Erik ten Hag, a Dutch football manager, is set to take over the managerial role at Manchester United, replacing the current interim boss Ralf Rangnick from the next season.
The 52-year-old, who played as a centre-back for as many as four different Dutch teams during his playing career, started off his managerial stint with Go Ahead Eagles. Brief tenures with Bayern Munich II and FC Utrecht followed before settling in with Ajax.
Before entering the head coach’s market, however, ten Hag also spent a brief period as a manager of FC Twente’s U-19 as well as the U-17 sides before being promoted as the assistant manager in 2009.
He spent his final years as an assistant manager, between July 2009 to March 2012, under the wings of Fredericus Jacobus Rutten at PSV Eindhoven before stepping up.
Erik ten Hag managerial record
Ten Hag’s tenure with Go Ahead Eagles, a team in the Eerste Divisie (Second Division in the Netherlands), lasted for a solitary season but fortunately for the team, it bore fruit as he guided the team to their first promotion in 17 years.
He was in charge of as many as 39 matches during his 364 days at the helm, with the team winning 19 while losing 10 and drawing as many.
Upon moving to coach the Bayern Munich Reserves in June 2013, he worked closely with the current Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, who was then managing the first team.
Ten Hag spent two years in Germany and guided the Bayern Munich II side to 48 wins in 78 matches. During this time, his team averaged an impressive 2.17 goals per game while conceding just 0.88.
The 52-year-old returned to the Netherlands in the summer of 2015 where he took up the role of being the sporting director and head coach of Utrecht. In his first season, he helped the team to a fifth-place finish before guiding them toward the UEFA Europa League qualifiers by finishing fourth.
In December 2017, Ajax came knocking and the rest Between December 2017 to the date of writing, ten Hag has won an impressive 157 of the 211 games across all competitions.
During these matches, he has used as many as 68 different players and his team is averaging 2.75 goals per game as opposed to 0.85 goals conceded. Even his average of 2.35 points per game (PPG) is the best figure among all the teams he has managed.
|FC Utrecht||July 2015||December 2017||111||56||25||30||1.74||50.5|
|Bayern Munich II||July 2013||June 2015||72||48||10||14||2.14||66.7|
|Go Ahead Eagles||July 2012||June 2013||39||19||10||10||1.72||46.2|
During his brief managerial career, Erik ten Hag has won five trophies, all of which have come with Ajax. This includes two Eredivisie titles, two KNVB Cups and one Johan Cruyff Shield.How many trophies has Erik ten Hag won?
During his Ajax reign, he also became the fastest manager in Eredivise’s history to reach 100 wins. He achieved the feat in a mere 128 matches.
Furthermore, ten Hag openly admits that he has learned his footballing philosophies from Guardiola during his time in Germany.
“I learned a lot from Guardiola,” Ten Hag said in February 2019. “His philosophy is sensational, what he did in Barcelona, Bayern and now with Manchester City, that attacking and attractive style sees him win a lot.
Erik ten Hag wasn't happy with Noa Lang's attitude in a cup match for Ajax.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 26, 2022
He was loaned out a month later. pic.twitter.com/eo2MHgdD20
“Bayern have become my club. Since Pep, football in Germany is different, I looked at almost every training back then, and I took a lot of methodical lessons on how to transfer his philosophy to the pitch.
“I want to have possession and hurt the opponent. It’s about possession, about movement, about vertical attacking patterns, about pressing, wingers moving into the middle to make room for the full-backs. Everyone is attacking, everyone is defending. It’s this structure that I’ve tried to implement with Ajax,” he added.
Erik ten Hag is someone who loves to play around with formations. During his early years as a manager, he worked with a diamond 4-4-2 approach before moving to a dynamic 4-3-3 formation, which helped the golden generation of Ajax excel.
The players he helped develop includes the likes of Matthijs De Ligt, Frenkie De Jong and Donny van de Beek. His managerial approach also lifted a declining Sebastian Haller, who has scored 46 goals in 62 games for Ajax under the Dutchman.
Featured photo: AFP / Koen van Weel