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Erik Ten Hag was born on 2nd February 1970 in Haaksbergen, Netherland. He is a Dutch professional football coach currently managing the Eredivisie side – AFC Ajax. Now let us walk through the life and achievements of this sensational manager who has caught the eye of the European Giants in just a few years.
Erik Ten Hag – facts
- Ten hag’s career as a player started on December 13, 1989. He played his first match for the local team of his birthplace – SV Bon Boys who thrashed FC Groningen by 5-0 in that match.
- Ten Hag has played as a Centre-back for FC Twente, De Graafschap, RKC Waalwijk and FC Utrecht.
- In childhood he was always an energetic boy and played football with his friends along with other activities such as learning Dance and playing billiard. His parents always supported his idea of becoming a professional Football player.
- He won Eerste Divisie (2nd tier football league in the Netherlands) De Graafschap and the cup with Twente. He also won the KNVB Cup with Twente in the 2001-02 season. He retired as a professional football player at the age of 32. His last club as a player was Twente and he hung up his boots after the 2001-02 season.
- As a manager, his first team was Go Ahead Eagles. He managed them in the 2012 season, he then moved to Bayern II where he learned a lot from one of the most intelligent minds of Football – Pep Guardiola who was managing Bayern Munich at that time.
Erik Ten Hag – Philosophy
Erik Ten Hag on many occasions has stated that he has learned many things about Football from Spaniard Pep Guardiola. Just like Pep, the main ideology and philosophy of Ten Has is possession style football. Because he was also a coach in Germany therefore, he also has Pressing from the front style which is a German-based football style. He plays false nine as well as conventional style football. In false nine he uses Dusan Tadic as his main man. He plays 4-3-3 formation in Ajax and it’s a very rare sight to see them in a different formation. He highly prefers the presence of a talented Defensive Midfielder that will assist the shield of the back four. He also focuses on recovering the ball quickly. Though he mainly focus on playing the 4-3-3 formation but the secret to his success isn’t the formation but the basic rules and principles. In an interview, he clearly stated that “the system isn’t the base rather it’s about what you do in possession. When you let a ball go how quickly and intelligently you recover it, that is all that matters”. He also uses passing triangles and asks the wingers to cut inside to make a room for the centre-backs to come and join the attack which increases the intensity of the attack. Ajax averages 67% possession in their games of the past season.
He also implements the style and ideology of Netherlands Legend Johan Cryuff whose style is implemented not only in just Ajax but also in FC Barcelona and Pep’s style is also based on Johan Cryuff’s possession style idea.
Triumphs of Eren Ten Hag and the failures
He has won Eredivisie 3x times and Dutch Super Cup 1x times with AFC Ajax. He also won EL Playoffs Championship with Utrecht. His team also played the semi-final of UEFA Champions League of 2018-19 season in which they defeated Real Madrid in RO16 and Juventus in the quarter-final. They were knocked by Tottenham in the semi-final but this team caught the eye of the whole world with their style, aggression and the way they bravely played Football that season. His early years as a football manager mostly contain loses but now he is making a profile for himself.
Future and quotes about Ten Hag
Erik Ten Hag was reportedly linked with Manchester United for the manager job but Ralf soon took over. However, due to his excellence, he is always linked with European Giants. Right now he is managing Ajax and has no intentions to move so we will have to wait about what the future holds for this Cryuffian Influencer – Erik Ten Hag.
Here are some quotes about Erik Ten Hag:
“When we lose the ball, we must win it back immediately, He is focused on that, he is always telling us that if we have control of the ball, we have the ability to push back any opponent.”
Pierre van Hooijdonk
“What he is managing to do with such young players is remarkable,”
“What is the biggest thing about Erik I think is his fanaticism and that he wants to improve us every day and he really likes football and this is really great for players because always they want to help you improve.”