Borussia Dortmund must catch up, says new coach Thomas Tuchel
Borussia Dortmund have to make up a margin to catch up on the leading Bundesliga clubs, incoming BVB coach Thomas Tuchel has said during his unveiling.
"We are the challengers," the Jurgen Klopp successor said.
Four days after the 3-1 cup final defeat against VfL Wolfsburg, a new era began at Dortmund's Westfalenstadion on Wednesday. Speaking to a packed house during his unveiling, new BVB coach Thomas Tuchel said that BVB will have to play catch up on the four top teams in Europe, and asked for patience on his way there.
Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke spoke first, reflecting on a season which resulted in the end of a seven-year partnership, with Jurgen Klopp following a dismal first half of the season, and a minor comeback with the qualification for the Europa League on the final match day, and a semifinal win at Bayern Munich in the DFB-Pokal.
"We are just happy that we have put the season behind us. And we are in the fighting mode from today on," Watzke said, before handing the word to sporting executive Michael Zorc, who called the appointment of the 41-year-old former Mainz coach "a logical decision."
During his sabbatical away from football after five years at FSV Mainz, Tuchel had turned himself into a coveted coach, and was linked to Hamburger SV, Schalke 04, RB Leipzig as well as being tipped as an outside candidate to succeed Pep Guardiola at Bayern by first taking over another coaching role at Munich.
In mid-April, Tuchel was appointed to follow in Klopp's footsteps at BVB when signing a deal until 2018.
"I was only able to succeed Jurgen that way. Dortmund and the club needed to part way on good terms. It's important to recognise his great achievements for the club in the past seven years. Jurgen was more than a coach here," the new Borussia boss told reporters.
While looking forward to the emotional atmosphere at the club and in the city of Dortmund, Tuchel knows that Dortmund need new goals in the upcoming season.
"I had the wish to coach a top Bundesliga club, one with tradition, a real challenger," he said. "And BVB are a huge challenger in all competitions. Especially domestically. But the peak of German football has become broader. It's not only Munich, but also Borussia Monchengladbach, Bayer Leverkusen, and VfL Wolfsburg. We are the challengers for this quartet, but have a leeway because of the new coach."
Tuchel praised the four coaches at the clubs, and added that to attack them BVB will need "diligence, modesty, courage, and persistence" as well as an atmosphere free of "egoism."
Borussia Dortmund have so far not been too busy on the transfer market. Midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is set to leave the club, while Leverkusen's Gonzalo Castro is the first official signing for the new season. Tuchel now wants to have a closer look at the team before making more decisions.
"It's a great squad, and I can't get a reliable picture of it just by looking at videos. I can't see why he is in form right now, or why not. Or whether he feels comfortable on that position or not. I want to take a closer look at the qualities of the players, and their character as well," Tuchel said. "I can't say judge after videos, who has to leave the club. That's my understanding of the work as a coach."
The new coach did not give away too much about whether he will implement a system at Dortmund.
"BVB have coined an own style, and we don't need to invent a new style, but don't need to just copy everything that has been done before. We want to act when we have the ball and be dominant, but also want to act when we have lost possession, and directly win the ball back."
Dortmund are set to begin the new seasons with the qualifiers for the Europa League in late July, and also embark on a tour of Asia earlier that month.
"The situation is like it is, but it's a massive interference," Tuchel said, adding that this could mean new systems, and also the physical preparation for the new season could go "way into the first half of the season."