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Dortmund part company with Tuchel

Dortmund part company with Tuchel

DORTMUND: Borussia Dortmund’s head coach Thomas Tuchel has left the club, the Bundesliga side confirmed Tuesday, three days after winning their first silverware for five years in the German Cup.

The club swiftly denied widespread media reports that Tuchel’s departure was sparked by a public spat with the club’s chief executive.

“We thank Thomas Tuchel and his training staff for their successful work at BVB,” said the club, adding that the “cause of the separation is by no means a disagreement between two people”.

“This is the result of a discussion between Hans-Joachim Watzke [chief executive], Michael Zorc [sports director], Thomas Tuchel and his adviser Olaf Meinking, which took place on Tuesday,” Dortmund said.

Tuchel, regarded as one of Germany’s most innovative coaches, led the club to a second-place finish in the Bundesliga last season and third place this term.

On Saturday, Dortmund won the German Cup with a 2-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt, their first title since winning the Bundesliga and the Cup under Juergen Klopp in 2012.

Relations between Tuchel and Watzke have become publicly strained since a bomb attack on the Dortmund team bus on April 11.

Three explosive devices hidden in a hedge went off next to the team bus as it left the squad’s hotel heading for a Champions League quarter-final match at home against Monaco, wounding Spanish international Marc Bartra, 26, and a motorcycle police officer.

Tuchel had complained that neither he nor his shell-shocked players were consulted on the decision to go ahead with the match against Monaco less than 24 hours after the attack.

But Watzke denied that was the case and said the claim had annoyed him.

Tuchel’s and Dortmund’s difficulties began long before, however, starting in January 2016 when he had a spat with chief scout Sven Mislintat, a friend of Zorc’s, over the signing of Spanish midfielder Oliver Torres from Atletico Madrid.

After the 2016 German Cup final loss to Bayern on penalties, he criticised the Bayern-bound Mats Hummels, and was unhappy with Watzke when other key players like Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Ilkay Gundogan also departed. Tuchel said the squad break-up was “risky”. Watzke said it was “ambitious”.

Last January, Tuchel said he wasn’t informed of Swedish forward Alexander Isak’s signing, and he questioned his side’s mentality and whether its targets for the season were overambitious the following month after a league loss to last-placed Darmstadt 98.

For weeks, Lucien Favre, currently in charge of French league side Nice, has been tipped to take over due to his Bundesliga experience with Hertha Berlin and Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Published in Dawn, May 31st, 2017

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