Erik ten Hag’s shocking choice against Manchester United might come back to bite Bayern Munich.

On Wednesday night, Man United will face Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

When Erik ten Hag starts his Manchester United team at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night, he will be in comfortable surroundings.

The Reds manager oversaw Bayern Munich’s second team for two years while a certain Pep Guardiola was in command of the main squad. Despite having recently led Dutch team Go Ahead Eagles into the first flight in his first managerial season, Ten Hag leaped at the chance to join the Bavarian giants. Pep’s presence was a significant factor.

His two years in Germany were successful, earning him the nickname “Mini Pep,” as his team finished first and second in the fourth tier, narrowly losing out on promotion in a play-off when they won the title. Ten Hag was greatly affected by Guardiola and the sporting director Matthias Sammer in Munich, where he truly started to grow as a coach and develop his tactics.

Ten Hag compared the job to “winning the lottery,” and although though he and Guardiola didn’t interact often because of the demands of their separate jobs, they both had a passion for the game and the tactical method. While the Dutchman may have grown more pragmatic over the years, as occasionally seen at United, his Ajax team had many traits associated with Pep, while the Catalan had the benefit of working at three clubs with greater financial standing.

Ten Hag’s coaching career has taken a different path, with the foundation laid in his home Netherlands and United serving as his first opportunity to prove himself in the Premier League and at a major club. The beginning of that route was Bayern.

In 2018, he commented, “This time was very valuable for me.” “I can still clearly recall how many Dutch people shook their heads when I transferred from the Eredivisie to the provincial league. Never once have I regretted my choice.

Working with such powerful figures as Pep and Matthias Sammer at a club the size of FC Bayern was like winning the lottery. Working with a top-tier club provided a fantastic opportunity to advance as a coach and learn a lot.

Theoretically, he’s at another one right now, but United are currently losing. They have suffered from off-field problems, such as takeovers and fallouts, have spent a lot on the transfer market without realizing the rewards, and have dropped three of their first five league games.
Ten Hag will hope to serve as a reminder of his ability as he leads the team into Europe’s premier club competition for the first time. After all, this is a man who, in 2019, narrowly missed reaching the Champions League final.
Although it may have been simple to give the Dutchman the Mini Pep moniker, he now needs to demonstrate that he has what it takes to be a top manager. A victory at his former schoolwould be an important move.





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