Danny Schwarz is the supervisor of Homburg now and Tim Walter is the supervisor of Hamburg. Sebastian Hoeness has adopted in Walter’s footsteps for a second time by taking cost of VfB Stuttgart. Coaching Bayern Munich II tends to be a stepping stone to a senior job. But not usually considered one of this magnitude.
When Erik ten Hag goes to the Allianz Arena on Wednesday, it needs to be a triumphant return. He was nicknamed “mini Pep” in his time at Bayern however was a lower-profile determine in a lower-profile job. Now he’s supervisor of one of many few golf equipment in world soccer who may be larger even than Bayern. It is a private triumph for a supervisor who described his determination to stop a first-team job at Go Ahead Eagles, who he had led to promotion, to go to Bayern’s youthful reserve workforce as an “unlogical move”. The hazard, nonetheless, is that it turns into an unenjoyable reunion.
For Manchester United, ideas of Bayern are indelibly related to reminiscences of 1999, with the objectives from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that rendered them treble winners and champions of England and took their unbeaten streak to 33 video games. Now they head to Bavaria with three losses in 4, with the setbacks nonetheless outnumbered by the issues, with points in each division of the aspect. They have lacked kind, modified formation, fielded the untried, the understudies, the out of place and the out of kinds. They have known as upon Jonny Evans, who first performed for them in 2007, and conceded to Danny Welbeck, who first scored for them in 2008. Under Ten Hag final season, they appeared to learn from readability of thought and unity of function. Yet they appeared to have a supervisor who may flip United again from a cleaning soap opera to a soccer membership.
Now United once more really feel a multitude, with Ten Hag unable to manage all the pieces from the mildly ridiculous to the extra harrowing. When Anthony Martial appeared to show up a number of hours early for coaching on Thursday, it was a innocent irrelevance, however sadly typical at United proper now; it additionally prompted the thought that Martial’s timing has been poor for fairly a while. But whereas Martial’s de facto substitute, and Ten Hag’s £72m striker Rasmus Hojlund faces comparisons which might be each inevitable and unfair with Harry Kane on Wednesday, Ten Hag’s costliest purchase will probably be lacking.
Antony’s depart of absence stems from severe allegations of assault by three ladies, which he denies however which follows United’s aborted try to carry again Mason Greenwood. That prompted recommendations they’d mislaid their ethical compass. Thus far, Ten Hag has been extra important of the banished Jadon Sancho than Antony.
Without each, United misplaced to Brighton, whose beginning 11 price £17m, about 20 p.c of Antony’s price; Ten Hag’s chosen 11 got here in at £347m and his rationalization that costs are inflated when United come calling scarcely accounted for the differential. Last week, statistics from the CIES Football Observatory confirmed United have the costliest squad in world soccer, at virtually £1bn.
But the 2 most dearest members of the present squad are unavailable; the third priciest, Hojlund, has 9 senior objectives in main European leagues to his identify. VAR denied him a strike on his full debut towards Brighton which may have relieved a number of the stress conferred by the value tag. The younger Dane has at the least provided some encouragement in his first two appearances; the boos that greeted his substitution have been the primary indication Ten Hag’s selections are being disputed by the group.
The different 2023 arrivals have had troubled begins. Mason Mount could also be again for Bayern however his opening two video games instructed he was miscast in midfield. Evans got here on towards Arsenal and, whereas it was not fully his fault, United quickly conceded twice. Sergio Reguilon had a tough debut towards Brighton and may very well be despatched out to face Bayern’s band of wingers. Andre Onana has handed the ball properly however conceded 10 objectives in his final 4 video games. A patched-up, slipshod rearguard is the key trigger however Raphael Varane is unlikely to function on Wednesday; Luke Shaw positively received’t.
An growing legal responsibility is one other of Ten Hag’s flagship signings, a second former Ajax participant he pushed for. Lisandro Martinez has been lamentably poor this season; alongside him, Victor Lindelof has been substandard whereas Ten Hag’s reluctance to inform Harry Maguire to go away means the choice is a participant the followers have mocked and who he not often trusts.
At the beginning of the season, the opposite main defensive difficulty got here in an open midfield the place Casemiro began to look remoted and motionless. On Saturday, after a change of form to compensate for Antony’s absence, a diamond midfield left the full-backs uncovered. Brighton capitalised. Bayern’s first workforce have been well-known for his or her wingers in Ten Hag’s day, in Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery. Now they possess different potent threats from the flanks. Now United have misplaced to the three finest sides they’ve confronted this season and head to 1 who hope Kane’s signing will make them the best in Europe.
Ten Hag’s first return to Bayern was as an underdog who excelled, incomes Ajax a draw, taking them to the Champions League semi-finals. United would absolutely accept each of these outcomes. But for the success story from Bayern Munich II’s dugout, the worry could also be that Bayern’s first workforce compound and capitalise on the issues at United.