10 Erik Ten Hag Facts: From Rich Upbringings To 2023 Upset!

Erik Ten Hag Facts

In this article, we look at this coach, whose rating has continued to climb for several years. The sons of millionaires found a purpose not in business, but in football. The sole heir of the Ten Hag family became the president and owner of the Crocus Group Araz Agalarov Emin Agalarov found a calling in music, next the youngest offspring Arkady Rotenberg Pavel found a career in hockey, and his nephew, Boris Rotenberg, is in football. The middle son of the Dutch entrepreneur Henny Ten Hag, Erik Ten Hag, who became famous not only as a player but as a coach, also became a football player. His career began as a first-team assistant at Twente, then in the same position at PSV Eindhoven and more recently, he led Manchester United to a 3–0 win against Charlton Athletic in the EFL Cup. 

Erik Ten Hag: 10 Things About The Dutch Football Manager! 

1. He was born in the Netherlands:

Erik ten Hag, a child from the province of Overijssel in the north-eastern part of the Netherlands, was born on the second day of the second month of 1970 in the Dutch municipality of Haaksbergen, in which 24,280 people lived at the beginning of 2022. Erik grew up in Oldenzaal. By nationality, ten Hagi are Dutch, who now make up three-quarters of the population of the Netherlands.

2. Erik ten Hag’s parents were rich, but he grew up humble: 

Although at the time of Erik’s birth, his father was only 27 years old, the man had already managed to establish a real estate and insurance agency and acquire his eldest son, Michel. The coach also has a younger brother, Rico. The wife Henny pleased the entrepreneur with the birth of another son every 2 years. Unlike Erik, his brothers followed in their father’s footsteps, and Michel has been heading his father’s firm since 2013, which has become an empire.

The sons of ten Hagi were brought up in the Catholic faith and respect for work. When Erik’s bike broke down, on which he rode to training, the teenager had to earn on his own for a new one.

3. Erik used to play 3 matches a day and loved to dance: 

The passion of the middle son of the ten Hags for football began with collecting postcards with the masters of the leather ball and grew into an obsession. In an interview, Erik’s mother recalled that sometimes the boy played three matches in a row, and in the evening he vomited from exhaustion. In addition to football in adolescence, the future coach of Utrecht and Ajax was fond of ballroom dancing.

4. Erik Ten Hag’s wife:

The native of Haaksbergen prefers to keep his private life behind the curtain. Photos of the coach’s family members are rare: Erik has no social media accounts. The former Twente player is married to his childhood friend Bianca. The wife gave the athlete 3 children: a son and two daughters. In 2017, Erik’s only male offspring was in a car accident. Fortunately, the guy recovered, and his father, to celebrate, gave him a house in the center of Oldenzala.

5. Erik Ten Hag’s height: 

Erik’s height is 181 cm. The man is content with a middle-class car and prefers family bike rides to shopping in boutiques. 

6. Erik Ten Hag’s friends died very suddenly: 

In 2013, the coach’s father had a colon tumor removed. But it was 2 friends of Erik’s youth that died young. The life of a person named Andy Sharmin, a native of Suriname, was the first to end, with whom ten Hag became friends while playing for Twente. At 21, the defender died in a plane crash in Paramaribo. 

The second to die was the talented Dutch footballer Gino Weber: this friend of Erik’s had a mental disorder, manifested in alcohol abuse and beating himself with a metal rod. At 22, Weber ended his playing career, and at 33 he died of an overdose. 

Lastly, Erik’s favorite trainer, Epi Drost, has died at 49 of a heart attack.

7. Amateur football career:

The future midfielder was first a modest midfielder in the Dutch league, notably with FC Twente, his heart club where he played for a long time, and where he went to the other side of the lawn, on the bench. 

Erik’s playing career began at the amateur club Bon Boys, based in Haaksbergen. Clockwork and the selfless player quickly became the captain of the team. 

When ten Hagu was 12 years old, the scouts of the Twente club, based in the city of Enschede and playing in the top division of the Netherlands, drew attention to the guy and invited him to his academy. Erik boldly discussed with the Twente coach tactics and football nuances, and at the age of 13, having got on a TV show, he managed to argue with Johan Cruyff, who played for the Dutch national team in his youth.

At the age of 15, the teenager began playing for the youth team of Twente, and at 19 he made his debut in the first team. Subsequently, Henny ten Hag, as a reputable businessman, was on the board of directors of the club from Enschede.

Erik’s teammates described the entrepreneur’s son as an average player who, from his youth, reasoned like a coach and tried to give hints to a mentor. Not being a leader on the field, Ten Hag was active in the analysis of matches.

In addition to Twente, Erik played for De Graafschal, Wahlwijk, and Utrecht. However, it was in the team in which he began his professional career that Ten Hag won the Dutch Cup in 2001. 

8. Coaching career: 

Twente and PSV:

During this time, the Batavian then embarked on a career that would take him into a completely different sphere. Erik’s first coaching experience was mentoring in the youth teams of the Twente club. In 2006, ten Hag joined the coaching board of the team of his youth, and after 3 years he became an assistant coach of the Dutch club PSV. 

Go Ahead Eagles:

He arrived at the head of his first team in Daventry for the Go Ahead Eagles in 2012, where he was promoted to the national football elite, which he brought to the top league of the Netherlands, the reserve team of Bayern Munich, as well as the main squads of Utrecht and Ajax. When he was spotted by the Bayern Munich reserve team in 2013, Guardiola prevailed, and the man who “inspired him a lot”, he admits, and won the regional championship there.

But young people remain at the heart of the game of the “little general”, as they liked to call him during his time at the Go Ahead Eagles. Of the 28 players present in the professional group this season at Ajax, the average age is 25.3 years. The technician is behind the explosion of the nugget of Dutch football, Ryan Gravenberch, a midfielder trained at the club and coveted by all of Europe. But ten Hag has a new “darling” since the De Ligt/de Jong generation: Antony, whom he would see himself bringing to Manchester. 

Ajax Amsterdam:

In 2015, Erik ten Hag returned home and settled on the bench of Utrecht, a club where he had also played as a player. But it was in December that his career took a completely different turn: he was called up by Ajax Amsterdam Erik ten Hag to replace Marcel Keizer in 2017. The beginning of a beautiful story. Led by the Haaksbergen native, the Ajaxids made it to the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time in 13 years, where they reached the semi-finals. 

He won two national cups with them and two championship titles (in 2019 and 2021). Adding to this victory were the awards that followed in the years 2016, 2019 and 2021, when Erik received the Rinus Michels Award for Pro Football Coach of the Year.

More than these two titles, it was Ajax’s Champions League epic in 2019 that revealed it. With a supercharged Ajax made up of players like Matthijs De Ligt, Hakim Ziyech, Frenkie De Jong and Donny van de Beek, he climbed to the semi-finals of the Champions League after having dismissed Cristiano’s Juventus Ronaldo and Real Madrid, before stumbling over Tottenham. No wonder Erik ten Hag was voted fourth best coach in the world in 2019 at the FIFA The Best trophy.

Manchester United: 

“Pep Guardiola’s philosophy is sensational, which he has done at Barcelona, ​​at Bayern and now with Manchester City. This attacking and attractive style wins him a lot. It is this structure that I have tried to implement with Ajax.”

This philosophy of play uses triangles to overload key areas of the pitch both with and without the ball. A system nourished by the versatility of players in various positions on the pitch, which allows them to move freely. This was seen in particular with the midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who had revealed himself to the eyes of the world through his ability to play in all positions, in the center. At Manchester United, ten Hag will arrive with a style of play and all the cards in hand to develop the team as he sees fit. 

9. Erik vs Pep Guardiola:

Although ten Hag worked with Pep Guardiola, the tactics of coaches differ significantly. Erik professes aggressive pressing play and the principles of “discipline is more important than creativity” and “the wrong game decision of a football player is better than not making a decision.” 

The Haaksbergen native considers it very important to have an intelligent central midfielder, and not so much a physically strong one. 

From his first experiences with the training categories of the Twente club, in U17 and U19, Erik ten Hag kept one of his main characteristics: that of being a trainer coach. Under his leadership, many players launched or relaunched their careers having discovered themselves. Dusan Tadic experienced a real renaissance under the ten Hag era after his time at Southampton. It was also during this period where the Football player Ivorian Sébastien Haller, also in difficulty in England, stood out for his newfound efficiency. The Ivory Coast national team player especially scored eleven goals in the Champions League thanks to his efficiency. 

With this very attacking 4-2-4, strongly inspired by those put in place by Pep Guardiola throughout his career, Erik ten Hag wants dynamism. The comparison with the Spanish coach is such that some call him “Little Pep” (Little Pep). The Dutchman is an ultra of “total football”, an idol of the people of Amsterdam, and became a worthy heir to a certain Johan Cruyff. 

10. Where Is Erik Ten Hag Now?

At the end of 2021, there was talk in the football environment that Erik could lead Barcelona or Borussia Dortmund. On April 21, 2022, the media reported on the appointment of ten Hag as the head coach of the English football club Manchester United and that Erik will take up his duties in June. The interim head coach of the Mancunians from December 3, 2021 was Ralph Rangnick.

The Dutchman’s contract with the Red Devils is for 3 years with the possibility of an extension for another 12 months. In euro terms, ten Hag’s salary was € 10 million per year, or € 19 per minute.

When asked by journalists how he plans to interact with Cristiano Ronaldo and other Manchester United stars, Erik said he would give status players tasks and evaluate their performance. Ten Hag also announced plans to lure de Jong to the Red Devils from Barcelona.

However, it was not possible to establish contact with Ronaldo ten Hagu, in an interview the football player even said that he did not respect the mentor, because he did not respect him. In November 2022, Manchester United and Cristiano terminated the contract “by mutual decision of the parties.”

As of 2022, Ten Hag became Manchester United’s next manager, as the club announced. In 2017 at Ajax Amsterdam, the Dutch coach arrived as a firefighter in a burning house and himself arrived to try to save the house of the Red Devils and was chosen by the board of directors to succeed Ralf Rangnick

As of May 22, 2023, Hag was disappointed with United and even said: “If you can’t win, make sure you don’t lose”. 

Erik ten Hag who sat on the bench at Manchester United said in a conversation with Sky Sports. “Antony, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Casemiro. They all could have scored. But still, if you can’t win, don’t lose.

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