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Who is Erik Ten Hag? Teams coached and all you need to know

Erik Ten Hag teams coached before joining Manchester United include AFC Ajax Amsterdam and FC Utrecht in the Netherlands, Bayern Munich II and Go Ahead Eagles.

One look at Manchester United’s gameplay and clarity on the pitch these days and it is quite apparent what a wonderful job Ten Hag has done at Old Trafford along with the rest of his support staff. The Dutch manager took over what was a fragmented dressing room after a chaotic period under Ralf Rangnick and transformed them with a clear policy of success and excellence not seen since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson.

It is a great time to be a United supporter right now with Ten Hag at the helm. But in case you’re still unaware and want to know who is Ten Hag, teams coached, trophies won by him in his managerial career, read on to find out:

Erik Ten Hag: Teams coached in the past

TeamYears ManagedMatches PlayedWonDrawnLostGoal DifferenceWin %
Go Ahead EaglesJuly, 2012 – June, 201339181110Positive 2546.15
Bayern Munich IIJune, 2013 – May, 201572481014Positive 9566.67
FC UtrechtMay, 2015 – December, 2017111562629Positive 7050.45
AFC AjaxDecember 2017 – May, 20222101562529Positive 40074.28

Go Ahead Eagles

Erik Ten Hag’s first managerial stint was at Go Ahead Eagles in the Netherlands. He had been appointed as the manager of the club by former teammate Marc Overmars, who was a shareholder in Go Ahead Eagles. Ten Hag spent one season with the club in the second division, known as Eerste Divisie, and won them their first promotion in 17 years to the Eredivisie. He was also instrumental in installing a culture of professionalism and excellence to the Go Ahead Eagles side.

Bayern Munich II

Erik Ten Hag’s next assignment was taking charge of the reserve team of Bayern Munich in Germany. As a manager, he spent a lot of time with Pep Guardiola during this period, who was coaching the first team. Ten Hag credits this period for helping him better develop, craft, and execute his ideas, ones that he would eventually go on to use at Ajax. During his time as manager at the youth side of Bayern, Ten Hag was responsible for leading them to the Regionalliga Bayern. After two years with them, the Dutch manager was replaced by Heiko Vogel.

FC Utrecht

After spending two years in Germany, it was decided that Ten Hag would return to the Netherlands and take over FC Utrecht as the sporting director and the head coach. Ten Hag decided to evolve since his Go Ahead Eagles days and it was at Utrecht that he moved away from the classical 4-3-3 formation to deploy a two-man striker system instead. On the paper it made sense to utilise the height advantage that the team possessed upfront and he was proven right. In his first season with Utrecht, he finished fifth and then fourth in the next year, taking the club to Europe.

AFC Ajax

However, it was at AFC Ajax where Erik Ten Hag made the biggest impact and attracted plenty of plaudits and attention. Given that Ajax was symbolic with the Cruyffian way of playing, Ten Hag was convinced to return to the usual 4-3-3 system but one of the things he did was to make little adjustments and tweaks in order to improve Ajax’s superiority. He also had to convince a historic club, one with a very clear philosophy about how things should be done, that he had ideas of his own.

“He was this serious man from the east of the country with this funny accent. It did not really seem to fit with Ajax at first. But within weeks it was all good. He changed the mentality.

“I think he actually changed the standards at the club,” says a former player regarding Ten Hag’s tenure with Ajax.

Success immediately followed. Ajax had an iconic run in the UEFA Champions League in 2018-19 where they absolutely demolished Real Madrid at the Round of 16 stage. Ten Hag also coached his side to an indomitable 4-1 victory over Los Blancos at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid. They then dispatched with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus over two legs and Ajax reached the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 1997.

Also Read: Champions League winners list

In fact, had it not been for Lucas Moura’s last kick of the ball in the dying minutes of the second leg of the semi-final, Ajax could’ve even played the final. However, Ten Hag will always be remembered and praised for the kind of football that he got Ajax to play that season and how he went toe-to-toe with the biggest clubs in Europe despite being the underdogs.

Ten Hag, as a manager in his career, won his first silverware after guiding Ajax to the 2018-19 KNVB Cup at the expense of Willem II. Just 10 days after winning the KNVB Cup, Ten Hag won the coveted Eredivisie title with Ajax and brought the domestic double to Amsterdam to much fanfare and acclaim.

Ajax began the next season as well on a strong note. However, even though they were leading the table, the Eredivisie season was annulled due to the emergence of COVID-19. However, the club found it harder to succeed in Europe after selling some of their best and most coveted players to the big teams following the unprecedented success of the 2018-19 season, including Matthijs De Ligt and Frenkie De Jong.

Despite that, he became the fastest manager in the history of the Eredivisie to reach 100 league wins after reaching that milestone in just 128 games with Ajax Amsterdam. By 2022, Ajax picked up their third Eredivisie title in four years but unfortunately, he failed in the final of the KNVB Cup that year, ending Ten Hag’s hopes of a 3rd League and cup double in 4 and a half years in charge in Amsterdam.

Manchester United

On April 21, 2022, Manchester United announced that they had decided to appoint Erik Ten Hag as their new manager after Ralf Rangnick. He signed a contract until June 2025, with the option of an additional year as well. In May, after already guiding Ajax to the league title and with the domestic season in the Netherlands coming to a close, it was revealed that Ten Hag had decided to join Manchester United early in order to begin preparations for the upcoming season and also influence proceedings in the transfer market for the club.

Based on his recommendations, United decided to bring in Lisandro Martinez and Anthony, two players Ten Hag worked extensively with in Ajax. They also signed Casemiro and backed him over the Cristiano Ronaldo dispute where the forward was unhappy with limited game time and openly disrespected the manager.

Also Read: Cristiano Ronaldo next match

The former FC Twente player came under a lot of scrutiny and media criticism due to United’s poor start to the season as they lost 2-1 to Brighton and then 4-0 away at Brentford, therefore becoming the first Manchester United coach since John Chapman in 1921 to lose his first couple of matches in charge of the team.

Ten Hag’s first competitive victory with United arrive towards the closing stages of August when they managed to beat arch-rivals Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford. In fact, it was the Red Devils’ first league win over Liverpool in the Premier League since 2018, signalling that Ten Hag is now at the helm.

He has also become the fastest Manchester United manager to reach 20 competitive wins, doing so in just 27 official games. It is now widely believed to be that Ten Hag is the best manager to take charge of the club since Sir Alex Ferguson and the team has been playing at a very high level in recent months. They are fourth in the Premier League and are also doing well in cup competitions.

FAQs

How many trophies has Erik Ten Hag won in his managerial career?

Erik Ten Hag has won five trophies in his career so far and all of them have come with Ajax. The KNVB cup was his first managerial achievement and he has also won the league on plenty of occasions while completing the domestic double in the Netherlands.

What is Manchester United’s next big match?

Manchester United will face Barcelona in the Round of 32 of the Europa League in February.

Was Erik Ten Hag influenced by Pep Guardiola?

Yes, Erik Ten Hag fundamentally believes in many of the same ideas and philosophies that Pep Guardiola first made prominent with Barcelona. The two shared a wonderful working relationship at Bayern Munich.

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