Erik ten Hag is emerging as the front runner for what is possibly the toughest job in football – the manager of Manchester United. But how has a man who doesn’t love the limelight reached this possibility? Despite Mauricio Pochettino’s name having been in the ring for years, it seems increasingly likely that the man who will ultimately take the job will be Ajax manager Erik ten Hag.
Since Ferguson bowed out, bringing an end to the glory years of English football’s most successful club, United has burned through seven managers. Ten Hag is reportedly not completely convinced by the possibility of taking the job with many major issues that need to be addressed within the squad.
What is Erik ten Hag’s managerial history?
Erik ten Hag has constructed a good managerial record. His first professional job came at the Go Ahead Eagles in 2012, winning 18 out of his 39 games in charge. From there he took over as Bayern Munich IIs boss in 2013, enjoying a 67% win record across his 72 matches with them in the Regionalliga Bayern, the fourth tier of German football.
Ten Hag then headed over to his former club FC Utrecht, where he won 50% of games. He took the helm for 111 matches between 2015 and 2017 before being snapped up over the Christmas period of 2017 by Ajax. He has been boss there now for 209 games at the time of writing, commanding a very impressive win ratio of 74% with a plus 399 goal difference.
He’s won the Eredivisie twice, in 2019 and 2021 and is now closing in on a third in 2022. In all, there is a consensus at Ajax that he is delivering the club’s best football in years. During his time with Ajax he has also helped them to the Johan Cruyff Shield in 2019 and the KNVB Cup in 2019 and 2021, having also picked it up as a player with Twente in 2001. But will he recreate this feat at United? Only time will tell.