It is now official. Manchester United has just announced the appointment of Erik Ten Hag as its new manager.
Official statement by Manchester United and Ajax confirm the agreement completed and signed.
The contract agreement shows that Erik has signed until June 2025 plus option until June 2026.
Who is Erik Ten Hag?
Erik ten Hag, born in Haaksbergen on 2 February 1970, is a Dutch football coach and former professional football player. Ten Hag played for FC Twente, De Graafschap, RKC Waalwijk and FC Utrecht as a footballer.
He played in several positions, such as central midfielder, right back, central defender and libero. Between 1 June 2002 and mid-2008, Ten Hag was head of training at the FC Twente / Heracles Academy. He served as an assistant coach at PSV from 2009 to 2012. On 12 March 2012 his contract, together with that of coach Fred Rutten, was terminated.
During the 2012/13 season, Ten Hag served as coach of Go Ahead Eagles, earning promotion to the Eredivisie. He moved to Bayern Munich in the summer of 2013 to coach the second team and was made head coach of FC Utrecht for the 2015/16 season.
On 28 December 2017, Ten Hag signed a contract for two and a half seasons at Ajax, while in June 2019 his contract was extended until mid-2022 and again in April 2021 it was extended until mid-2023. He impressed at Ajax in the 2018/19 season, making it to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League and eliminating several superpowers such as Real Madrid and Juventus.
That season he also won the national treble. Ten Hag won the double with Ajax again in the 2020/21 season. He and Ajax won the cup on 18 April 2021 by winning 2-1 against Vitesse.
Erik ten Hag Bio
Full Name: Erik ten Hag
Profession: Professional Footballer
Erik ten Hag Physical Stats
Weight: 72 Kg
Height: 1.81 m
Eye Color: Brow
Hair Color: Dark Brown
Erik ten Hag Football Information
Jersey Number: 12
Professional Debut: 1989
Erik ten Hag Date of Birth and Personal Info
Date of Birth: 2 February 1970
Birth Place: Haaksbergen, Netherlands
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
Erik ten Hag Early Life
Erik was a mediocre altar boy in the Boniface church, went to Ludgerus School, collected football cards from Leusink’s supermarket, learned to dance as a teenager at Dwars dance school and played football every day with his group of friends on the schoolyard, where the climbing frames were his biggest opponents. He played billiards in the cellar. He is the son of a real estate agent, and his mother is from Lemselo.
Ten Hag started playing football at the amateur club SV Bon Boys in Haaksbergen. His professional debut was made at FC Twente on 13 December 1989 in the 66th minute as a substitute for Robin Schmidt in the 5-0 match against FC Groningen. During his first season, Ten Hag played 14 matches, after which he played for De Graafschap in the First Division in the 1990/91 season. There he played nearly all matches and his team won a promotion to the Eredivisie.
For the 1991/92 season, Ten Hag played for De Graafschap again, although he only played half of the matches. Starting in the summer of 1992, Ten Hag had a reasonable number of games for FC Twente in two seasons, but nevertheless, he moved to RKC for the 1994/95 season to play for FC Utrecht the following year. He played almost all his matches in two seasons for both clubs. During the 1996/97 season, he was brought back to Twente, this time on a permanent transfer.
Ten Hag achieved his European highlight in 1997/98 when he made it to the Round of 16 of the UEFA Cup with FC Twente. In that match, FC Twente was knocked out by AJ Auxerre, by first losing 0-1 at home and then 2-0 away. Ten Hag picked up his only top prize in 2001 with FC Twente, which brought home the KNVB Cup under the management of Fred Rutten.
During the cup final, which took place in Stadion Feyenoord, the club managed to beat PSV after penalty kicks. It was on 5 May 2002 that Ten Hag ended his playing career with a 0-0 draw against sc Heerenveen. The coach at the time, John van ‘t Schip, was told that Ten Hag would not play for him in the following season.
Johan Derksen, a football critic, blamed the disappointing results of the last season on the fact that “the only player with managerial qualities” was excluded from the starting line-up for important matches. In total, Ten Hag played 336 matches in the Eredivisie and Eerste Division and scored 15 goals.
Erik Ten Hag Profile
Following the end of his football career, Ten Hag joined FC Twente on 1 June 2002 as head of training. His greatest success in this period was the championship of FC Twente/Heracles A1 in the Eredivisie for A1 juniors in the 2006/07 season. In addition to being head of training, Ten Hag was also added to the coaching staff on 1 February 2006 when Jan van Staa became interim head coach following the dismissal of Rini Coolen.
Ten Hag continued in his post when Fred Rutten and René Eijkelkamp were appointed as trainer/coach and assistant trainer respectively from PSV in the 2006/07 season. After the departure of Eijkelkamp in July 2007, Ten Hag was the only assistant coach for a while.
On 23 June 2009, Ten Hag joined PSV, where he rejoined the team of head coach Fred Rutten. At first, FC Twente was reluctant to release him, but ultimately they let Ten Hag leave anyway.
Afterwards, Ten Hag signed a contract with Go Ahead Eagles. It was in his first season as coach at the club from Deventer that Go Ahead Eagles achieved promotion to the Eredivisie on 26 May 2013 after seventeen years. Shortly afterwards he resigned as the coach of the team and was replaced by Foeke Booy.
His career as a member of Pep Guardiola’s coaching staff.
Bayern Munich ll
His unique work ethic did not disappear when he took over the helm at other clubs. Following his time at Go Ahead Eagles, Ten Hag slowly worked his way up to the top. The coach’s next stop was in Germany, at the second team of Bayern Munich. In those days, Ten Hag worked together with Pep Guardiola, who was in the spotlight as a top trainer of the main squad. Ten Hag was active on the sidelines, but his work was appreciated by the club.
In the second team of the south Germans, Ten Hag and his team also made great strides. As he did at Go Ahead Eagles, the coach once again set goals, which he also achieved. With the second team of FC Hollywood in Germany, Ten Hag became champion in the Regionalliga, the fourth level of Germany.
In the following season, Bayern II still played in the Regionalliga due to some restrictions. Under Ten Hag’s management, the team finished fifth in the 2014/15 season. A great performance considering that a lot of players were promoted to the first team or left.
Following his time in Germany, Ten Hag took over as head coach of FC Utrecht, something he could not refuse. In Utrecht, the coach had a talented squad at his disposal. At that time, players like Sebastien Haller, Bart Ramselaar and Nacer Barazite were an important part of the team of the Dutch Domstadelingen.
In Utrecht, the coach also made a strong impression. During his first season as coach in the Eredivisie Utrecht finished in fifth place, a strong final ranking for the club. The club also reached the final of the KNVB Cup but lost 2-1 to Feyenoord.
Following the season, he received the Rinus Michels Award, which was the prize for the best manager in the Eredivisie. During the 2016/17 season, FC Utrecht reached the play-offs in the Eredivisie, which meant the club had the chance to play European football a season later but did not get past the play-off round there.
In the following season, Ten Hag also continued as FC Utrecht coach. In that season Timo Letschert, who had been the heart of the defence in the previous successful season, was not available anymore. Ramselaar also left Utrecht for PSV. Utrecht brought in Brama and Labyad to fill the gaps. In that season, Utrecht finished higher in the Eredivisie. They finished fourth and qualified for the preliminary rounds of the Europa League. However, a cup stunt was not to be expected this time around.
In this section of Erik ten Hag biography, stay tuned as we want to share more information about his coaching career at Ajax.
He stepped down as coach of Utrecht at the end of December 2017 to move to the Ajax bench. When the season ended, he came second in the league behind PSV. He stepped into the international limelight during the 2018-2019 UEFA Champions League. In this competition, after easily advancing through the preliminary rounds, they finished in the group with AEK Athens, Benfica and Bayern Munich.
Despite the unlucky odds, the Dutch side made it through to the round of 16 as runners-up. They faced defending champions Real Madrid in the round of 16 and were able to overcome the draw by winning the return match 1-4 at the Santiago Bernabéu stadium. Their success got a lot of media coverage, being the largest domestic defeat in Real Madrid’s European history.
On the following 16 April, they managed another feat: thanks to a 1-1 home draw and a 1-2 win in Turin, the Dutch side knocked out Juventus and reached the semi-finals. After a 0-1 win in the first leg against Tottenham, Ajax were 2-0 ahead in the first half of the return leg, but in the second half, the English side managed to score three goals between the 55th and 96th minutes to reach the final. He won his first trophy with Ajax on 5 May, the Dutch Cup by beating Willem II 0-4.
In fact, Ten Hag brought the club back to win a trophy after five years and after nine years since the last success in the competition. He won the league on 15 May with 86 points, three points more than PSV, and won the Rinus Michels Award as the best coach of the Eredivisie two days later. On the following 20 June, he extended his contract with Ajax until 2022.
The 2019-2020 season began by winning the Super Cup against PSV 2-0. In the competitions, Ajax’s journey was less fortunate than the previous year: they finished third in the UEFA Champions League at the group stage, missing the final round; in the Europa League, Ajax was knocked out in the round of 16 by Getafe; while in the Dutch Cup, Ajax lost to Utrecht in the semi-finals. Although they finished first in the league, on 24 April 2020 the Dutch federation decided to suspend the competition and not award the title due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following the superb European campaign and the double in 2019, Ten Hag was widely seen as a coach who was destined to make the step to a giant soon. There were doubts about that last year, as Ajax were unable to live up to expectations in Europe and also lost a substantial lead in the premier league. But now, a year after the previous premier league season was cut short, he is back in the limelight.
From the perspective of the European elite, Ten Hag is presenting himself in 2021 in almost every desirable guise. He will be a football pro, who used substitutions and switches to win virtually all matches and points.
He is a winner, by bringing in specific, hardened players and deciding in Ajax’s favour in top games. Like a tactician, who entertains the TV audience with flashy football. As a manager and troubleshooter, who lets his team deal with unrest and setbacks stoically. And as a trainer, who after Ryan Gravenberch also pushes Jurriën Timber, Devyne Rensch and Brian Brobbey to a breakthrough.
In the 2020-21 season, Ten Hag’s side set further records: their 0-13 away win against VVV-Venlo on 24 October became the biggest ever in the Eredivisie, beating the record set in 1972 (Ajax-Vitesse 12-1), and the following week’s 5-2 victory over Fortuna Sittard took Ajax to 250 league goals under Ten Hag, matching the record set by Johan Cruijff in 82 games.
On 17 January 2021, during the Klassieker with Feyenoord, he reached 100 victories with Ajax; interestingly, the first match Ten Hag won was also against their rivals from Rotterdam. He won the national cup for the second time on 18 April with a 2-1 victory against Vitesse. He renewed his contract with Ajax until 2023 on 30 April while, two days later, he won his second league title with three matches to spare.
Among other things he also set the record for the highest points average ever recorded by a coach in the history of the Eredivisie: over 100 matches on the Ajax bench, he collected 2.43 points on average, beating Aad de Mos (2.41) and Ernst Happel (2.37).
Style of Play
He always starts with the individuals within the team. He has one style of play in mind, but also looks at what is best for the individual players. He is tactically flexible and empathic. That combination makes him a distinctive coach. And because of that, talented players often develop under him. At Ajax, Timber, Rensch and Gravenberch are examples of this again. But also at FC Utrecht, it went the same way.
Erik has great analytical skills, not only regarding the game but also off the field.
Which processes are going on? He has a good eye for that. Top football is about reading processes and looking at details.
This season Ten Hag almost all of the time employed the 4-3-3 system, with the occasional 4-2-3-1 variant involving one midfielder moving forward and two deeper midfielders retreating. Looking back to his virtuous years, Ten Hag has edited Diamond midfield and three backs, so he is in no way substantially focused on minor variations of the same system.
During Ajax’s Champions League campaign, former Southampton midfielder Dusan Tadic mostly played a false nine, but Ten Hag also deployed traditional strikers like Klas Jan Huntelaar and Sebastian Haller during his time in Amsterdam.
Erik ten Hag is regarded as one of the most talented and tactical coaches of his generation because of his record at the teams he has managed so far and as he is still very young, we can expect to see him in some of the elite European clubs, sooner than later.
Erik ten Hag outside Football
At the current stage of his professional life, Erik ten Hag is fully focused on his football and coaching career and therefore, he has no other businesses outside football. He also spends time with his wife and children when he has time to spare.
Erik ten Hag Personal Life
In this section of Erik ten Hag biography, we want to take a look at his personal life and share some stories about him such as Erik ten Hag life story, Erik ten Hag religion and much more, so stay tuned.
Family, Children and Relationships
Throughout his career, he was supported by his wife, but so far he has managed to keep her out of the spotlight. Therefore, the name of Erik ten Hag’s wife is unknown, but there is some information about her.
It remains unclear who the lady is that has stood behind Ten Hag for years. They have three children together: one son and two daughters. Nevertheless, Ten Hag does not always want to burden his wife and children with his choices.
When he decided to leave for Amsterdam to work as a coach for Ajax, he intentionally chose to leave his family behind in Oldenzaal (Twente). “Their life doesn’t have to be at the service of my life,” the coach once told TC/Tubantia. He told Inside Ajax that his family is very important to him. “My family is always above everything. I always tell my players that: football is very important, but the family comes first.”
Erik ten Hag is completely focused on his career as a football coach. Even one of his children might end up in the world of football. While no more is known about his daughters than that one of them used to ride a horse, it is obvious that his 21-year-old son is very busy playing football. He had already stopped playing football once but is trying to pick it up again.
“Each child makes its own choices and seeks its own happiness. We try to steer them, but you have to leave them free”, Ten Hag once told De Volkskrant. In 2017, Ten Hag’s son was also in the news once before. At that time he had a serious car accident.
At the time of writing this article, there is currently no news about any charity or philanthropy activities involving Erik ten Hag, the young Dutch football coach.
As a professional football coach fully focused on his football career, it is not a surprise that he never had any legal issues or disputes, and there are no such reports regarding him on media.
As a football player, between 1989 and 2002, Erik ten Hag played a total of 336 matches in all competitions for various Dutch football clubs, including FC Twente. In those games, he also scored 15 goals, which is a good record as he was a defender. With 247 matches player, Erik ten Hag has spent the biggest part of his playing career with the Twente Enschede FC team.
The 51-years old Dutch football coach started his coaching career almost immediately after he retired. Since then, he has managed his teams in a total of 389 matches, of which he has won 246, drawn 66 and lost 77 matches. Under his watch, all those teams scored a total of 896 goals and conceded just 426, which is a great record. His win ratio as a football coach is 62.72 percent.
Erik ten Hag Honors
As a player, Erik ten Hag managed to win the Eerste Divisie in 1990-91 with De Graafschap and won the KNVB Cup in 200-01 with FC Twente.
As a manager, he has won promotion to the Eredivisie with the Go Ahead Eagles in 2013, won the Regional League Bayern with Bayern München II in 2013-14 and won the Eredivisie (two times), KNVB Cup (two times) and Johan Cruyff Shield in 2019.
He has also won the Rinus Michels Award in 2016 and 2019 and finished in 4th place in 2019 The Best FIFA Men’s Coach.
*additional report from SportMob