I like the challenge of managing PSG - Tuchel clears up 'mistranslated' comments

By Daniel Lewis 24 December 2020 21
I like the challenge of managing PSG - Tuchel clears up 'mistranslated' comments

Thomas Tuchel enjoys the challenge of managing Paris Saint-Germain and insists he was mistranslated when suggesting the job is more about politics than coaching.

PSG rounded off 2020 with a routine 4-0 win over Strasbourg in Ligue 1 on Wednesday through goals from Timothee Pembele, Kylian Mbappe, Idrissa Gueye and Moise Kean.

A few hours ahead of the match, an interview with Tuchel was published by SPORT1 in which the German opened up on the demands of managing such a big club.

The 47-year-old said it can be difficult keeping players such as Neymar and Mbappe happy, while also admitting he is "sad" his achievements are often played down.

Tuchel was also quoted as saying he felt more like "a sports politician or sports minister than a coach" during his first season in the French capital.

However, Tuchel attempted to clarify the comments when questioned in the aftermath of his side's win against Strasbourg.

"I didn't say it's more about politics than sport, nor that I lost the fun of training. This is not true," he told Canal+. "It is possible they translated incorrectly.

"Watch the video interview. I just said that PSG are unique and that it's a big challenge for me. It's always been like that. I like this challenge and nothing has changed."

Asked again about the interview at his post-match news conference, Tuchel added: "I gave a video interview to a journalist who told me to do a story about German coaches.

"It is not an interview for him. It is not allowed.

"I was making a joke in German. The translation is not correct. We cannot translate word for word. It was a joke while we were talking and it is not allowed."

PSG enter the mid-season break sitting third in Ligue 1, one point behind Lyon and Lille following their victories over Nantes and Montpellier respectively.

The reigning champions took the lead inside 18 minutes through Pembele but had to wait until 11 minutes from time for Mbappe to add a second from close range.

Two more goals from substitutes Gueye and Kean followed late on in a game the home side bossed, seeing 69 per cent of the ball and managing eight shots on target to their opponents' two.

"It was a strong performance from us," Tuchel said. "And this after a very demanding first half to the season. I'm very happy today because it was a win we deserved.

"We were again missing a lot of players due to injury but were serious and disciplined with our play. That is a big compliment to the team.

"Our ranking in the table is what it is, but we know why we're here. It would have been more difficult to take if we didn't know the reasons.

"I am happy because the team has shown in the last two games we can play well."

Pembele's sliding finish was his first goal for PSG on just his fifth appearance, the teenage defender scoring from one of his rare forays forward.

He was fielded at right wing-back and played fewer passes in the opposition half (16) than any outfield PSG starter, but he showed good instincts to bag a goal that he dedicated to his parents.

"It's a great emotion for me tonight," he said. "I played in a position where I had to attack and follow all the balls. I scored my first professional goal and I'm very happy with it.

"It's a very nice Christmas present for my parents. The coach told me when there is room to attack. It was difficult since they had five at the back.

"But we were able to get the ball rolling and find ways to score. It's hard to find a place in the side, but we have a lot of games and there are also five substitutions."

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