Insight

Klinsmann: The Column

Former Spurs striker Jürgen Klinsmann is expecting great things from compatriot Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea, as he recalls what it was like adapting to a new life in the English capital

London calling

Tuchel makes himself at home

Thomas Tuchel has followed a similar path to Jürgen Klopp: Mainz, Dortmund and then making the jump abroad. Tuchel also has a similar philosophy: he is about a high-pressure game, high energy, dictating if possible and always being on the front foot. He has experience of coaching top teams and won trophies with Paris, so the knowledge he brings is first class.

People management is the biggest challenge going from one country to another. You have to adapt to another country and another culture, and fit into a new environment. Obviously you’re highly dependent on results but thankfully the results went his way right from the start. That makes the transition a lot more pleasant.

I always liked the unknown, that’s just part of my character. In my life I’ve always liked to take a decision and then just see how it works out. My biggest move was from Stuttgart to Inter Milan – that’s when I learned to take people as they are. I had to adapt to Italy and Italians, and to the expectations of Serie A, and measure myself against the very best in the world, who were in Italy at that time. When I moved to Monaco it was the same again: I had to prove my point in France. It’s a bit easier for a striker because you know all that 90 per cent of people want to see is you scoring goals, so just focus on that; make sure that if you get two or three chances you put one in.

When I made the transition to London as a player I wasn’t aware of the English sense of humour, the way they make jokes and expect you to make a joke in return. I wasn’t aware of the rhythm of the Premier League; I wasn’t aware of the intensity in the stadiums. But I also wasn’t expecting anything. I wasn’t nervous; I just wanted to make sure at the beginning that I scored goals.

“WHEN YOU THINK YOU’VE REACHED YOUR LIMIT, IF THE FANS PUSH YOU, YOU DO IT”


When I made that move, I wasn’t aware of Spurs’ history, I wasn’t aware of the feeling of White Hart Lane, what it means to the people. I discovered those things in the first few weeks and I just had this sense that I belonged there.

My team-mates were all really down to earth, welcoming, good people. The coach was an awesome personality in Ossie Ardiles – a legend at Spurs. Everyone was so welcoming. Even if people kind of provoked me with the diver label, they explained to me right away: “Jürgen they’re just testing you out. That’s how it goes, they test you out.”

They explained that I should never be offended, always try to make another joke on top. You’ve got to have a laugh about yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

I have a good feeling for Thomas at Chelsea. I’m sure he’ll do well. He has a lot of curiosity, he constantly wants to learn, he adapts easily to different places. This is his next adventure and it might become a very long adventure at Chelsea. He is not shy of confrontation; he is not shy of explaining to players why they aren’t playing; he is very open in the way he communicates. London is so cosmopolitan, so international, and he experienced that in Paris, so I don’t think he will have any problems settling into southwest London.

New Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel

London calling

Tuchel makes himself at home

Thomas Tuchel has followed a similar path to Jürgen Klopp: Mainz, Dortmund and then making the jump abroad. Tuchel also has a similar philosophy: he is about a high-pressure game, high energy, dictating if possible and always being on the front foot. He has experience of coaching top teams and won trophies with Paris, so the knowledge he brings is first class.

People management is the biggest challenge going from one country to another. You have to adapt to another country and another culture, and fit into a new environment. Obviously you’re highly dependent on results but thankfully the results went his way right from the start. That makes the transition a lot more pleasant.

I always liked the unknown, that’s just part of my character. In my life I’ve always liked to take a decision and then just see how it works out. My biggest move was from Stuttgart to Inter Milan – that’s when I learned to take people as they are. I had to adapt to Italy and Italians, and to the expectations of Serie A, and measure myself against the very best in the world, who were in Italy at that time. When I moved to Monaco it was the same again: I had to prove my point in France. It’s a bit easier for a striker because you know all that 90 per cent of people want to see is you scoring goals, so just focus on that; make sure that if you get two or three chances you put one in.

When I made the transition to London as a player I wasn’t aware of the English sense of humour, the way they make jokes and expect you to make a joke in return. I wasn’t aware of the rhythm of the Premier League; I wasn’t aware of the intensity in the stadiums. But I also wasn’t expecting anything. I wasn’t nervous; I just wanted to make sure at the beginning that I scored goals.

“WHEN YOU THINK YOU’VE REACHED YOUR LIMIT, IF THE FANS PUSH YOU, YOU DO IT”


When I made that move, I wasn’t aware of Spurs’ history, I wasn’t aware of the feeling of White Hart Lane, what it means to the people. I discovered those things in the first few weeks and I just had this sense that I belonged there.

My team-mates were all really down to earth, welcoming, good people. The coach was an awesome personality in Ossie Ardiles – a legend at Spurs. Everyone was so welcoming. Even if people kind of provoked me with the diver label, they explained to me right away: “Jürgen they’re just testing you out. That’s how it goes, they test you out.”

They explained that I should never be offended, always try to make another joke on top. You’ve got to have a laugh about yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

I have a good feeling for Thomas at Chelsea. I’m sure he’ll do well. He has a lot of curiosity, he constantly wants to learn, he adapts easily to different places. This is his next adventure and it might become a very long adventure at Chelsea. He is not shy of confrontation; he is not shy of explaining to players why they aren’t playing; he is very open in the way he communicates. London is so cosmopolitan, so international, and he experienced that in Paris, so I don’t think he will have any problems settling into southwest London.

New Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

Sound of silence

Losing home advantage

The impact of playing without fans is enormous. It changes the dynamic because the game is heavily influenced by the noise, support and tension that fans bring to the stadium. They have a very deep impact on how the players feel.

There are certain moments when fans sense that the players really need their support. They can actually turn things around; the energy the players receive from the fans can be a turning point. It has an influence on the players’ decision-making and also on their pure energy levels. For example, if you’re a right-back and you’ve been flying up and down the wing and by the 80th minute the tank is empty, their support can push you to go again and again; you can do it because emotionally so much is possible. When you reach your limit in a game and you think you can’t do it anymore, if the fans push you to do it, you do it.

Some teams that really get carried by their fans – such as Atlético Madrid, who I have tremendous fan support pushed by Diego Simeone – might now be at a disadvantage when it comes to Champions League games. That is definitely a factor; playing without huge support means the home team that relies heavily on that type of atmosphere might struggle.

It’s also really interesting to observe that when these emotional elements are not part of the game, like at the moment under Covid, players are far more disciplined in the way they accept a referee’s decisions, which is nice to see. Behaviour is far better because the emotions are not jumping over from the stands. When there is an argument now, over VAR for instance, there is far more discipline on the field and respect towards the referee, because they are not pushed by the noise and emotions coming from the crowd.

‘You sense the energy’

Carried by the crowd

One game I remember playing in where the home crowd definitely pushed us to victory was for Inter against Aston Villa in a return match in the UEFA Cup in 1991. We won the UEFA Cup that season and I really felt from the beginning of that game that the fans carried us to an outstanding performance – a 3-0 win. We had lost 2-0 at Aston Villa and then played at home in front of an 85,000 sellout at San Siro. They had laid out white Inter flags for the fans so when we came out, the whole stadium was covered in white. You sense the energy from the people and you then believe it’s possible. It’s something I’ll never forget.

I scored the first goal. It was a long ball from the centre-back, 40 or 50 yards over Aston Villa’s back line. I didn’t really have a chance to reach it because both defenders were there, but I just ran through them; somehow I just managed to get myself in front of them. They almost pushed me down but as I fell, I knew I could still give the ball a little touch – and that touch was enough to push it past the keeper. It was a scrappy goal, it wasn’t beautiful, but it showed our willingness – “There’s a tiny chance, let’s go for it!” That was characteristic of that game.

London calling

Tuchel makes himself at home

Thomas Tuchel has followed a similar path to Jürgen Klopp: Mainz, Dortmund and then making the jump abroad. Tuchel also has a similar philosophy: he is about a high-pressure game, high energy, dictating if possible and always being on the front foot. He has experience of coaching top teams and won trophies with Paris, so the knowledge he brings is first class.

People management is the biggest challenge going from one country to another. You have to adapt to another country and another culture, and fit into a new environment. Obviously you’re highly dependent on results but thankfully the results went his way right from the start. That makes the transition a lot more pleasant.

I always liked the unknown, that’s just part of my character. In my life I’ve always liked to take a decision and then just see how it works out. My biggest move was from Stuttgart to Inter Milan – that’s when I learned to take people as they are. I had to adapt to Italy and Italians, and to the expectations of Serie A, and measure myself against the very best in the world, who were in Italy at that time. When I moved to Monaco it was the same again: I had to prove my point in France. It’s a bit easier for a striker because you know all that 90 per cent of people want to see is you scoring goals, so just focus on that; make sure that if you get two or three chances you put one in.

When I made the transition to London as a player I wasn’t aware of the English sense of humour, the way they make jokes and expect you to make a joke in return. I wasn’t aware of the rhythm of the Premier League; I wasn’t aware of the intensity in the stadiums. But I also wasn’t expecting anything. I wasn’t nervous; I just wanted to make sure at the beginning that I scored goals.

“WHEN YOU THINK YOU’VE REACHED YOUR LIMIT, IF THE FANS PUSH YOU, YOU DO IT”


When I made that move, I wasn’t aware of Spurs’ history, I wasn’t aware of the feeling of White Hart Lane, what it means to the people. I discovered those things in the first few weeks and I just had this sense that I belonged there.

My team-mates were all really down to earth, welcoming, good people. The coach was an awesome personality in Ossie Ardiles – a legend at Spurs. Everyone was so welcoming. Even if people kind of provoked me with the diver label, they explained to me right away: “Jürgen they’re just testing you out. That’s how it goes, they test you out.”

They explained that I should never be offended, always try to make another joke on top. You’ve got to have a laugh about yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

I have a good feeling for Thomas at Chelsea. I’m sure he’ll do well. He has a lot of curiosity, he constantly wants to learn, he adapts easily to different places. This is his next adventure and it might become a very long adventure at Chelsea. He is not shy of confrontation; he is not shy of explaining to players why they aren’t playing; he is very open in the way he communicates. London is so cosmopolitan, so international, and he experienced that in Paris, so I don’t think he will have any problems settling into southwest London.

New Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel

Klinsmann: The Column
Insight

Klinsmann: The Column

Former Spurs striker Jürgen Klinsmann is expecting great things from compatriot Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea, as he recalls what it was like adapting to a new life in the English capital

London calling

Tuchel makes himself at home

Thomas Tuchel has followed a similar path to Jürgen Klopp: Mainz, Dortmund and then making the jump abroad. Tuchel also has a similar philosophy: he is about a high-pressure game, high energy, dictating if possible and always being on the front foot. He has experience of coaching top teams and won trophies with Paris, so the knowledge he brings is first class.

People management is the biggest challenge going from one country to another. You have to adapt to another country and another culture, and fit into a new environment. Obviously you’re highly dependent on results but thankfully the results went his way right from the start. That makes the transition a lot more pleasant.

I always liked the unknown, that’s just part of my character. In my life I’ve always liked to take a decision and then just see how it works out. My biggest move was from Stuttgart to Inter Milan – that’s when I learned to take people as they are. I had to adapt to Italy and Italians, and to the expectations of Serie A, and measure myself against the very best in the world, who were in Italy at that time. When I moved to Monaco it was the same again: I had to prove my point in France. It’s a bit easier for a striker because you know all that 90 per cent of people want to see is you scoring goals, so just focus on that; make sure that if you get two or three chances you put one in.

When I made the transition to London as a player I wasn’t aware of the English sense of humour, the way they make jokes and expect you to make a joke in return. I wasn’t aware of the rhythm of the Premier League; I wasn’t aware of the intensity in the stadiums. But I also wasn’t expecting anything. I wasn’t nervous; I just wanted to make sure at the beginning that I scored goals.

“WHEN YOU THINK YOU’VE REACHED YOUR LIMIT, IF THE FANS PUSH YOU, YOU DO IT”


When I made that move, I wasn’t aware of Spurs’ history, I wasn’t aware of the feeling of White Hart Lane, what it means to the people. I discovered those things in the first few weeks and I just had this sense that I belonged there.

My team-mates were all really down to earth, welcoming, good people. The coach was an awesome personality in Ossie Ardiles – a legend at Spurs. Everyone was so welcoming. Even if people kind of provoked me with the diver label, they explained to me right away: “Jürgen they’re just testing you out. That’s how it goes, they test you out.”

They explained that I should never be offended, always try to make another joke on top. You’ve got to have a laugh about yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

I have a good feeling for Thomas at Chelsea. I’m sure he’ll do well. He has a lot of curiosity, he constantly wants to learn, he adapts easily to different places. This is his next adventure and it might become a very long adventure at Chelsea. He is not shy of confrontation; he is not shy of explaining to players why they aren’t playing; he is very open in the way he communicates. London is so cosmopolitan, so international, and he experienced that in Paris, so I don’t think he will have any problems settling into southwest London.

New Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

London calling

Tuchel makes himself at home

Thomas Tuchel has followed a similar path to Jürgen Klopp: Mainz, Dortmund and then making the jump abroad. Tuchel also has a similar philosophy: he is about a high-pressure game, high energy, dictating if possible and always being on the front foot. He has experience of coaching top teams and won trophies with Paris, so the knowledge he brings is first class.

People management is the biggest challenge going from one country to another. You have to adapt to another country and another culture, and fit into a new environment. Obviously you’re highly dependent on results but thankfully the results went his way right from the start. That makes the transition a lot more pleasant.

I always liked the unknown, that’s just part of my character. In my life I’ve always liked to take a decision and then just see how it works out. My biggest move was from Stuttgart to Inter Milan – that’s when I learned to take people as they are. I had to adapt to Italy and Italians, and to the expectations of Serie A, and measure myself against the very best in the world, who were in Italy at that time. When I moved to Monaco it was the same again: I had to prove my point in France. It’s a bit easier for a striker because you know all that 90 per cent of people want to see is you scoring goals, so just focus on that; make sure that if you get two or three chances you put one in.

When I made the transition to London as a player I wasn’t aware of the English sense of humour, the way they make jokes and expect you to make a joke in return. I wasn’t aware of the rhythm of the Premier League; I wasn’t aware of the intensity in the stadiums. But I also wasn’t expecting anything. I wasn’t nervous; I just wanted to make sure at the beginning that I scored goals.

“WHEN YOU THINK YOU’VE REACHED YOUR LIMIT, IF THE FANS PUSH YOU, YOU DO IT”


When I made that move, I wasn’t aware of Spurs’ history, I wasn’t aware of the feeling of White Hart Lane, what it means to the people. I discovered those things in the first few weeks and I just had this sense that I belonged there.

My team-mates were all really down to earth, welcoming, good people. The coach was an awesome personality in Ossie Ardiles – a legend at Spurs. Everyone was so welcoming. Even if people kind of provoked me with the diver label, they explained to me right away: “Jürgen they’re just testing you out. That’s how it goes, they test you out.”

They explained that I should never be offended, always try to make another joke on top. You’ve got to have a laugh about yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

I have a good feeling for Thomas at Chelsea. I’m sure he’ll do well. He has a lot of curiosity, he constantly wants to learn, he adapts easily to different places. This is his next adventure and it might become a very long adventure at Chelsea. He is not shy of confrontation; he is not shy of explaining to players why they aren’t playing; he is very open in the way he communicates. London is so cosmopolitan, so international, and he experienced that in Paris, so I don’t think he will have any problems settling into southwest London.

New Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

Sound of silence

Losing home advantage

The impact of playing without fans is enormous. It changes the dynamic because the game is heavily influenced by the noise, support and tension that fans bring to the stadium. They have a very deep impact on how the players feel.

There are certain moments when fans sense that the players really need their support. They can actually turn things around; the energy the players receive from the fans can be a turning point. It has an influence on the players’ decision-making and also on their pure energy levels. For example, if you’re a right-back and you’ve been flying up and down the wing and by the 80th minute the tank is empty, their support can push you to go again and again; you can do it because emotionally so much is possible. When you reach your limit in a game and you think you can’t do it anymore, if the fans push you to do it, you do it.

Some teams that really get carried by their fans – such as Atlético Madrid, who I have tremendous fan support pushed by Diego Simeone – might now be at a disadvantage when it comes to Champions League games. That is definitely a factor; playing without huge support means the home team that relies heavily on that type of atmosphere might struggle.

It’s also really interesting to observe that when these emotional elements are not part of the game, like at the moment under Covid, players are far more disciplined in the way they accept a referee’s decisions, which is nice to see. Behaviour is far better because the emotions are not jumping over from the stands. When there is an argument now, over VAR for instance, there is far more discipline on the field and respect towards the referee, because they are not pushed by the noise and emotions coming from the crowd.

‘You sense the energy’

Carried by the crowd

One game I remember playing in where the home crowd definitely pushed us to victory was for Inter against Aston Villa in a return match in the UEFA Cup in 1991. We won the UEFA Cup that season and I really felt from the beginning of that game that the fans carried us to an outstanding performance – a 3-0 win. We had lost 2-0 at Aston Villa and then played at home in front of an 85,000 sellout at San Siro. They had laid out white Inter flags for the fans so when we came out, the whole stadium was covered in white. You sense the energy from the people and you then believe it’s possible. It’s something I’ll never forget.

I scored the first goal. It was a long ball from the centre-back, 40 or 50 yards over Aston Villa’s back line. I didn’t really have a chance to reach it because both defenders were there, but I just ran through them; somehow I just managed to get myself in front of them. They almost pushed me down but as I fell, I knew I could still give the ball a little touch – and that touch was enough to push it past the keeper. It was a scrappy goal, it wasn’t beautiful, but it showed our willingness – “There’s a tiny chance, let’s go for it!” That was characteristic of that game.

London calling

Tuchel makes himself at home

Thomas Tuchel has followed a similar path to Jürgen Klopp: Mainz, Dortmund and then making the jump abroad. Tuchel also has a similar philosophy: he is about a high-pressure game, high energy, dictating if possible and always being on the front foot. He has experience of coaching top teams and won trophies with Paris, so the knowledge he brings is first class.

People management is the biggest challenge going from one country to another. You have to adapt to another country and another culture, and fit into a new environment. Obviously you’re highly dependent on results but thankfully the results went his way right from the start. That makes the transition a lot more pleasant.

I always liked the unknown, that’s just part of my character. In my life I’ve always liked to take a decision and then just see how it works out. My biggest move was from Stuttgart to Inter Milan – that’s when I learned to take people as they are. I had to adapt to Italy and Italians, and to the expectations of Serie A, and measure myself against the very best in the world, who were in Italy at that time. When I moved to Monaco it was the same again: I had to prove my point in France. It’s a bit easier for a striker because you know all that 90 per cent of people want to see is you scoring goals, so just focus on that; make sure that if you get two or three chances you put one in.

When I made the transition to London as a player I wasn’t aware of the English sense of humour, the way they make jokes and expect you to make a joke in return. I wasn’t aware of the rhythm of the Premier League; I wasn’t aware of the intensity in the stadiums. But I also wasn’t expecting anything. I wasn’t nervous; I just wanted to make sure at the beginning that I scored goals.

“WHEN YOU THINK YOU’VE REACHED YOUR LIMIT, IF THE FANS PUSH YOU, YOU DO IT”


When I made that move, I wasn’t aware of Spurs’ history, I wasn’t aware of the feeling of White Hart Lane, what it means to the people. I discovered those things in the first few weeks and I just had this sense that I belonged there.

My team-mates were all really down to earth, welcoming, good people. The coach was an awesome personality in Ossie Ardiles – a legend at Spurs. Everyone was so welcoming. Even if people kind of provoked me with the diver label, they explained to me right away: “Jürgen they’re just testing you out. That’s how it goes, they test you out.”

They explained that I should never be offended, always try to make another joke on top. You’ve got to have a laugh about yourself. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

I have a good feeling for Thomas at Chelsea. I’m sure he’ll do well. He has a lot of curiosity, he constantly wants to learn, he adapts easily to different places. This is his next adventure and it might become a very long adventure at Chelsea. He is not shy of confrontation; he is not shy of explaining to players why they aren’t playing; he is very open in the way he communicates. London is so cosmopolitan, so international, and he experienced that in Paris, so I don’t think he will have any problems settling into southwest London.

New Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

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