Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Ajax boss Ten Hag can do big things, says Bayern chief Rummenigge

SoccerNews in Eredivisie 11 Dec 2018

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Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has tipped Ajax coach Erik ten Hag for big things ahead of the side’s crunch Champions League clash.

The Bundesliga champions travel to the Johan Cruyff ArenA at the top of Group E but defeat in Amsterdam on Wednesday would see Ajax progress in top spot.

Bayern are nine points off the pace in Germany’s top flight after a trying first few months at the helm for Niko Kovac.

Ten Hag has endured no such turbulence at Ajax, collecting 40 points from his opening 15 Eredivisie games to stay on the heels of leaders PSV.

The 48-year-old former Bayern Munich II coach replaced Marcel Keizer last December and his stewardship of a vibrant attacking side has caught Rummenigge’s eye.

“First of all, I have to say, that he’s a very kind man,” the former Germany international told a news conference.

“It’s not always easy to be on good terms with Dutchmen as Germans. We have witnessed this with Louis [van Gaal, Bayern’s former coach]!

“But Erik is a very pleasant guy. I also think he’s capable of doing big things as a coach and he’s proving this now.

“I think this Ajax team is the best one they’ve had for 10 years. Around the last years, they were not one of the top international teams, but he is leading them gradually back at a high level.”

Bayern have 13 points to Ajax’s 11, with both having secured a safe passage to the last 16.

The teams shared a 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena in October, when Noussair Mazraoui cancelled out Mats Hummels’ early opener for the hosts.

“They’ve got an attractive, young team and you could see in the first game that Erik prepared them well,” Rummenigge added.

“That might happen again and we have to adjust that. He knows Bayern well, because he was working here a for a long time.

“It will be a hard task and certainly he will try to make life awkward for us.” 

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