The 47-year-old German tactician said before he understood more about football, his knowledge of the game was shaped by a veteran coach like Louis Van Gaal when the 67-year-old Dutch tactician was the manager of Ajax between 1991 and 1997.
Besides him, Johann Cruyff contributed to the development of Thomas Tuchel as a coach. The German tactician said the input of the late Dutch tactician at FC Barcelona between 1988 and 1997 shaped his knowledge of the game.
Also, Tuchel who has coached Mainz, Borussia Dortmund, and Paris Saint-Germain in the last 12 years, said Arsene Wenger’s era at Arsenal between 1996 and 2018 added to his development as a coach.
After acquiring a foundational understanding of the game of football from those veteran coaches, he learned more from the era of Pep Guardiola at FC Barcelona which lasted from 2008 to 2012.
Within the four years reign of the 50-year-old Spanish tactician at FC Barcelona, the coach helped the club to win 14 major titles including three La Liga titles, two UEFA Champions League titles, two Super Cups, and two FIFA Club World Cups.
In an exclusive interview with Chelsea’s official website ahead of the club’s league game against Liverpool scheduled to hold on Thursday, March 4, Thomas Tuchel described Pep Guardiola as a ‘big influence’ on his managerial career.
“Before I even understood the game, there was Louis Van Gaal’s Ajax, Johann Cruyff’s Barcelona and Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal”, Thomas Tuchel said.
“When I understood more about football, there was Pep and Barcelona. They taught me everything about this game. That you can play nice and still win the game and still be humble. You can attack and still be intense in defending.
“I’m very happy to compete against Pep, to be in contact with him, and to listen to him. A big influence. Whenever I watch his teams play I feel like I can learn something about football.”
'Pep taught me a lot.' 💭— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 2, 2021
Pep Guardiola is currently enjoying an unprecedented run in the Premier League, leading Manchester City to win 21 games in a row in all competitions. His team currently tops the league table with a 15-point gap between his team and second-placed Manchester United.
While Thomas Tuchel who joined Chelsea in January, few weeks after he was sacked by PSG, is pushing to return Chelsea into the top four. He and his team are currently sitting on the 5th spot on the league table. They will need to beat 6th placed Liverpool on Thursday to continue with their progress into the top four.