Manchester United Appoint Erik Ten Hag As New First Team Manager

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Manchester United have finally confirmed what many have expected to happen throughout the past few weeks – Erik ten Hag will be the new first team manager, starting from the 2022-23 season. The club have posted on their social media and their official website the news of the Dutch manager coming to Old Trafford, as the first full-time appointment since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s departure in late 2021.

Then, the club decided to bring in Ralf Rangnick as the interim manager until the end of the season. In the past month or so, Man United’s search for their new manager intensified and it became more and more obvious it was Ten Hag who will be coming to Old Trafford. The likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Luis Enrique and Julen Lopetegui were all mentioned and some even interviewed for the job, but right from the start, it seemed that Erik ten Hag was always going to get the job. So, what do we need to know about the man?

Erik Ten Hag The Player

Erik ten Hag in his playing days was far from the level he has already reached in his coaching career. Born in 1970, Ten Hag played for the likes of Twente, De Graafschap, RKC Waalwijk and Utrecht throughout his 13 years long playing career. He was a centre-back and never really so influential as he would become later on. In fact, he retired at the age of just 32, at the end of the 2001-02 Eredivisie campaign, when he was back at Twente, the club where he started his career.

Slow Ascension In Coaching Career

If there was such thing as the ‘perfect rise through the ranks’, then Erik ten Hag’s coaching career could come close to it. He started in 2012, when he was appointed as the manager of Go Ahead Eagles, Dutch second-tier club. Marc Overmars brought him there and that relationship would prove valuable for both of them. He led them to their first promotion in 17 years and in 2013, he moved to Bayern Munich. It was there that he led Bayern’s II team, from 2013 to 2015, at the same time as Pep Guardiola was working with Bayern’s first team. There he had the chance to be influenced by the now Manchester City manager.

That spell was enough for him to make a move to Utrecht, where he also played in mid-1990s. For two seasons, he had done great jobe, getting this not-so-established Dutch side to a fourth place in 2017, meaning they were to play in Europa League qualifiers next season. But without Ten Hag at the helm, as he was called up by Ajax in December 2017.

Trophy-Ladden Years At Ajax

In slightly less than five full seasons at Ajax, Erik Ten Hag has managed to use his classic 4-3-3 formation and accustom it to a side hungry for trophies. They were seconds away from a Champions League final in 2019, after already dispatching Real Madrid and Juventus. They won league titles in 2019 and 2021, are close to repeat it in 2022, while they were unlucky not to win the league title in 2020, when the season was stopped and never finished due to COVID-19 pandemic. They also won two KNVB Cups, all while playing a great brand of football. Now, let’s see if he can replicate that to Manchester United…

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