Van Gaal had an altercation with De Telegraaf journalist Valentijn Driessen over the nature of a three-man defense as he hailed Thomas Tuchel’s Champions League-winning style of play.
as proof that a 3-5-2 formation isn’t necessarily a defensive approach to the game. He said: "I take my hat off to Mr. Tuchel, because he got in halfway through [the season]."
: "Somebody sent that to me. It was a pleasure to play against him as a very young coach in Germany when he was coach from Bayern Munich and he has this kind of brutal honesty when you talk to him or when he goes to the press conference, which is what I really love.
"He has really the balls to speak it out, what he thinks. Sometimes it's not to his advantage, but I think right now, it's nice to hear him talk about football. He has a certain age. He has a huge experience. He has influenced football in general with all his clubs, all his teams, on such a high level.
"Not just because he defended me in person, which was nice, of course, but in general, he is not afraid to speak out. Sometimes I or other colleagues maybe think 'let's don't speak out' because we'd just create trouble and we want to protect a calm atmosphere… But he's a nice guy, I like him."
plays defensively, the German added:
"Well, what is defensive and what is offensive? I think you can debate for hours and for weeks and in the end for years.
"For me it's more to stay active. If you take the Champions League final, we had not a lot of possession and of course we had to defend because of the quality of Man City, but we never were passive. We never just parked the bus in front of the goal.
"If a game is active, it's attractive. So you need to have answers to all the questions and you have to respect the strengths and strategy of your opponent.
"Sometimes we have a lot of ball possession but it doesn't feel like a really offensive game. I had some games in Paris with PSG with ridiculous amount of ball possession, but we could not pace it up, we could not accelerate in this special game. So it felt like we controlled it, but it didn't feel like attacking football.
"So what is attacking football? One of the best transition teams was Jurgen Klopp at Dortmund and with Liverpool in the last years. Sometimes they don't have much ball possession, but then you see these fast attacks - and they have these fast attacks because they defended deep before.
"So it's all connected and what I heard from Van Gaal, I was clearly on his side! It's important that it's attractive, that it's active and it's intensive and you can show these attributes in all parts of the game, in the moments where you defend, and also when you attack."
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