Bundesliga

Preparing for PSG: The Fascination with Thomas Tuchel

This coming summer is going to be dominated by managerial appointments, or at least, the search for appropriate candidates. With Paris St. Germain and Arsenal looking for a new coach and Chelsea likely to be in the same race, there’s a lack of obvious names around.

One man who seems to feature in every vacant job discussion is Thomas Tuchel, currently unemployed but seemingly on everyone’s shopping list. Depending on which newspaper/website you read, Tuchel has accepted almost every major position but it does look as though the 44-year-old is heading for Paris.

Is Tuchel overrated?

Does his record warrant such interest? Apparently, he’s a brilliant, innovative and insightful tactician. He’s also been called a “football hipster type”, “difficult”, “prickly” and a “control freak”.

PSG, as anxious as ever to be accepted as a European power, look to have changed direction with their appointments. With Unai Emery seemingly a “failure” in his two years at PSG and his predecessor Laurent Blanc also a “flop”, the search for someone with a track record is apparently over. Basically, the pool of managers with the ability to win European honours has more or less been exhausted. Only Guardiola, Zidane and Mourinho would fit the bill, Ancelotti has already been tried by PSG and Wenger, now available, has never won the competition.

So, PSG have turned to a coach who would not normally be considered, but one who represents something of a new age approach. If it is true, then PSG may have a surprise coming. Apparently, Neymar is not happy, according to Spain’s Don Balon, which added that the Brazilian is doubting whether PSG are as committed to the “ambitious project” as he is. Real Madrid are hovering and watching the situation.

The Potential Successor to Wenger?

Certainly, Tuchel may adopt a different regime than the Emery camp, and Neymar may be concerned about his personal liberty under the former Borussia Dortmund manager.

But London’s Metro has reported that Arsenal are trying to talk to Tuchel as the successor to Wenger. There’s a snag here, though, for Tuchel and Arsenal’s head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat have history. Reports suggest the duo have repaired the situation.

Deutsche Welle refers to the “tantrum-type” departure that Tuchel made from Mainz and the fractious relationship he had with Borussia Dortmund’s management. The German site says Tuchel is “talented, but difficult” but also has a knack for player development – Osmane Dembele was significantly improved owing to Tuchel’s work with the youngster.

Deutsche Welle adds that Tuchel’s next appointment will depend on how much control he is permitted. He turned away interest from Bayern Munich because he became impatient with the Bundesliga giants, so he’s someone with great belief in his own ability.

And there’s also mutterings that Chelsea would like to see Tuchel as Antonio Conte’s replacement. Chelsea may be more tentative – after all, they’ve dipped their toes into the unknown before when they hired AVB. Tuchel is different, but a club like Chelsea will not welcome a manager who might question and rail against the structure at Stamford Bridge. The pattern at Chelsea is for year one success followed by growing discontent with the manager – Mourinho, Ancelotti and Conte would probably concur – in year two. Unless, of course, things are going to change.

If it is PSG, then it could be the French champions are following a new model. Meanwhile, their outgoing manager is being linked with…you guessed it, Arsenal. The merry-go-round keeps going.

This article was originally published under the title “Football Media Watch: The fascination with Tuchel”, here, on gameofthepeople.com.

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