Erik Ten Hag, a Dutch professional football manager and former player, made headlines a few days ago when he was appointed manager of Manchester United, an English football club
Five months after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was fired, Manchester United announced the appointment of Erik ten Hag as their Men’s First Team Manager from the end of this season until June 2025, subject to work visa requirements, with the option to extend for a further year.
This news left many football club supporters wondering who the new manager is and what is expected of him. In this article, we’ll focus on:
- Erik Ten Hag, who is he?
- Erik Ten Hag: What to Expect
Who is Erik Ten Hag?
Erik Ten Hag was a center-back for Twente, De Graafschap, RKC Waalwijk, and Utrecht. He spent three seasons with Twente, where he won the KNVB Cup in 2000–01.
Ten Hag also won the Eerste Divisie with De Graafschap ten years before winning the cup with Twente. After the end of the 2001–02 Eredivisie season, he retired from active play in 2002, at the age of 32, while playing for Twente.
In 2012, Marc Overmars, the club’s shareholder, appointed Ten Hag as manager of Go Ahead Eagles in the Eerste Divisie. He was the head coach of Bayern Munich II from June 6, 2013 until 2015, when he was replaced by Heiko Vogel. He was named Ajax’s new head coach on December 21, 2017, after the club fired Marcel Keizer.
On May 5, 2019, he won his first managerial trophy with Ajax. Only ten days after winning the cup, Ajax, led by Ten Hag, won the Eredivisie with a 1–4 away victory over De Graafschap, completing the double for the club. Ten Hag became the league’s fastest manager to reach 100 wins with Ajax, accomplishing the feat in 128 games.
“It will be difficult to leave Ajax after these incredible years, and I can assure our fans of my complete commitment and focus on bringing this season to a successful conclusion before I move to Manchester United,” ten Hag said.
The task at United could not be more difficult. As United spent more money than at any other point in its history, its performances have only grown worse, leading to a succession of managerial exits and fan unrest against the Glazers.
What to expect from Erik Ten Hag?
Julian Green, who currently plays for Greuther Furth in the Bundesliga, has explained what United fans and players can expect from Ten Hag. He said to MEN Sport: “He has a wonderful personality. He expected the best from each and every player. He is not only a great coach, but also a great person who always tells his players the truth. As a player, you can tell he enjoys the game.” It was always about the finer points. We trained to a standard, not to a timetable, at Bayern. We trained for as long as it took to ensure we understood every detail. Each week, he has a very clear game plan and is an excellent communicator. Win or lose United fans will know there was a plan and a strategy for every portion of the game.”
Erik ten Hag who was never one of those people who made it clear that he aspired to be one of the world’s best coaches. He is a humble coach and a modest man. His situation is unique. Because he comes from a very wealthy family, and his father and brothers are multi-millionaires, there is no financial incentive or need for him to pursue big jobs at any stage of his career. They own a real estate company as well as other financial institutions.
According to a BBC report, Erik’s management is excellent, and all of his players say they have learned a lot from him. Unlike many coaches, Ten Hag will devote a significant amount of time to the training pitch. He’ll go to the 19th or 20th most important player at Manchester United, not just the star players like Cristiano Ronaldo or Harry Maguire. He’s taken on players with various personalities, and he doesn’t care how many hours he has to spend with them; he will devote all of his time to them.
That is where he earns the respect of the players because they see the effort he puts in to help them improve individually. Even if they come from a difficult background – perhaps some baggage – if he believes they have talent, he will make sure they fit in.
He is not afraid to take on the role of Manchester United manager. But he’ll want to spend most of his time in a tracksuit. He doesn’t consider himself an office worker; if he did, he’d work for his father’s company. He’d despite having to talk to agents all the time. That’s where he’ll want a sporting director or an assistant who can do it.
As per a report from thenewyorktimes, Ten Hag will be expected to oversee not only an overhaul of the club’s poorly balanced and expensive roster, but also the club’s culture, where stories of locker room strife have frequently made their way into the public domain.
John Murtough, United’s football director said, “In our discussions with Erik prior to this appointment, we were deeply impressed with his long-term vision for returning Manchester United to the level we want to compete at, as well as his drive and determination to achieve that,”
United’s decline has been so severe that it may be years before ten Hag can be expected to make United a serious contender for the major titles. Rangnick, the current coach, said as much after United’s dreadful performance against Liverpool, during which many United fans left the stadium long before the referee ended the humiliation.
Ten Hag is without a doubt the best candidate for Man United because, in addition to being a professional football player, his managerial career is one to be reckoned with.
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