Thomas Tuchel

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Thomas Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel.jpg
Tuchel with Borussia Dortmund in 2016
Personal information
Date of birth (1973-08-29) 29 August 1973 (age 45)
Place of birth Krumbach, West Germany
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)[1]
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Paris Saint-Germain (head coach)
Youth career
1979–1988 TSV Krumbach
1988–1992 FC Augsburg
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1994 Stuttgarter Kickers 8 (1)
1994–1998 SSV Ulm 69 (2)
Total 77 (3)
Teams managed
2007–2008 FC Augsburg II
2009–2014 Mainz 05
2015–2017 Borussia Dortmund
2018– Paris Saint-Germain
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Thomas Tuchel (German pronunciation: [ˈtoːmas ˈtʊxl̩, - tuː-];[2] born 29 August 1973) is a German professional football coach and former player. He is the head coach at Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain.

Playing career[edit]

Born in Krumbach, Tuchel's starred as a member of local youth club, TSV Krumbach, before moving to the FC Augsburg academy in 1988. However, he never appeared for the first team, being released soon after he turned 19, where he was quickly granted the opportunity to play in the 2. Bundesliga for Stuttgarter Kickers in 1992.

He featured in only eight games in 1992–93 season, with largely unimpressive performances, and following an even more disappointing 1993–94 season, he was dropped from Kickers first team, and quickly joined third-tier Regionalliga Süd side, SSV Ulm, becoming a mainstay for the club over his four-year spell, featuring in 69 matches as an imposing central defender. Despite this, he was forced to end his active career in 1998, at age 25, after suffering a chronic knee cartilage injury earlier that year.[3]

Coaching career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Tuchel began his coaching career in 2000, as the head coach of the U-19 team at VfB Stuttgart, holding the position for five years, aiding in the development of future first team players, namely Mario Gómez and Holger Badstuber. In 2005, he returned to Augsburg, who were impressed with his ability at coaching youth players, and was provided with the role of youth team co-ordinator.[4] Tuchel held the position for three years, eventually transitioning into management after being offered the position as first team coach at Augsburg II for the 2007–08 season.[5]

Mainz 05[edit]

Tuchel's time as the coach of Augsburg II later impressed many top-level German clubs, and he moved to Bundesliga club Mainz 05 in 2009 taking over the reins from Jürgen Klopp who left Mainz for Borussia Dortmund.[6] Tuchel, being promoted into the position after acting as a youth coach at Mainz for the previous 12 months, signed an initial two-year contract.[7]

The challenge of sustaining Mainz as a newly-promoted Bundesliga club was difficult, as Tuchel inherited a squad of sub-standard quality that was unequipped for top-level football, and he was given limited money to spend.[6] He nevertheless relished the prospect of conducting business in the transfer market, and enjoyed freedom to incorporate players in order to build a squad to his liking.[8] The composition of the squad was seen in Tuchel's tactical approach at the club, as despite possessing technically inferior players, he instructed them to utilize long distribution and focus on pressing off the ball, typically overloading one portion of the opposition half in order to create less space to generate counter-attacking opportunities, as relentless high-pressure would create chances by dispossessing or forcing errors from the opposition.[9] This worked well in his first season at Mainz, and Tuchel enjoyed a strong league start, eventually guiding the club to a respectable 9th-placed finish, while also creating a team that housed promising youth players adept at attacking football, such as Ádám Szalai and André Schürrle.

Tuchel with Mainz 05 in 2014

Tuchel sought to progress this philosophy in the following campaign, with the arrivals of young German playmaker Lewis Holtby, as well as imposing Austrian full-back Christian Fuchs. Both players allowed him to address major squad deficiencies from the previous season, where Mainz often saw an inability to break down defensively-minded teams, while also having limited attacking success from the left-flank.[8] This allowed the club to enjoy a perfect start to the season, enjoying seven wins in their first seven games, including an away victory over Bayern Munich. Tuchel eventually led the team to a fifth-placed finish, with Fuchs and Holtby contributing with eight league-assists, as the club improved by a total of 11 points to qualify for the third-qualifying round in the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League.

Despite their stern efforts, Mainz were unable to juggle the requirements of both domestic and European competition, slipping to 13th-placed finishes the following two seasons, while also losing both Schürrle and Szalai to domestic rivals. Tuchel, however, was able to replace them with addition of forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, while also changing goalkeeper, a problem position for the club, with the promotion of Loris Karius. Tuchel also worked extensively with midfield youth product Yunus Mallı, who became capable of playing multiple roles within the midfield, as well being able to operate as a second-striker or center-forward.[10] This allowed the team to transition into a more defensively cohesive and purposeful unit from the purely press-based mindset seen previously, with play now consistently running through the partnership exhibited by Mallı and Choupo-Moting. Tuchel was also able to transition the side into being able to play from the back, due to Karius' passing and distributing abilities.[11] After a strong finish to the season, Tuchel extended his contract to remain with the club for another two seasons.

In what would turn out to be his final season with the club, Tuchel sought to expand the dynamic of the team, hoping to create a more unpredictable outfit. He bought in Japanese forward Shinji Okazaki to partner Choupo-Moting, while also acquiring defensive midfielder Julian Baumgartlinger for a reported €1.1 million.[12] Baumgartlinger, now partnering Mallı in midfield, allowed the team to retain their cohesive shape from the previous seasons, while also managing to create a base for which the team could incorporate more possession retention.[11] This approach reaped rewards for the team, with Mainz enjoying a 7th-placed league finish, qualifying for the group stages of the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League. Okazaki also enjoyed an extremely prolific season, hitting 15 in the league.

Despite various approaches by Schalke 04 and Bayer Leverkusen for his services in the latter-half of the 2013–14 season, Tuchel remained until the end of the campaign, with the assumption a successful season would allow for larger funds to be made available in order to progress the squad.[13] After it became apparent, however, that these funds would be in limited supply, Tuchel asked to be released from his contract prematurely, later stating "I couldn’t see how we could reinvent ourselves once more the coming summer."[14][15] Mainz initially refused to release him from his contract, but they eventually allowed him to leave on 11 May 2014.[13]

Tuchel concluded his Mainz career with a record of 72 wins, 46 draws, and 64 losses, from 182 games, with a win percentage of 39.56%.[16]

Borussia Dortmund[edit]

In April 2015, coach Jürgen Klopp announced that he would leave Borussia Dortmund following the 2014–15 season. Klopp felt his position at the club had become compromised, and he sought change after a disappointing 7th-placed league finish to the campaign.[17] Dortmund, inquiring over the availability of various coaches, quickly decided on Tuchel, eager to incorporate a similar press-based footballing philosophy made a club trademark under Klopp whom Tuchel thus replaced for a second time in a row.[7][18] Shortly thereafter, he officially assumed the role as the club's new head coach on 19 April 2015, returning to the game after over a year out of management, signing a three-year deal.

Tuchel quickly set to revitalizing the team, a task made much easier as Dortmund's financial situation greatly contrasted Mainz's, as well has having relatively better players.[19] He conducted his transfer business early in the window, allowing the departures of nine-first team players, while purchasing German midfielders Gonzalo Castro and Julian Weigl from Bayer Leverkusen and 1860 Munich, respectively. Both became the fulcrum of the system Tuchel deployed at the club, as he aimed to replicate the dynamic offense displayed during the final season of his tenure at Mainz, where he encouraged a more rotational system of passing.[19] Castro and Weigl, who were adapted from defensively-minded midfielders to a box-to-box midfielder and deep-lying playmaker respectively, allowed Tuchel to experiment with various formations with a solid base at the center of the park.[20] Alongside their use of pressing and pace, the team were able to transition from a 4-1-4-1, 4–2–3-1, and 3–4–3 with relative ease throughout the campaign, which saw them enjoy strong domestic success by finishing runners-up in the Bundesliga, which included a run of 11 consecutive wins to begin the season.[21] By also possessing adept attacking midfielders in Shinji Kagawa and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Tuchel was able to utilize their creative abilities to open up pockets of space between the lines, where forwards and late runners from midfield would often sprint into, to score the team's goals.[22] However, Tuchel's debut season at Dortmund ended trophyless, despite an appearance in the 2016 DFB-Pokal Final, in which they lost to Bayern Munich on penalties. The team also suffered elimination at the quarter-final stage of the UEFA Europa League at the hands of Liverpool, who were now coached by Klopp.[23] The campaign was also notable for further promotions of youth talent, with American teenager Christian Pulisic largely starring for the team during the latter stages of the season.

In preparation for the following campaign, Dortmund spent heavily on player purchases, with an outlay of over €119m on eleven entrants, although, much of this was done to offset the departure of core first-team players Mats Hummels, İlkay Gündoğan, and Mkhitaryan, who commanded fees in total of €104m between them.[24] Tuchel, however, managed to replace them on the versatile output of Ousmane Dembélé, Marc Bartra, and Raphaël Guerreiro, with the latter seeing the most drastic shift in tactical and positional change, often being deployed as a newly converted central midfielder from left-back.[25] Guerreiro, signed following his exploits at UEFA Euro 2016, showcased great dribbling abilities; qualities deemed sparse in midfield. This positional change allowed Guerreiro's potential to be maximized under the German coach, as he starred in a midfield trident alongside Castro and Weigl, in a system which was both defensively secure, and also provided a greater attacking threat than previously seen.[26] The versatility of Bartra, who was also used as a right-back as well as a central defender, combined with the rapid attacking threat of wide-players Dembélé and Pulisic, allowed Dortmund to transition much quicker between systems. This emphasis on a pace-orientated attack also brought out the best in Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who hit 56 goals in 63 league appearances under Tuchel.[27] This allowed Dortmund to return to the final of the DFB-Pokal, where Tuchel won his first ever major honor as a coach, as well as the club's first trophy in five years, as they beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2–1, with goals from both Dembélé and Aubameyang.[28]

Despite the victory, it was to be Tuchel's only honour with the club, as he was fired three days later on 30 May 2017.[29] His tenure as first-team coach was marred with controversy, with a strained relationship with the club's hierarchy, notably CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.[27] Tuchel expressed discontent over the departures of Hummels, Gündoğan, and Mkhitaryan, who were sold despite alleged promises from Watzke that they would not leave. He also maintained fractured relations with club stalwarts Roman Weidenfeller, Neven Subotić, and Jakub Błaszczykowski, as he aimed to replace the ageing trio, an action that reportedly did not sit kindly with Watzke.[30] Tuchel also purportedly fell out over prospective transfers, aiming to sign defender Ömer Toprak in 2016, as well as Spanish midfielder Óliver Torres in 2017, with both moves allegedly blocked by Watzke and chief scout Sven Mislintat, who maintained a close working relationship together.[31] Toprak eventually joined the club following Tuchel's departure, starring alongside Bartra, while Torres joined Porto as the side's key attacking outlet.

Tuchel, meanwhile, took another year out of management, leaving Dortmund with a record of 68 wins, 23 draws, and 17 defeats in 108 games, with a win percentage of 62.96%.

Paris Saint-Germain[edit]

In May 2018, Tuchel signed a two-year contract with Paris Saint-Germain, replacing Unai Emery.[32]

Tuchel's first foray into the transfer market at a European heavyweight was the permanent signing of Monaco forward Kylian Mbappé for an initial fee of €135m on July 1.[33] Mbappé shone as a member of the team the previous campaign, and was instrumental for the French national team during their win at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.[32] To offset this large acquisition, and to adhere to UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations, Tuchel sanctioned the departure of several players, including perceived first-team players Javier Pastore and Yuri Berchiche,[34][35] as well as promising youngster Gonçalo Guedes.[36] After also generating profits through the sales of other bit-part players,[37][38] the club signed free agent goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon on July 6.[39] A month later, the team signed German defender Thilo Kehrer for €37m,[40] and PSG concluded their activity in the summer transfer market by signing Spanish left-back Juan Bernat for €5m on deadline day,[41] while also reuniting Tuchel with Cameroonian forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.[42] Despite these acquisitions, Tuchel publicly lamented the club's inability to adequately improve at both full-back areas.[43]

Tuchel's first match in charge also yielded his first honor at the club, as PSG defeated Monaco 4–0 to win the Trophée des Champions on August 4.[44] He also saw victory in his first league game, as the club defeated Caen 3–0 eight days later.[45] After enjoying a brief unbeaten record, Tuchel suffered his first defeat at PSG on September 18, losing 3–2 away to Liverpool in a UEFA Champions League group game.[46] However, by November, Tuchel would break the record for the most wins to start to a domestic league season, as he registered twelve straight victories.[47] The record was later extended to include two additional victories, prior to the club ending its 100% start to the season on 2 December, after PSG drew 2–2 away to Bordeaux.[48] Tuchel then guided PSG to top spot in the club's UEFA Champions League group, with a 4–1 away win over Red Star Belgrade on December 12.[49] By securing victory over Nantes on December 22, Tuchel also broke the record for most points by Christmas in Ligue 1, with 47 after 17 games eclipsing the record of 45 after 17 set by PSG in the 2015–16 season.

In January 2019, Tuchel was eliminated from his first competition as PSG coach, by falling to Guingamp on 9 January, in the quarter-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue. However, he would defeat the same opposition by a margin of 9–0 ten days later in the league. Prior to deadline day, on 29 January, the club delved into the winter transfer market to sign Argentine midfielder Leandro Paredes for a rumored fee of €40m.[50]

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 12 February 2019
Team From To Record
M W D L GF GA GD Win % Ref.
FC Augsburg II 1 July 2007[5] 30 June 2008[5] 34 20 8 6 80 45 +35 058.82 [51]
Mainz 05 3 August 2009[6] 11 May 2014[13] 182 72 46 64 248 288 −40 039.56 [16][52][53][54][55][56]
Borussia Dortmund 29 June 2015[18][19] 30 May 2017[29] 108 68 23 17 245 113 +132 062.96 [57][58][59]
Paris Saint-Germain 14 May 2018[60] Present 35 28 4 3 103 25 +78 080.00 [61]
Total 359 188 81 90 676 471 +205 052.37



Borussia Dortmund

Paris Saint-Germain


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External links[edit]