Every word Thomas Tuchel said before Bayern Munich v Arsenal

Press conference with Bayern Munich manager Thomas Tuchel as his side prepare to face Arsenal in the Champions League quarter-final.

Hello, can you tell us an update about Leroy Sanik? Is he available? If so, how hard is it going to be? And what about the other players? What about Noya Manu and Leroy? Are they fit to play?

Leroy has to push through despite the absence of others like S and Kingsley. Leroy has to give his best effort.

Reflecting on the first leg, what is the key from your perspective?

We need everything the same: dedication, passion, effort, tactical discipline. We need a little bit more, which would be normal. The winner advances, and the loser is out. We aim to win and hope for a supportive atmosphere from the fans.

Talking about the left-back position, have any decisions been made?

We’re considering Guera or Maeri. As for Alexander Pavlovich, he’s back from injury but hasn’t regained rhythm. We’ll decide after the final training.

How’s the team’s preparation going?

We have an extra day to prepare tactically, which is good. We’ll assess the players’ conditions, particularly those returning from injury like Musiala. The first match after a return is usually easier, and the extra day helps with preparation. Final decisions will be made after discussions.

The Champions League clearly brings the best out of you; you’ve won it and you’ve also got winners within the dressing room. How much of an advantage does that winning experience, that Winning Edge, give you tomorrow night?

I think we have the slight advantage of experience in our team. We have players who want it, players who have played decisive matches in this competition. But to make it an advantage, we have to still bring out the very best in us. It can also be sometimes an advantage to not have the experience, to just have the role as a contender, as a hunter.

That can also be a theme for Arsenal, to be the guys who finally do it after so many years. I think after a decade. But also for us, it’s not usual to be in a semi-final. If you see the last years, it’s not so easy for us, also for no one, and also for us as a club to overcome this stage. Now the situation is here, that we have 90 or 120 minutes or penalties to go.

We have this one match, one decisive match to make the next big step in this beautiful competition, and we are determined to bring everything to the table. If the experience within our group brings us an extra 5%, we’re happy to bring it to the table, but we have to bring it. Nobody will give anything to us. It’s like this in this competition; it’s super tough.

Mr. Tuchel, I don’t know if you remember, but I asked you in Rome against Mathijs de Light how do you see his development and what you contribute to his strong performances.

Well, the player would say, “He put me up on the pitch, actually.” But Ma was never number four in my thoughts. It’s always about timing and when you have the opportunity, the chance. We had four center backs who were fit, and there was the highest competition going on.

It just takes some time to see who is the strongest one. So I didn’t do a lot; I just put him up. We always were confident in him, and we believed in him, also in OA and M. Maybe could be seen in the minutes that they played, but we need Ma more tomorrow in his best form. And this is what he expects from himself; this is what we wish for from him, and so he has to perform tomorrow.

Mr. Tuchel, you said on Sunday you would look at or watch Arsenal. What did you analyze, something special that you saw in that match, and what kind of tactics do you expect from Arsenal?

Well, with Saka, they always play normally more on the right. They attack over the right-hand side and finish over the left. But Arsenal normally starts to build up on the right-hand side to create a numerical advantage and then with Saka and Ben White to create this numerical advantage to get over to the left-hand side. So, I don’t think actually that they learned something new.

It’s normal; it’s the duty to look at the last match played by the opponent. But it’s interesting to see closeups and to watch the matches. It’s all reflex. It’s the same as I said before. It’s great from the 3-2-4-1 buildup, 3-2 buildup with Trossard in the back, and the rise up front. Or they can switch; Hars can go back, and Zinchenko can also appear very high.

And so, they’re very flexible, and most of the time everything can happen. It’s not one thing that they stick to. And maybe we switch to half-time. It’s a continuous play that they show, a lot of automatic plays that they show. And I think that we watched and analyzed it very closely and defended it very well. Though didn’t concede a lot. And still, over the last years, it’s a very attractive attacking style.

It’s fun to watch Arsenal, and you can always learn something new. It’s one of the highest levels, and so all the criteria are satisfied for a long time. So, this is the task that we have. We found some good solutions in the first leg, but we just hope for the second leg here, the home-field advantage, that this brings us the extra percentage.

To get back to the injuries that you said you try to find the reasons together with your team, with the medical team, because you have so many muscle problems. Did you find a reason, or what do you think? Also, the number of injuries is just high in number. It has, of course, an impact on the performance of the season, don’t you think so?

Well, it can have an impact. Of course, we felt it two weeks before the match against Darmstadt when we only had 19-20 professional players. It was so obviously different quality in training, different tension in training, a different dynamic within the team. So, we were very confident, and then in the winter transfer window, we got some new players to build up some more competition within the players, between the players. And we have to confirm that we only had one match where we had most of the players available.

So, I think 75% of the matches, we had free spots on the bench. We also installed youth players. And if we see what the aspirations are what this does to a team and how it can push in the normal competitive situation every day in training, every week. So, it certainly has an impact, and it plays a role in the process of a season. And now, before the first leg in Arsenal, we lost, or compared to the first leg, we lost Koman and Serge Gnabry, and Leroy Sane can only play with pain, and Neuer was missing again. And just within a week, we miss again, and new adaptations have to be made. So, it’s a natural competition that gets the best out of you. We didn’t have that situation actually.

Mr. Tuchel, you just said a few weeks ago you want to make it into the Champions League final, but Harry Kane just said that if we win the Champions League, it could become a good season. So, it’s a final tomorrow for the season. How high is the pressure that you feel?

Well, I don’t know if we have to. I think it’s the wrong word. It just ignores the fact that we play against Arsenal. It’s a game of the same level between two strong teams. It’s a 50/50 match. So, I don’t know if we have to talk about or use, have to. We want to make it into the semi-final and to go until the end and make it to London.

And it’s no secret that the Champions League win, the title, that makes it sweeter, of course, the whole season. This is normal. And what I feel, I feel. I understand the question just because we underperformed in the German Cup and in the Bundesliga, and we have to take on the critics.

This is not a problem for us, but I understand the extra comment. But the second spot in the Bundesliga, I don’t need that to be completely motivated tomorrow for the Champions League. It’s a totally different competition. We need to play at our limit and get to the limit. We need all the fans, every single one who is ready to fight with us in order to take this obstacle, and then we see what happens. We feel ready. We have one more training, and we’ll do everything possible tomorrow.

“There will be a little more tingling or sensation compared to the match against Cologne. Is there special preparation ahead of such a match?”

“Well, yes and no. I mean the higher the tension is, the more we leave the players to do their rituals. We don’t do any new things, but of course, it’s a special situation precondition. The tone will change a little bit, and the energy will change, but as mentioned, we had one day more for preparation.

We took advantage of it. Yesterday we already watched some pictures and some scenes of the match against Arsenal. Then, we’ll do the same today. We’ll have our final meeting tomorrow. But it’s a special match and asks a special energy, special tension, and at the end, we try to throw everything in there, also with the right talk to the person to get the best out of the team.”

“Hello, Mr. Tuchel. Bayern Munich vs. Arsenal is also Bundesliga versus Premier League, and there’s no doubt that the Premier League is richer. But is the Bundesliga as good as the Premier League, and could you help the Bundesliga get a fifth extra spot in the Champions League? What would that mean for the Bundesliga?”

“I’m very happy to help. I’m very happy to help, and I’m not only generous for the Bundesliga. I would be happy for myself to help, to be very honest, and you are sure very well aware of that. Yeah, we know. Of course, we have the chance to go through it.

It will be very tough because the Premier League is, in general, in the competition, the toughest competition in the toughest league out there at the moment. This is my belief. But I said before I started here, we would be the team to compete for the title in the Premier League and we would fight for the top four and then fight for the title. This is what Bayern Munich stands for.

This is what we want to prove. Like tomorrow, we play against one of the absolute top teams in the last two years in the Premier League. So, we have to prove a point. Bayern Munich and we as a club and as a team, we are never shy of good competition and of a good fight. So, this is what it brings up here. It’s not Premier League against Bundesliga; it’s Bayern Munich against Arsenal. We had a draw in the first match, and we will clearly play for the win. So will Arsenal, but we hope we can push it to our side. So, we are happy for tomorrow. Thanks.”



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