Paris Saint-Germain ace Ander Herrera has drawn comparisons between Thomas Tuchel and Louis van Gaal, highlighting the way they both create teams “organised by position”.
Herrera became the first signing of Van Gaal’s tenure at Old Trafford in the summer of 2014, committing to a four-year contract with the Red Devils.
The Spanish midfielder took in 70 appearances across all competitions while the Dutchman was in charge, but struggled to nail down a regular spot in the starting XI.
Van Gaal guided United to fourth place during his first season at the helm, but was dismissed a year later despite masterminding an FA Cup triumph.
Herrera spent another three seasons at the Theatre of Dreams before moving on to pastures new last summer, signing for PSG on a free transfer.
Injuries have disrupted the 30-year-old’s debut campaign in Ligue 1, but he has still played a small part in the French champions’ latest title defence and run to the Champions League quarter-finals.
Tuchel has had his critics since succeeding Unai Emery in the PSG hot seat back in 2018, and it has been suggested that the club could make another change in the dugout at the end of the season.
Herrera admits that Tuchel favours the same pragmatic coaching style as Van Gaal, which is far cry from the philosophy he was used to when playing for Marcelo Bielsa at Athletic Club before his move to United.
“In broad outline, he makes me think of Van Gaal. He likes football organised by position,” Herrera said of the PSG boss during an interview with Stadio TV.
“He has nothing to do, for example, with Marcelo Bielsa, a trainer who also favours attacking play, but who is looking for football in continuous movement, where you have to break the lines, go get the ball yourself.”
PSG are on course to end their long wait for European Cup glory this season, having dispatched Borussia Dortmund 3-2 on aggregate in the last-16.
Tuchel’s men were beaten 2-1 at Westfalenstadion, but produced a much-improved performance in the second leg at Parc des Princes to beat the German outfit 2-0 and progress to the last eight for the first time in four years.
Herrera added on the weight of expectation being shouldered by the PSG players: “The requirement that there is in Paris, I had never known it before.
“Here, winning is a total obligation, otherwise, it is a tragedy. We lost 2 -1 in Dortmund. In the Champions League, it was a good away result. But it was considered an absolute tragedy. In the return, the group cohesion was incredible and it gave us the victory. ”
The Spain international went on to address Tuchel’s penchant for tinkering with his squad and formation, a ploy which ultimately paid off in PSG’s latest Champions League tie.
“The system has changed a lot throughout the season, but people don’t watch much of Ligue 1,” Hererra added. “We played several times with a defence of four, but with a defender who integrates into the midfield.
“In the end, we were used to this system. But in the Champions League, I think we never did it. People keep these games in mind and look for controversy. He is a coach who also likes to change the system a lot during games. “