Erik ten Hag is leaving Ajax this season. The coach is almost certainly leaving for Manchester United, so Ajax has to look for a successor. Which coaches could make Ten Hagi a success after this season? Ajax Showtime lists several interesting options.
The first name mentioned by many experts and Ajax fans is Peter Bosz. The coach was already an Ajax coach in the 2016/17 season. Bosz Ajaxis did not become the champion – he was second only to the champion Feyenoord – but he did reach the final of the European League. With this, he put Ajax back on the map of Europe for the first time in a long time.
After losing the final, it was soon announced that Bosz would leave for Borussia in Dortmund. Bosz did not get along well with all the assistants and therefore wanted to make some changes to his staff. This did not happen and Bosz decided to leave at that time.
Bosz is currently the coach of Olympique Lyon, although he is the disappointing tenth with this club. Lyon Olympique is in the quarterfinals of the European League. Bosz was fired from both Borussia in Dortmund and Bayer in Leverkusen before his tenure at a top club in France.
Alfred Schreuder has recently worked as an assistant coach at Ajax. He later worked as a coach for Hoffenheim and as an assistant to Ronald Koeman at FC Barcelona. He has been the head coach of Club Brugge for several months. With this club, he will fight for the title of the Belgian national team in the coming period. Schreuder was in good shape during his period at Ajax. Many players praised the coach’s working method.
Many consider Arne Slot Eredivisie to be one of the best coaches. Slot previously worked successfully at AZ and since this season he has stood for the Feyenoord group. The road has been found with the Rotterdam club and Feyenoord is still playing in the conference league.
It remains to be seen whether a transition will be possible. Slot recently renewed his contract with Feyenoord and told Studio Voetbal earlier that he doesn’t see himself exchanging for Ajax: “I wouldn’t imagine that right now,” he said.
John Heitinga has been a coach at Ajax Youth Academy for several years. The audience’s favorite used to be Ajax’s U18 / O19 coach, and since this season he has been Young Ajax’s coach. He makes no secret of Heitinga’s ambition to become Ajax’s head coach someday, but it may still be a little “too early,” as football says.
Throwing would be known for improving players individually. Under his leadership, some of Jong Ajax’s players have already made their debut in the regulars and he also seems to be on the right track for Mohamed Ihattaren.
Mitchell van der Gaag
Mitchell van der Gaag is also being considered as a substitute for Ten Hagi. Van der Gaag previously coached clubs such as Excelsior and NAC Breda, while still in the Jong Ajax group last season. This season he is one of Ten Hagi’s assistants.
However, the question remains as to whether Van der Gaag is available. There is a possibility that Ten Hag will take Van der Gaag to Manchester United. Old Trafford’s staff will fill up in the coming period, and Van der Gaag may become one of Ten Hagi’s assistants in Manchester.
Michael Reiziger has also built his coaching career in recent years. The former right-back started as a youth coach in Sparta and later became an assistant coach for the main team. Reiziger then took a step into Ajax, where he coached the Promise Team from 2017 to 2019. He has been the assistant coach for the core team since 2019 and Reiziger may wish to take the next step in his coaching career. Previously – at the end of 2017 – Reiziger once stood in front of the Ajax 1 group as a temporary coach. After the resignation of Marcel Keizer, Reiziger was able to beat Willem II as an Ajax intermediate coach 3: 1.
Speaking of Marcel Keizer: he may also be a descendant of Ten Hagi. Keizer was transferred from Young Ajax in 2017, but went through a difficult period as an Ajax 1 coach. The preparation for the 2017/18 season was dominated by the drama surrounding Abdelhak Nour.
Even during the season, Ajax players were often in Nouri’s head. Hakim Ziyech, for example, once said that he had been in a slump for a long time after what happened to Nour. “I didn’t care that he became a PSV champion that year. Of course, the interests are great, but for me there is another life outside of football.
Keizer was finally fired in December 2017 due to poor performance, although many wonder how Keizer would have done if the drama surrounding Nour had never happened. The emperor may have a new opportunity in Amsterdam.
Wim Jonk did not leave Ajax in the nicest way in 2015, but the current coach of FC Volendam was the basis of Ajaxis Velvet Revolution. Jonk still follows FC Volendam’s “Plan Cruijff” and with the North Holland club Jonk is on his way to ascending to Eredivisie. Is it necessary to come back to Amsterdam?
Frank de Boer
The possibility does not seem great, but Frank de Boer is always involved with Ajax. In the past, the coach was the champion with Ajax four times in a row, although he didn’t do well after leaving Ajax. De Boer was fired from the Internazionale, Crystal Palace and Atlanta United, after which he ended up disappointed with EM Orange. De Boer is currently without a club.
If it’s Patrick Kluivert’s own job, he’ll one day become an Ajax coach. In a recent conversation with ESPN, the former top striker indicated that he would like to take the next step in his coaching career. “Somewhere where there is a good project, I want to be the head coach. I’m looking at what might be interesting now,” Kluivert said.
Kluivert was immediately asked about Ajax. It was already known that Ten Hag could leave the Amsterdam club. “If God wants me to become an Ajax coach, why not?” I’m ready for that, “said Kluivert. In 2016, Kluivert was already named the coach of Ajax A1, but this adventure was over before it started. Kluivert then moved to Paris Saint-Germain, where he became technical director.
When Ajax has to appoint a new coach, some external coaches are always mentioned among the fans. It’s no different again. For example, Marcelo Bielsa, until recently coached by Leeds United, could be an option, while many Ajax fans also dream of Cruijff’s adept Pep Guardiola. An Ajax fan also regularly mentions Arsene Wenger, who currently works for FIFA.
Bart Veenstra (Twitter: @Bart_Veenstra | email: firstname.lastname@example.org)