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Meet new Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel

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Meet new Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel: the young pretender. Photo: DPA
12:45 CEST+02:00
Borussia Dortmund have named ex-Mainz manager Thomas Tuchel as Jürgen Klopp's successor. But the legendary coach who steered BVB from strength to strength will be a tough act to follow.

Anyone seeking to fill the shoes of Jürgen Klopp faces a difficult task - not only because of the success of his seven-year tenure, but the degree of adulation in which he's held by Dortmund fans.

Now it's down to 41-year-old Thomas Tuchel to show he's up to the job. 

Dortmund are taking a risk by placing trust in such an inexperienced coach, but there is no disputing that he's one of the most promising young managers in German football.

Tuchel has only five years of first team coaching under his belt. His only top-level job was at Mainz, where he steered the newly-promoted side to a number of healthy league positions and Europa League qualifications in the 2010-11 and 2013-14 seasons.

Tuchel decided to leave the club in the summer of 2014, and his reputation has risen and risen ever since.

Despite all the speculation and reported interest from the likes of Hamburg SV, Tuchel remained patient and has landed one of the most prestigious jobs in German football.

When he announced he would be leaving at the end of the season, Klopp stressed the need for a new start. It looks like the club has taken his one piece of parting advice.

Klopp's emotional, blood-and-thunder style will not be replicated by the young coach, who takes a more considered, academic approach. German newspaper FAZ even dubbed him "the nerd from Mainz".

While equally capable of being prickly in press conferences, Tuchel is unlikely to be seen behaving on the touchline like his predecessor.

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The cult of personality and fan devotion surrounding Klopp were on display in the first home match after his announcement. The stands were littered with yellow and black banners expressing their appreciation for "Kloppo".

The fans' love of Klopp will make Tuchel's job even harder should anything to go wrong in the early stages.

Taking a recently-promoted team, avoiding relegation and pushing for European qualification as he did at Mainz is totally different to managing a squad expected to win every week and challenge for the Bundesliga title.

Style matters

Tuchel is an admirer of FC Bayern manager Pep Guardiola, and in particular the play style he started at Barcelona and has brought to Munich.

This means ball possession and patient build-up, the opposite of the fast, intense style that Klopp established at BVB.

But Tuchel is not exclusively committed to one style of play either. He has employed different tactical systems at Mainz, is constantly analysing during matches and tinkering accordingly.

Spiegel describes him as a "football scientist", putting him closer to his idol Guardiola than his predecessor Klopp.

But, like Klopp, he demands tremendous fitness from his team and places great importance on intensity and pressing, which will be music to the ears of Dortmund fans.

While BVB try to end the season on a high by giving Klopp victories on his farewell tour, behind the scenes Tuchel will be starting to plot the club's route back towards the top of the table.

In the meantime Klopp will be desperate to end his time at the reins on a high by winning the German Cup (DFB Pokal). They play fierce rivals Bayern Munich in the semi-finals next week.

By Matty Edwards

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