They are very different worlds: While Thomas Tuchel has been repeatedly and severely criticized in recent years, most of them praised Jürgen Klopp to heaven. Right?
For months I have been angry about how badly Thomas Tuchel gets off in the public eye – especially here in Germany. “His time in Paris will soon be over“I had to read a while ago – or:”He is still far from the level of Jürgen Klopp“I say: utter nonsense! Tuchel is an international top coach and no worse than Klopp or Guardiola. And that is exactly what he has proven again with his entry into the Champions League final with Paris Saint-Germain.
Let’s pick out the most obvious comparison:
Photo series with 17 pictures
In just under five years as coach of Liverpool FC, Klopp was once champion and once Champions League winner – an outstanding achievement. But in just two years Tuchel won the championship twice with Paris, once the cup and is now in the final of the premier class. I ask myself: where is the big difference?
Both have tremendous success. And yet Klopp in particular is praised in the sky – for many he is the better coach. Why is that?
I fix this at three points:
1. The charism
Klopp is a special guy. The media and fans love his direct manner. He is the popular top trainer, always ready for a casual slogan. Tuchel, on the other hand, is different: more reserved, more thoughtful, more serious. But in the end, what counts most is the performance as a coach. And that has nothing to do with brisk sayings, but solely with the content of his work.
Basecap on the head the wrong way round, usually a smile on the face: this is Liverpool’s guarantee of success, Jürgen Klopp. (Source: PA Images / imago images)
Tuchel is tactically better than many other coaches, he is ambitious, extremely successful and clear in his speech. That has to be enough to be mentioned in the same breath as Klopp.
2. Appreciation of the French league
Sometimes I have the feeling that we in Germany don’t take football very seriously in France – which is a shame. And also has an effect on Tuchel’s standing. Whereas the Premier League runs all the time on TV. But let’s look at it soberly: In the semi-finals of the Champions League, Lyon and Paris were two clubs from Ligue 1, none from England. And France is the reigning world champion.
In addition to Paris, Olympique Lyon also reached the semi-finals of the Champions League this season. Here in the picture: Attacking player Memphis Depay. (Source: Poolfoto / imago images)
We should respect football more in our neighboring country – and value the main protagonists there more often. Personally, I find it even more difficult for a German coach to work in France than in England. The language, the style of play, the mentality, everything is different from ours. Whereas the football world in England is much less different from the German one.
3. Perception of Paris Saint-Germain
There are three main players associated with the club: Kylian Mbappé, Neymar and Angel di Maria, who acts as a link between the two superstars and the rest of the team. You might think that if you have three such exceptional talent in the squad, winning the championship and the national cup is something that goes without saying. But that’s not the case.
Top stars of world football: Parisian professionals Angel di Maria, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé (from left to right). (Source: Poolfoto / imago images)
Tuchel knows that you won’t win a title without a stable defense. He managed to instill an outstanding defensive culture in the team – perhaps his greatest achievement as coach of Paris. A statistic: PSG have conceded only three goals in the current Champions League season so far – fewer than any other club. But the goals and dribbles of his world stars outshine that. Unfortunately.
Tuchel, Flick and Klopp have a common denominator
Now Tuchel is with Paris against FC Bayern on Sunday (from 9 p.m. in Live ticker on t-online.de) in the grand finale – and meets Hansi Flick there. Another top German coach who I think very highly of. As early as 2014, Flick did an outstanding job as assistant coach to Jogi Löw at the World Cup triumph in Brazil.
The way he then took over the job on Säbener Straße from his predecessor Niko Kovac – whom I also really appreciate – and continued to improve the team is extraordinary. That is why you have to put Flick on a par with Tuchel and Klopp.
What I’m particularly happy about is that the performance of all three – from Tuchel, Klopp and Flick – has one thing in common: Erich Rutemöller. It was he who, as a soccer teacher trainer, conveyed the most important values of the coaching profession to them.
Rutemöller did an excellent job there, as the results of his protégés show today. And I think it’s a shame that he no longer works for the DFB. At least as a consultant for the German footballer teacher training, you should urgently bring him back – because his expertise is worth gold. Klopp, Flick and Tuchel will certainly confirm that.