Ten Hag Bids Ajax Farewell
Incoming Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag managed Ajax for the final time on Sunday, as the curtain fell on the Eredivisie season.
Ajax were named Dutch champions on Wednesday, following their emphatic 5-0 victory over Heerenveen at the Johan Cruyff Arena. That win meant the gap between them and closest title rivals PSV Eindhoven was four points with just one match to play.
The champions travelled to Vitesse on the final day and experienced a tough match against the league’s sixth-placed side. The hosts gave Ten Hag’s side a guard of honour before the match, a sign of appreciation for the Eredivisie champions.
The points were shared in the end, as Brian Brobbey and Edson Alvarez scored either side of Lois Openda’s double. PSV won 2-1 away to PEC Zwolle in their final match, meaning that the final table showed just a two-point gap between the clubs.
This year’s Eredivisie triumph is Ajax and Ten Hag’s third out of the last four years, with the 2019-20 season abandoned and no title awarded due to the disruption caused by Covid-19.
In addition to league success, the Dutchman also guided Ajax to the KNVB Cup final, where they were narrowly defeated 2-1 by PSV.
Ajax managed to reach the round-of-16 in the Champions League but were knocked out by Benfica, who pushed eventual finalists Liverpool close in the quarter-finals.
After his final fixture in charge, Ten Hag spoke to Dutch publication De Telegraaf, outlining his eagerness to start at Old Trafford.
“We have agreed that I will be employed by Manchester United from May 16,” he said. “There are still a few things that need to be done in preparation for the season.
“It’s time to turn the switch now. It’s something that is needed because there is a lot to take care of and I have the energy for it.”
Despite his achievements with Ajax, the 52-year-old revealed his focus will now turn to United.
“Tomorrow there will be a party with the [Ajax] staff,” he said. “But I am not going to Curacao. I think that’s understandable. There is a lot of work to do [at United]. That is the case with every club.
“A number of things still need to be organised in the staff and also in the selection. We will be working intensively on this from tomorrow.”