Erik ten Hag is expected to move to Manchester United this summer, becoming the latest manager tasked with turning around a club that has been in decline for the better part of the last ten years.
Louis van Gaal, José Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have all been hit by the Old Trafford curse, and the interim appointment of Ralf Rangnick as Solskjaer’s successor has done little to salvage a poor campaign.
But with the possible appointment of Ten Hag comes a new dawn and a chance to start anew, or so United fans hope. The Dutchman has impressed in the Netherlands with Ajax, with him and his coaching staff helping the club dominate the Eredivisie. There have also been funny moments in the Champions League.
Here is the current Ten Hag coaching staff at Ajax.
Michael Reiziger is one of three assistant directors currently working with Ten Hag at Ajax.
He enjoyed an excellent playing career, starting with Ajax before a brief stint with AC Milan. He was a regular at Barcelona between 1997 and 2004, winning two La Liga titles, a Copa del Rey and a UEFA Super Cup in Catalonia. He also made 72 international appearances for the Netherlands, competing in three European Championships and the 1998 World Cup.
Reiziger previously managed Jong Ajax, the club’s reserve team, for two years and briefly acted as caretaker first-team coach in 2017 following the sacking of Marcel Keizer.
The second of the three assistant managers is Winston Bogarde.
A full-back during his playing days, Bogarde won a pair of Eredivisie titles in the 1990s and then was part of the same Barcelona team Reiziger played for at the Camp Nou. He completed his playing career with a controversial four-year spell at Chelsea, clashing with the club’s management and playing just 11 games during his spell at Stamford Bridge.
He also represented the Netherlands internationally, playing in one World Cup and one European Championship.
Bogarde returned to Ajax in 2017 as Reiziger’s assistant in the club’s youth team.
Mitchell van der Gaag is Ten Hag’s third and last current assistant manager. He started his career at PSV Eindhoven’s academy and spent most of his playing days in the Netherlands. He also played for Motherwell in Scotland for two seasons before ending up in Portugal and Saudi Arabia and then becoming a manager.
He has been an assistant to Ten Hag since 2021, although his relationship with the club began when he was appointed coach of the Jong team in 2019. Previously he was in charge of PSV, Excelsior and NAC.
Anton Scheutjens is the goalkeeping coach for Ten Hag at Ajax. He previously worked with Dick Advocaat and Phillip Cocu at PSV and joined Ajax in 2020.
He also helped develop some of the Netherlands’ young goalkeepers into a position with the KNVB.
As a player, Scheutjens played for Go Ahead Eagles and Roda JC Kerkrade.
Alessandro Schoenmaker is working on fitness with the Ajax team. He was previously employed at Newcastle, Inter, Crystal Palace, Anderlecht and Derby.
If he were to join Ten Hag at Old Trafford, Schoenmaker would be tasked with bringing a rather bloated United side into shape.
Max Reckers is the current chief analyst for Ajax. His previous roles include a similar position he held at Manchester United, when Louis van Gaal was in charge.
Of Reckers, Van Gaal once said, “I can’t forget my computer guru. It’s amazing because he’s not only my computer guru, he’s like my son. But his name is not Van Gaal, his name is Max Reckers and he’s an analyst.”
Richard Witschge is an individual coach at Ajax and spent most of his playing career in Amsterdam.
He spent five years with the senior team of his boyhood club before joining Barcelona and later Bordeaux. He spent a brief spell on loan at Blackburn when they won the Premier League, playing just one game. Witschge then returned to Ajax for another seven years before ending up with a few lower-tier clubs.
He returned as a coach in 2012 and has served Ten Hag, Frank de Boer, Peter Bosz and Marcel Keizer in that time.
Heini Otto has spent almost 28 years at Ajax as coach of the Dutch giants. Before that, he played for them, making his only international appearance for the Netherlands while at the club.
He later spent time with Twente and Middlesbrough but retired from playing in 1992, becoming a youth coach at ADO Den Haag, head coach at HFC Haarlem and then back at Ajax, again working with young players. With Ajax, Otto has held various roles, from assistant coach of the first team to ambassador of the club’s different social projects.