Erik ten Hag wrapped up his third Eredivisie title in four completed seasons with Ajax on Wednesday, making a post-match declaration that Manchester United fans will be glad to hear.
Erik ten Hag has told Manchester United fans that they can expect him to bring a “winner’s mentality” when he takes over at Old Trafford in just a few weeks’ time.
The 52-year-old led Ajax to their third Eredivisie title in four completed seasons on Wednesday by hammering Heerenveen 5-0 at the Johan Cruyff Arena, the same night United under-18s won a record 11th FA Youth Cup. And as he said goodbye to his supporters in Amsterdam for the final time, Ten Hag declared to the media: “We brought a certain culture in this club. A winner’s mentality.”
First-half goals from Nicolas Tagliafico, Steven Berghuis and Sebastien Haller had Ajax 3-0 up at the break before young striker Brian Brobbey and midfielder Edson Alvarez wrapped up the emphatic win. Ten Hag’s team previously lifted the Dutch crown in 2019 and 2021, having also been top of the table when the 2020 season was null and voided due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The acclaimed tactician had vowed end his glittering Ajax tenure on a high before departing, successfully vanquishing rivals PSV Eindhoven.
Sunday’s trip to Vitesse will mark his final match, and then Ten Hag can sit down with Red Devils interim manager and future consultant Ralf Rangnick to discuss rebuilding the squad in his total-football image. While Ten Hag has refused to be drawn into constant chatter about his new job, the ex- Utrecht and Bayern Munich reserves boss has discussed his move to United.
“It is a great honour to be appointed manager of Manchester United and I am hugely excited by the challenge ahead,” Ten Hag declared in a statement last month. “I know the history of this great club and the passion of the fans, and I am absolutely determined to develop a team capable of delivering the success they deserve.
“It will be difficult to leave Ajax after these incredible years, and I can assure our fans of my complete commitment and focus on bringing this season to a successful conclusion before I move to Manchester United.”
Ajax chief executive and former Red Devils goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar added on his departure: “Four and a half years is a good amount of time, but we would have liked to have kept Erik at Ajax for longer. He is going to make the step to one of the biggest clubs in the world, in a fantastic league.”We owe Erik a lot of thanks for what he has achieved with Ajax so far, but we are not done yet. At the end of the season, I will look back more extensively on his departure. For now, what matters is the final games of the season in which we all want to bring home the league title.”
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