Thomas Tuchel hails teachings of “pioneer” Ralf Rangnick with odd toilet analogy

The Chelsea boss is widely considered as one of the best coaches on the planet currently, but he has previously credited a lot of what he knows down to the teachings of Man Utd’s new manager

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Who is Ralf Rangnick? Man Utd’s interim boss in profile

Thomas Tuchel has claimed tactical guru Ralf Rangnick has shown “it’s not necessary to follow people to the toilet in football games”.

And the Chelsea head coach insisted his German mentor is a leader who could now get Manchester United back in the chase for the title this season.

Tuchel’s success in winning the Champions League title after taking over in January encouraged Manchester United to appoint the Godfather of the Gegenpress in mid-season.

But the Stamford Bridge boss, 48, insisted Rangwick, 63, is the coach who sets the trends.

Tuchel started his coaching career with the youth team at VfB Stuttgart under Rangnick back in 2000 after a knee injury forced him to retire aged just 24.

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Thomas Tuchel described Ralf Rangnick as a “pioneer”

“He helped me a lot because he was my coach,” he recalled. “And then he was one of the main figures to convince me to try coaching. So a huge influence on all of us at this time, because he showed us that it’s not necessary to follow people to the toilet in football games.

“There was the belief in those days that the defenders follow their strikers wherever they go.

“He was very early a leader in bringing zonal marking and pressing and the line of a back four into German football and still being aggressive.

“He was one of the pioneers to introduce a 4-4-2 and high pressing. So tactically for sure he is an elite manager with Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte.”

Tuchel inherited a Chelsea side from club legend Frank Lampard in ninth place last season and finished fourth.

Rangnick replaces Ole Gunnar Solksjaer with Manchester United, who bought Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho in the summer, down in eighth before tomorrow’s visit to Stamford Bridge.

Asked if he had expected the Reds to challenge for the title this season, the Blues boss said: “Yeah, I was and maybe I still am.

“First of all, it is a very experienced and individually top level group of players.

“So this is still the case and part of the performance from us is to not to not let them perform because once we let them perform, you can see like within seconds and within minutes in every game, the full potential and the talent of these players which is at the highest level.”

Ralf Rangnick will soon become the official interim manager of Manchester United


DPA/PA Images)

Rangnick agreed to join Milan last year before the Italian team performed a U-turn and spoke to Chelsea in January before Tuchel’s appointment. But he has never had a top European job.

“So far he focussed on giving himself a certain amount of freedom to be in charge with Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig,” Tuchel said.

“In these environments he was the decisive person and he found a managing role far more than only the coach. Maybe this was the key stopping him from stepping into every offer that he got for sure.”

So another German with a big personality and sense of humour will be running a top English football club in their own style. Jurgen Klopp famously called his style of football “heavy metal” while Tuchel revealed he preferred Abba.

“When I told you I listened to Abba because I was in love with the singer,” the Chelsea boss laughed. “The blonde one.”

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