that the reasons why a team does not perform well are difficult to quantify, the data offers possibilities for analysis compared to previous Bayern teams.

Bayern had perhaps their best season in history just four years ago, with Hansi Flick at the helm. Julian Nagelsmann then arrived, leading Bayern from RB Leipzig for almost two years. One might think that the two periods before Tuchel’s tenure would have been more offensive, in terms of volume and accuracy, but that is not the case.

The current Bayern team averages more Expected Goals per 90 minutes and more touches in the opponent’s area than those under Flick or Nagelsmann. With similar possession levels, Bayern once again presents the highest xG data in the top five European leagues. The team’s decline has not been due to a lack of offensive volume, but likely more related to style and player confidence, resulting in a significantly weaker defensive performance.

Under Tuchel, fewer Expected Goals have been conceded, but the team is still conceding an average of one goal per game, a very high figure for the reigning champions of the last decade in Germany. What stands out most are the metrics reflecting changes in style. The main change is that defensively, Bayern is not a team that influences the opponent’s field. Tuchel has opted for less intense pressing from deeper positions. The data is striking:

  • Bayern 2013-16 (Guardiola): 4.65 High Recoveries / 13.2 Recoveries in Opponent’s Half
  • Bayern 2019/20 (Flick): 7.35 High Recoveries / 16.5 Recoveries in Opponent’s Half
  • Bayern 2021/23 (Nagelsmann): 7.82 High Recoveries / 17.4 Recoveries in Opponent’s Half
  • Bayern 2023/24 (Tuchel): 3.45 High Recoveries / 8.54 Recoveries in Opponent’s Half

The arrival of Harry Kane may have influenced the decision to press less, recover less higher up the pitch, and attack with more space from deeper recoveries. However, another metric that evidences a change in style, somewhat conflicting with Bayern’s offensive identity:

  • Bayern 2013-2016 (Guardiola): 13.5 passes per long ball
  • Bayern 2019/20 (Flick): 13.9 passes per long ball
  • Bayern 2021/23 (Nagelsmann): 17.2 passes per long ball
  • Bayern 2023/24 (Tuchel): 23.4 passes per long ball

Tuchel is a coach who favors a more constant buildup, with short and precise passes, but achieving particularly high figures compared to more recent coaches. Without pressure, energy, and without more aggressiveness in the passes, seeking verticality, Bayern has been losing some of its identity. Football has a thousand channels, and the reasons why Tuchel is leaving will be very different, but the data helps us explain how teams, players, and coaches play and perform.

Founded in 2017 as a consultancy, Driblab has driven innovation through data in all aspects of professional football. Thanks to a transversal model, its database collects and models statistics in all directions. From converting matches and videos into bespoke data for training academies to developing cutting-edge technology, helping clubs, federations and representative agencies in talent scouting and transfer markets. Driblab’s smart data is used by clubs all over the world, with success stories such as Dinamo Zagreb, Real Betis and Girondins Bordeaux among others. Here you can find out more about how we work and what we offer.

Autor: Alejandro Arroyo
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