New Paris St Germain manager Thomas Tuchel is relishing the prospect of working with the big players at the club, such as Neymar, Gianluigi Buffon and Kylian Mbappe, with the German saying they are the “easiest” to train.
The former Borussia Dortmund coach replaced Spaniard Unai Emery, who has since joined Arsenal, in the French capital in May but is undaunted by the prospect of dealing with a dressing room full of big egos after a year out of the game.
“In my experience the biggest players are the easiest players to deal with as they want to compete and they want to win,” the 44-year-old told reporters in Singapore on Friday, a day ahead of a pre-season friendly against Arsenal.
“I am not here to teach them football and how to play, I am here to help them and organise a structure to show off their talent and keep them on track and hungry. I also need to show them the value of their behaviour and how it fits in to the work of the whole group. We have lots of big players and some that are still big but not as visible as some of the others, but equally as responsible for being role models for the group. We have lots of big personalities but I am not worried about this.”
Tuchel, whose side also face Atletico Madrid at the Singapore National Stadium on Monday, highlighted that every player, no matter how famous, would have grown to love the sport from a similar, humble background.
“In the end, all of these guys were somewhere as a five or six-year-old standing with a ball under his arm, playing on the beach, the houses, the streets…,” he added.
“It’s in them all and we want to find this and bring it out and enjoy it, and the hard work, being aware of the signs they give inside and outside the club. This was one of the reasons why I took this opportunity. To train with all these personalities and this talent.”
Tuchel had been linked in the British media with the Arsenal job but the German said it was never something he had considered and he was fully committed to the project of leading the French treble winners to further success.
“I made my decision to join Paris St German before Arsene Wenger made his decision to leave Arsenal,” he added of the Frenchman, who ended his 22-year tenure in North London in May.
“He has my biggest respect as he built a club famously known for its style of football. He is an idol and role model for many coaches, especially for me. I never got in touch with Arsenal, so I don’t know if I was ever meant to be his successor…He was more than just a coach, he was Arsenal. He’s a gentleman and one of the biggest coaches in the world. I have the feeling he’s not finished yet.”