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Harry Kane at Bayern Munich: No title and Thomas Tuchel out so what has gone wrong for the England captain?

Harry Kane is facing the prospect of another season without a trophy – despite signing for serial winners Bayern Munich; what has gone wrong and why? Adam Bate was in Munich for his arrival and argues that Kane is a victim of problems that predate him...

"This club is defined by its winning mentality. It feels very good to be here." Those were Harry Kane's words upon his arrival. But Bayern Munich lost the Super Cup to Leipzig that evening and the £100m signing is now set to go without a trophy in his first season.

Beaten by third-tier opposition in the DFB-Pokal, eight points adrift of Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, perhaps their best remaining hope of silverware is in the Champions League - and they have lost the first leg of their last-16 tie against Lazio in that.

Thomas Tuchel has paid the price with his job.

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German football expert Kevin Hatchard says Bayern have stalled under Thomas Tuchel

Harry Kane's trophy misses

2015 – League Cup runner-up with Tottenham
2017 – Premier League runner-up with Tottenham
2019 – Champions League runner-up with Tottenham
2021 – League Cup runner-up with Tottenham
2021 – European Championship runner-up with England
2023 – German Super Cup with Bayern Munich

For Kane, 30, he must now contemplate the unthinkable. Bayern were supposed to be a sure thing. But having already lost European finals with Tottenham and England as well as finishing runner-up in the Premier League, the striker's wait to be a winner continues.

Where has it all gone wrong?

Kane was culpable against Bochum as Bayern plunged to a third defeat in a row for the first time in nine years. He squandered a glorious opportunity to double the lead in the first half and then failed to salvage a draw with a header in stoppage-time.

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Harry Kane missed two good chances as Bayern Munich lost to Bochum

But that was an outlier. He is a victim of Bayern's fall not the cause. There were warning signs before he signed and before that defeat to Leipzig. Bayern have won 11 Bundesliga titles in a row but the sequence should have come to an end in May. Borussia Dortmund only had to win at home to Mainz on the final day. They blew it.

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Dortmund did not seize their chance but Leverkusen might. Their spectacular season is a big factor in this. Going into the Bochum game, Bayern's points-per-game total was actually higher than in the previous three seasons. Leverkusen have just been relentless.

Bayern are still the top scorers in the Bundesliga - and largely because of Kane. He has scored 25 goals in his 22 appearances and can hardly be accused of hogging the chances. With five assists, he has helped to bring the best out of team-mate Leroy Sane too.

Compare Kane's overall contribution to that of Robert Lewandowski in his final season in Bavaria and the England captain could reasonably be regarded as an upgrade. He does not win as many balls in the air but on the ground he is a more creative presence.

The service to him has been the concern for Tuchel.

"He is not happy with the connection in games. Neither are we. I have rarely seen such a discrepancy between training and matches. In training, the way he puts his chances away - it is incredible. It is world class. But then we rarely find him in matches."

When Kane is provided with service, Bochum misses aside, the goals tend to flow. His 25 goals have come from an expected-goals total of 19.8 - that is to say that he has scored five more goals than he should have scored based on the quality of the opportunities.

Harry Kane's goal map for Bayern Munich excluded one from his own half
Image: Harry Kane's goal map for Bayern Munich excludes one effort from his own half

This is nothing new with Kane. His 213 Premier League goals came from chances that would have been expected to yield 173 goals. His finishing ability reliably adds around 25 per cent more goals to his total. That is what Bayern paid for and he has delivered it.

The problems have been elsewhere.

In the dugout, Tuchel was found wanting in Leverkusen. His decision to switch to five at the back caused more problems for his own players than Xabi Alonso. Perhaps the fact that he felt compelled to attempt it was an indication of his lack of faith in his team.

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The defence has looked vulnerable, particularly against the counter-attack. But many of the issues stem from the midfield - an area of concern from the outset for Tuchel. He was public about his desire for a holding midfielder in the summer but one did not arrive.

Some saw it as undermining Joshua Kimmich, although Matthijs de Ligt's comments suggest that the coach was not alone in this thinking. "We do not have that now, that is the truth," said De Ligt. "If you do not have one, you have to work with other types of players."

Kimmich's partnership with Leon Goretzka is long established but players change. At 29, the pair should be in their prime but appear to lack the instincts or the physical attributes to cover the spaces. Against Bochum, Kimmich was outmuscled for their first goal.

Would the signing of Joao Palhinha or Edson Alvarez, both mooted in the summer, have addressed this? Possibly. But neither came - in part because the focus was on finding and funding a new striker. Kane has done his job. But should the money have gone elsewhere?

That such questions feel legitimate is unfortunate. Kane's performances throughout his career have deserved more. But the man who appears to have a winning mentality, who joined a team with that winning mentality, is still finding new ways not to win.

Kane's wait goes on.

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