Ten Hag to United: How each of Ajax's last five managers fared after leaving
Erik Ten Hag is viewed widely as the top option for the Manchester United manager job. The Dutchman plays attacking football and learned his managerial craft under Pep Guardiola at Bayern.
An outstanding candidate for revolutionising United, there are no guarantees. The club already hired one former Ajax boss, Louis van Gaal, and despite a FA Cup win, it was not a success overall.
The one nagging doubt over Ten Hag, even with The Mail reporting he is keen on the role, is whether he can reproduce his success in the Premier League. Players and managers have had mixed success leaving the Eredivisie over the years.
The alternative candidate, Mauricio Pochettino, has managed in the Premier League before, and the last PSG boss to leave the club went on to win the Champions League. The last five managers to leave Ajax have had a far more mixed record…
Marcel Keizer, left 2017
Keizer stepped up to manage Ajax after coaching the academy side and hoped to have a smooth transition. It did not go to plan. He was fired after five months with Ajax trailing in the league and knocked out of the club.
After leaving, Keizer took on a job at UAE club Al Jazeera, before leaving for a better opportunity at Sporting.
With help from Bruno Fernandes, who scored 32 goals in all competitions, Keizer’s Sporting won two domestic cups in 2018/19. However, a third placed finish in the league saw him eventually leave the club early the next season.
Keizer is now back managing Al Jazira, where he led them to win the title last season.
Peter Bosz, left 2017
Peter Bosz spent just one season at Ajax, where he led the team to the Europa League final, where they were beaten 2-0 by Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.
Bosz left to join Borussia Dortmund, tempted by a new opportunity, but his spell there ended in disaster. He was fired after five months following a Champions League group stage exit, with the players failing to buy into his methods.
His next step was a bit better. Bosz got a second chance in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen, who he helped stabilise and developed Kai Havertz into a top talent. After a fourth and fifth placed finish, Bosz was sacked a year ago as the team took a step back and finished sixth.
Bosz was hired by French club Lyon last summer, who sit in an unimpressive 10th place in Ligue 1.
Frank de Boer, left 2016
De Boer’s Premier League disaster is arguably the biggest knock against Ten Hag, probably a very unfairly.
Crystal Palace hired De Boer in 2016 after he spent six years at Ajax and won four Eredivisie titles.
In between he took over at Inter Milan and lasted just a few months. His spell at Palace was even worse, where he was fired after just four games, losing all of them.
Jose Mourinho famously took a dig at De Boer in response to criticism, labelling the Dutchman as the ‘worst manager in Premier League history’.
De Boer then took on a job in MLS with Atlanta United, before landing the Netherlands international job. He managed the country at Euro 2020, which ended in a last 16 exit. After the tournament he was sacked and is currently without a job.
Martin Jol, left 2010
Former Tottenham boss Martin Jol won the Dutch Cup in 2010 before being replaced with De Boer. Losing the title to Steve McClaren’s FC Twente sealed his fate.
Jol resurfaced in the Premier League with Fulham, where he replaced Mark Hughes.
After a 12th placed finish in his first season at Craven Cottage, Jol was sacked the next December after a poor start to the next season.
Jol has only had one job since, working at Egyptian club Al Ahly, where he spent nine months in charge in 2016. He was not held a manager’s job since.
Marco van Basten, left 2009
After a one season stint at Ajax, Marco van Basten did not take up another manager job until 2012 at Heerenveen.
The legendary striker spent two seasons there, where he led them to a fifth placed finish before taking up a job a job at AZ Alkmaar. However, blaming the stress of the role he stepped down within weeks and has not taken on a manager job since, most recently working as an assistant with Netherlands in 2016.