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 one in all this magnitude.
When Erik ten Hag goes to the Allianz Arena within the Champions League 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 is likely to 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 staff 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 facet. They have lacked type, modified formation, fielded the untried, the understudies, the out of place and the out of kinds. They have referred to 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 objective. Yet they appeared to have a supervisor who might 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 regulate all the things 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 are each inevitable and unfair with Harry Kane on Wednesday, Ten Hag’s costliest purchase will likely be lacking.
Antony’s depart of absence stems from critical allegations of assault by three girls, which he denies however which follows United’s aborted try to convey again Mason Greenwood. That prompted recommendations they’d mislaid their ethical compass. Thus far, Ten Hag has been extra essential of the banished Jadon Sancho than Antony.
Without each, United misplaced to Brighton, whose beginning 11 price £17m, about 20 per cent of Antony’s charge; 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 most costly squad in world soccer, at nearly £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 title. VAR denied him a strike on his full debut towards Brighton which might have relieved among the strain conferred by the worth tag. The younger Dane has a minimum of 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 gang.
The different 2023 arrivals have had troubled begins. Mason Mount could also be again for Bayern however his opening two video games urged 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 troublesome debut towards Brighton and might 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 most important trigger however Raphael Varane is unlikely to function on Wednesday; Luke Shaw undoubtedly 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 depart 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 problem 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 staff 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 greatest 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 certainly 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 staff compound and capitalise on the issues at United.