22bet welcome bonus banner 22bet news welcome bonus

Erik ten Hag

Erik ten Hag
  • Name Erik ten Hag
  • Date of birth 2 February 1970 (age 54)
  • Birth Country Netherlands
  • Birth Place Haaksbergen
  • Nationality Netherlands
  • Current team Manchester United


Erik ten Hag is a Dutch professional football manager and former player who is currently in charge of Manchester United. He was born on 2 February 1970 in Haaksbergen, Overijssel.

His career began on the pitch as a center-back, starting out with Twente in the Dutch Eredivisie. He played for several other Dutch clubs, even collecting an Eerste Divisie title with De Graafschap in 1990. After returning to Twente for a third time, he lifted the KNVB Cup in 2001 before retiring from the pitch in 2002 at the young age of 32.

Ten Hag’s leadership qualities shone through even after retirement. He transitioned into coaching in 2012, making an immediate impact by guiding Go Ahead Eagles to promotion in his first season. His success continued at Bayern Munich’s second team, where he secured another promotion. Back in the Netherlands, he took the reins at Utrecht as both sporting director and head coach, eventually leading them to a Europa League qualifying spot.

In 2017, Ten Hag landed the prestigious Ajax job where his coaching talents thrived. He conquered three Eredivisie titles, two KNVB Cups, and even led Ajax to the Champions League semi-finals in 2019. These achievements caught the eye of Manchester United, who appointed him as their manager in 2022 where he delivered the EFL Cup trophy in his first season.

Managerial Career

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. He then moved on to another Dutch giant, PSV Eindhoven.

From Academy Coach to Champion

In 2012, his talent was recognized by Marc Overmars, a legendary Dutch footballer and shareholder at Go Ahead Eagles. Ten Hag was appointed manager, and in his one season at the helm, he achieved what many thought impossible – securing the club’s first promotion in 17 years. His success caught the attention of Bayern Munich, where he took charge of their second team in 2013. There, he led them to victory in the Regionalliga Bayern league.

By the summer of 2015, Ten Hag was ready for a bigger challenge. He became the head coach of FC Utrecht, guiding them to an impressive fourth-place finish in the 2016-17 season, which earned them a spot in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League.

Erik Ten Hag Wins his sixth first-team trophy with Ajax

Erik Ten Hag Wins his 6th first-team trophy with Ajax.

Coaching Ajax: Ten Hag’s Transformational Impact

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.

Later, 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 secured their third Eredivisie title in four years with a dominant 5-0 home win over Heerenveen on 11 May 2022. Ten Hag’s team also reached the KNVB Cup final, but their hopes of a domestic treble were dashed by a narrow 2-1 defeat to PSV. This near-miss, however, couldn’t overshadow Ten Hag’s impressive achievements, and his reputation as a forward-thinking coach caught the attention of Manchester United.

Manchester United: A Bumpy Ride to Success

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, his reign got off to a bumpy start, with a surprising 2-1 home defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion in his first Premier League match on 7 August.

Things went from bad to worse when a 4–0 defeat at Brentford in his second Premier League match happened. As a result, Ten Hag became the first manager from Old Trafford since John Chapman in 1921 to lose his first two games in charge. The Red Devils finally found their winning ways on 22 August with a 2–1 victory over arch-rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford.

On 11 January 2023, Ten Hag led the Red Devils to a commanding 3–0 win over Charlton Athletic in the EFL Cup. He even became the fastest Manchester United manager to reach 20 competitive wins, achieving the feat in only 27 games.

February 26th saw Ten Hag’s Manchester United rise to the occasion again, defeating Newcastle United 2-0 to secure the EFL Cup, their first trophy since 2017. However, the joy was short-lived. In their very next league game, they went down in a crushing 7-0 defeat against their rivals, Liverpool, at Anfield. This historic event marked the heaviest blow in the fixture’s history, as well as United’s worst loss in decades.

Despite this setback, in his first season at Old Trafford, Ten Hag brought Manchester United to the 2023–24 UEFA Champions League by finishing third in England. United also got to the 2023 FA Cup final, falling short to Manchester City in a close 2-1 home encounter.

Erik ten Hag claps for fans, Manchester United finishing eighth in Erik ten Hag's second season at the club

Manchester United gest 8th place in the 2023-24 Premier League season during Erik ten Hag’s second season at the club. (Image source: BBC Sport)

A Season of Mixed Results for United (2023 – Present)

Manchester United kicked off with a positive start, securing a narrow 1-0 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers in their opening Premier League match on 14 August. However, disappointment struck on 1 November as they were knocked out of the EFL Cup in a surprising 3-0 home defeat to Newcastle United, the very team they had conquered in the previous season’s final. Despite this setback, Ten Hag managed to turn things around, earning himself the Premier League Manager of the Month award for November, with his star player Harry Maguire also getting the Player of the Month title.

Their Champions League came to an end on 12 December. A 1-0 loss to Bayern Munich left them at the bottom of their group, ensuring they wouldn’t be competing in any European competitions for the rest of the season.

On 17 March 2024, however, they pulled off a dramatic comeback victory against arch-rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford. Amad Diallo’s late goal in stoppage time secured a 4-3 win in extra time and brought them into the FA Cup semi-finals. Ten Hag himself declared this match a potential turning point for his team.

Despite their effort, the rest of the season wasn’t a complete success. They finished the 2023-24 Premier League season in 8th place with 60 points and a -1 goal difference after a 2-0 victory against Brighton in the final match. While it wasn’t a title-winning season, there were certainly glimpses of promise under Ten Hag’s leadership.

See Also