Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel praises Louis van Gaal’s “brutal honesty” after press conference row

The man in the Stamford Bridge hot-seat has heaped praise on Netherlands national team boss for speaking his mind after Van Gaal defended Tuchel’s playing style

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  • 18:07, 11 Sep 2021

Thomas Tuchel has expressed his admiration for former Manchester United manager and current Netherlands boss Louis Van Gaal for "having the balls to speak what he thinks" after a press-conference outburst that saw him defend Chelsea's style of play.


During the recent international break, Van Gaal looked incensed as he let loose on a journalist from Dutch outlet De Telegraaf, who claimed the national team boss enjoyed defensive football – the likes of which " Chelsea and Liverpool " play.

Tuchel arrived at Stamford Bridge at the turn of the year and has enjoyed remarkable success, guiding Chelsea to the second Champions League title in their history – making the Blues one of the most defensively resilient teams on the continent in the process.

Louis van Gaal passionately defended Thomas Tuchel's style of football (Photo by MAURICE VAN STEEN/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

The Chelsea boss tends to favour a 3-4-2-1 or 3-5-2 formation, with Van Gaal explaining to the journalist that Chelsea are proof that "you can attack incredibly well" with that formation.

What has followed is a public exchange of compliments between the two manager's, with Tuchel responding by saying how "nice" it is to hear the Dutchman talk about footballing philosophies "with brutal honesty".

Talking to Sky Sports, the Chelsea boss explained: "Somebody sent that to me. It was a pleasure to play against him as a very young coach in Germany when he was coach for 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.

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"He has 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.

"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."

Tuchel went on to reveal that he has previously opted against speaking out in fear of causing "trouble".

Thomas Tuchel has praised Louis van Gaal for speaking his mind

Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Do Tuchel's Chelsea play defensive football? Have your say here.

"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 not speak out'' because we'd just create trouble and we want to protect a calm atmosphere… But he's a nice guy, I like him."

Chelsea welcome Aston Villa to Stamford Bridge on Saturday aiming to continue their unbeaten start to the season.

The Blues won their opening two fixtures of the campaign before earning a hard-fought point away at Liverpool before the international break, playing much of the contest with ten men after Reece James first-half red card.

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