Thomas Tuchel has praised the experience and influence that Louis Van Gaal had imparted throughout his managerial career in club football. The current Dutch manager fiercely argued the point that despite playing with three centre-backs, the London club are not a defensive team under Tuchel.
Thomas Tuchel was promptly put in charge of Chelsea when they fired, club legend and then, manager Frank Lampard after a run of poor results in domestic and European competitions. The 48-year-old signed an 18-month contract with the option for another year at the London club and became the first German coach to be appointed as manager of the club. Under the German, the English club went on to set the record for the longest unbeaten run at 14 by a new head coach in Chelsea history.
Tuchel also secured a top-four finish in the league on the final day of the season as the Blues finished fourth to secure a Champions League spot but ultimately that didn't matter as the German also led the club to the Champions League trophy as they beat Manchester City 1-0 in the final. The former Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain coach also led them to a FA Cup final which they narrowly lost as Leicester City beat them 1-0.
The German set up his side with three centre-backs in the majority of his games the previous season but was met with some criticism for employing a defensive formation. But the Netherlands head coach Louis Van Gaal quickly shut down the narrative that starting with three centre-backs is too defensive of a formation and pointed to the exploits of Chelsea, which pleased Tuchel a lot. The Chelsea boss also admitted that the praise and brutal honesty was nice to hear given Van Gaal's experience.
“It was a pleasure to play against him as a very young coach in Germany when he was coach from Bayern Munich and he has this kind of brutal honesty when you talk to him or when he goes to the press conference, which is what I really love. He has really the balls to speak it out, what he thinks. Sometimes it's not to his advantage, but I think right now, it's nice to hear him talk about football,” Tuchel revealed in an interview with Sky Sports.
"He has a certain age. He has a huge experience. He has influenced football in general with all his clubs, all his teams on such a high level. Not just because he defended me in person, which was nice, of course, but in general, he is not afraid to speak out. Sometimes I or other colleagues maybe think 'let's don't speak it out' because we'd just create trouble and we want to protect a calm atmosphere… But he's a nice guy, I like him,” he added.