Despite scoring three goals away from home, Manchester United were beaten 3-4 on their return to the Champions League by a much superior Bayern Munich side.
The manager did pick his strongest team from whatever players he had at his disposal, with his team reeling under injuries and with both his first-choice wingers unavailable due to off-field problems.
The Dutchman tried the unorthodox method of trying to play Scott McTominay as the right midfielder against Brighton but he hardly made his presence felt at the weekend.
Pellistri failed to sine
So the manager shifted to his preferred style of playing a winger in that position with Facundo Pellistri getting the nod at the Allianz Arena.
Many fans have been calling for the manager to play the Uruguayan who has impressed in his brief cameos and for his national team, where he is a regular.
However, the 21-year-old struggled against the pacey and physically imposing Alphonso Davies and he hardly got any joy down the right-hand side.
The performance showed why Ten Hag has been reluctant to thrown him into the deep end even though fans want to see more of him.
In his 81 minutes, the Uruguay international only had 25 touches of the ball and completed only 14 passes, highlighting his anonymity.
He had a great chance to score early on but was not sharp enough and could not sense the Canadian coming up behind him, who cleared just in the nick of time with an open goal at Pellistri’s mercy.
While Pellistri did track back and was gamely in his effort, he was just not robust enough, winning just 50 percent of his duels.
While Antony has been criticised for his predictable nature of cutting in and being slow to release the ball, Pellistri could not prove that he is the perfect alternative in his first start of the campaign.
ETH knows Pellistri is still not ready
He had 0 shots, 0 key passes, and 0 crosses, which highlights just how anonymous he was.
It is certainly unfair to expect the youngster to be a game-changer in his first start in quite a while, but the performance will have done little to alleviate concerns that the manager has about the winger and his place in the scheme of things.
He still looks decent as an impact substitute but is still not at the required level to start games for United, especially the big occasions.
Ten Hag will need to come up with a solution soon as his side gear up to break their three-match losing streak when they travel to face Burnley in the Premier League at the weekend.