Neither of the two is stupid

Now that the Premier League can’t keep up with LaLiga and the Bundesliga, UEFA’s top-ranked leagues, the world’s richest league – which it definitely is – is looking for new ways to judge quality. What counts today is the reputation of its managers. It’s logical, now that the Premier League has a number of new star coaches in its dugouts. That’s fine; we can talk about managers.

I love the match-up between Thomas Tuchel and Zidane because there are some interesting parallels between the two. The two are more or less the same age (43 and 44, respectively); they’ve both been footballers; and have been managers for a relatively short period of time.

Would Thomas Tuchel have dared to take of Cristiano Ronaldo like Zidane did against Las Palmas?

Bu two important things set them apart from each other. First of all, Tuchel was an average player while I don’t need to remind you of Zidane’s majestic ability with the ball at his feet. I do wonder whether the German would have dared to substitute Cristiano like Zidane did at the weekend. I suspect not. Zidane has an advantage when dealing with stars: his own illustrious and legendary career. They’re also set apart by their footballing ideas. Tuchel wants to be like Pep Guardiola while Zidane is very happy continuing in the mould of Carlo Ancelotti. But neither of them is stupid and I know that any decision they take today will be for the good of their teams – even if someone doesn’t like it…