- Name Erik ten Hag
- Date of birth 2 February 1970 (age 54)
- Birth Country Netherlands
- Birth Place Haaksbergen
- Nationality Netherlands
- Current team Ajax
Erik ten Hag is a Dutch professional football manager and former player who is currently in charge of Manchester United.
First steps as a coach
Following his retirement as a football player in the Netherlands, mainly playing for Twente club, Erik ten Hag took on a coaching role at his former club’s academy, initially overseeing the U17 team. He worked under Fred Rutten and later Steve McClaren until 2009. Then, Ten Hag joined PSV, a famous Dutch football club.
In 2012, Marc Overmars appointed Ten Hag as manager of Go Ahead Eagles club, a club shareholder and a famous Dutch footballer. Ten Hag led the club to its first promotion in 17 years during his only season at Go Ahead Eagles.
He coached Bayern Munich’s second squad in 2013025 and, as manager, led his team to the Regionalliga Bayern.
Ten Hag then became the head coach of FC Utrecht in the summer of 2015. In the season of 2016-17, he led Utrecht to fourth place, getting the club a place in the UEFA Europa League qualifiers.
On 21 December 20217, Ten Hag got a severe career boost when he was appointed as the head coach of Ajax, the most successful Dutch club and one of the European greats. In 2019, he led the team to the semi-finals of the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League for the first time since 1997. Ajax trashed the defending champions Real Madrid 4–1 in the Santiago Bernabéu at the round of 16 stage.
Then, Ten Hag’s side beat Juventus away 1–2, having drawn the first leg 1–1 at home in the quarter-finals. However, in the semi-final, Ajax lost to Tottenham Hotspur despite ending up 3–3 on aggregate.
Ten Haag won his first trophy as coach with Ajax on 5 May 2019, the 2018–19 KNVB Cup. The same year, Ajax became the Dutch champion.
Ajax kicked off their 2019–20 season in style, with a 2–0 victory over long-term rivals PSV in the 2019 Johan Cruyff Shield. Ajax’s European campaign was a bit less successful than the previous season, having finished third in their group in the 2019–20 Champions League and being relegated to the UEFA Europa League.
In 2021, Ajax won their third Eredivisie title in four years after a 5–0 home victory over Heerenveen on 11 May 2022. Ten Hag’s side also reached the 2022 KNVB Cup Final, which would eventually end in a 2–1 defeat to PSV, ending his hopes of a third league and cup double at Ajax. As a successful and contemporary-minded coach, Ten Hag was approached by Manchester United.
Move to Manchester United
On 21 April 2022, Ten Hag was appointed as manager of Manchester United, one of the most famous clubs in English and European history. However, the Dutch coach lost his first Premier League match, 2–1, at home to Brighton & Hove Albion on 7 August.
Following a 4–0 defeat away to Brentford in his second Premier League match, Ten Hag became the first manager from Old Trafford since John Chapman in 1921 to lose his first two games in charge. Later, things got a bit better: on 22 August, ten Hag won his first competitive game when his side recorded a 2–1 victory against arch-rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford.
On 11 January 2023, Ten Hag led the Red Devils to a 3–0 win over Charlton Athletic in the EFL Cup. He became the fastest Manchester United manager to reach 20 competitive wins, achieving the feat in only 27 games.
On 26 February, Ten Hag’s club beat Newcastle United 2–0 to win the EFL Cup, claiming their first trophy since 2017. Yet, in their first league game after lifting the trophy, Ten Hag’s side lost a record 7–0 at Anfield, home of their rivals Liverpool. It was the heaviest defeat in the history of that fixture, as well as United’s joint-heaviest defeat ever, and the first time they had conceded seven goals since 1931.
In his first season at Old Trafford, Ten Hag also led Manchester United to the 2023–24 UEFA Champions League by finishing third in England. United also got to the 2023 FA Cup final, eventually losing to Manchester City 2–1 in a home derby.