Antonio Rudiger has piled praise on Thomas Tuchel for the way he has turned Chelsea into an efficient pressing team, something Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has come under fire for failing to do.
Chelsea currently sit top of the Premier League table and have been brilliant since Tuchel’s arrival at the start of the year, lifting the Champions League in May.
Rudiger has been a mainstay in the German’s side, becoming a huge fan favourite in the process for his energetic style, frequently bursting forward from defence.
Now, he has talked of his own style and how Tuchel’s system has got the best out of him. The 28-year-old also spoke of how a press can only work if everyone is 100% on board, something United may need to bare in mind.
“I like to press high. Pressing is in my DNA. The coach gave me the freedom to do so because this is what he expects,” Rudiger said in an interview with the Guardian.
“You have to do it in training and everyone has to be switched on. Sorry to say it, but there shouldn’t be any [mistakes]. Any little detail which you don’t put in, it can cost you a lot. When you press so high, somewhere there’s space on the pitch. If one sleeps it can be chaos.
“Jurgen Klopp – since he’s been at Liverpool they’ve been pressing, pressing, pressing. Man City do it very well. It’s good to put pressure high because if you win the ball you’re closer to goal.”
Solskjaer, on the other hand, cut an embarrassed and frustrated figure on the Old Trafford touchline as his side were thrashed 5-0 by Liverpool on Sunday.
The Red Devils allowed their opponents to easily play through them, with an erratic pressing style blamed by many pundits.
Cristiano Ronaldo too has made headlines in recent weeks after it was revealed he had the lowest pressing stats of any attacker in the Premier League so far this season – just 2.7 times per 90 minutes.
It is something that Graeme Souness pointed out following the heavy defeat, signalling that Solskjaer cannot play the high-pressing style he desires with Ronaldo in his current role.
“I think Man United have a major problem as they have to play in a way Ole doesn’t want to play,” Souness told Sky Sports on Sunday.
“They can’t be that high pressing team that Liverpool are, that Man City are. If one person doesn’t commit to the press, you have to be instant. They have to play a different brand of football.
“He’ll score goals and excite the crowd. Liverpool will be able to pass their way out from the back. Would you still take him? Yes I would but the conversation would be, you’re not starting every game.”
Were Solskjaer to take Rudiger’s advice, dropping Ronaldo where games require a higher press may be required.
Otherwise, the Norwegian may simply need to put more hours in on the training ground in terms of building a cohesive pressing unit.