'Ten Hag won't stop until it's perfect'
Tobias Schweinsteiger is a man who knows what it is like to work under new Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag.
The German was captain of the Bayern Munich II side coached by the next Reds manager between 2013 and 2015, with the Bavarians winning their regional title in 2014.
Currently forging his own way in management, as assistant coach of Bundesliga II side Nurnberg, Schweinsteiger has been inspired by working with the Dutchman. He visited his mentor in Amsterdam to get an overview of the operation at Ajax and firmly believes Ten Hag is undoubtedly one of the best coaches in Europe.
Furthermore, as a United fan, ex-Red Bastian's brother is hoping the appointment will prove to be as successful as he anticipates.
“We worked together for two years, two complete seasons, in the Under-23s team," Schweinsteiger told us about his time with Ten Hag at Bayern Munich. "I have been his captain over these two years and for me, yeah, he is a role model. It’s because of him that I started coaching.
“He was always talking to me and I was talking to him and he always talked like: ‘Tobi, think like a player. Don’t think like a coach because you’re still a player.’ But he gave me that feeling that there could be a talent for me in coaching.
“For me, he’s a role model. He’s developed over the years. I met him three years ago on a visit in Amsterdam for one week. I visited him and the first team, and also the youth teams, he showed me everything. He was so open. He showed me their philosophy, his philosophy, what he developed, his style of coaching, his style of leadership. For me, he is one of the best coaches in Europe, for sure.”
As somebody who has first-hand knowledge of the coaching sessions put on by the current Ajax boss, Tobias provided insight into what the United players can expect from the close season onwards.
It would appear that Ten Hag is a perfectionist, who will ensure his messages get across at Carrington, in order to implement this style of play and vision which has been so attractive in the Netherlands.
“He is a master in training sessions," declared the 40-year-old. "I remember we had long training sessions in the second team and, in the club, there were some rumours about long training sessions in the Under-23s.
“After a few weeks, we recognised why were doing long training sessions. He wanted us to be perfect and would stop the training session if it doesn’t work and if it was not perfect at all. And, from time to time, the training sessions weren’t that long anymore because we were better. We were improved and, in rondos, in pressing situations, we were better and better, so the time was shorter on the pitch.
"But, yeah, he was, for me, the first coach when I felt like a training session made sense. Before, training sessions were okay – this part, this part and then that part. He was the first coach, for me, from the warm-up to the last match on the pitch it was like okay, one seam and we are working on that until it’s perfect.
"That’s a big part of my training philosophy as well, also with the education and the UEFA pro-licence I did last season, that’s a big part – to have one seam and work in that seam until it’s perfect. Don’t stop until it’s perfect. He is that guy who doesn’t stop until it is perfect.”
Look out for our interview in full with Tobias Schweinsteiger on Tuesday.