Thiago backlash at Bayern shows an easier life would have been at Manchester United

Thiago Alcantara

Thiago Alcantara is the centre of debate at Bayern Munich, the club he chose to sign for ahead of Manchester United.

Remember those days, when Manchester United appeared set to sign Thiago Alcantara?

It was under a month ago when the midfielder elected to join Bayern Munich from Barcelona instead, leading United into another surely doomed pursuit of Cesc Fabregas.

The Spaniard scored on his debut for the German giants, but since then developments have taken a rather challenging turn for him.

Pep Guardiola is the man who signed him, and as the German press sink their teeth into the new manager following Bayern's Super Cup defeat to Borussia Dortmund, Thiago is seen as a stick with which to beat him.

They are upset at the prospect of German national team icon Bastian Schweinsteiger being potentially forced to step aside, or play a new role.

As German writer Rafael Honigstein wrote for the Guardian; "Thiago, is in danger of being seen as the teacher's pet. His outings as the sole holding midfielder in many games was seen as ominous for his (Schweinsteiger's) chances."

The same Guardian report also referenced a German broadsheet which called into question the ethics of the deal, with Pep Guardiola's brother Pere Guardiola the agent of Thiago - profiting from the deal.

The 'teacher's pet' tag is a criticism for Thiago, and a former coach has suggested it could be a big problem for player, club, and manager.

Felix Magath, manager of Bayern Munich between 2004 and 2007, warned: "I see it as a problem that a Spanish coach signed a Spanish player, Pep will get problems with Thiago; either his team-mates will be angry because he plays all the time, or people will question the transfer fee, in case the coach won't let him play. Pep could have avoided this situation."

Thiago will likely have success at Bayern, whether instantly or long-term, but his problems are symptomatic of him jumping from the frying pan to the fire.

At Barcelona he struggled for game time, and at Bayern he clearly faces a battle. Had he joined United it would have been very different.

The Red Devils are crying out for a quality midfielder to join them, and no United fan would be complaining if he was playing week in week out. At Bayern it sounds it might just be a little different.

The pressure is on, and for an easier life he perhaps should have joined them, but at the same time tackling a challenging circumstance should also be commended, even if he did not foresee this potential backlash coming.

Will Thiago regret joining Bayern? Or will United simply regret it more?

image: © castroquini2011

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