In light of mounting pressure on the Manchester United manager, former Ajax striker Kenneth Perez thinks it’s “not a crazy idea” to envision Erik ten Hag returning to Ajax.
During his tenure in Amsterdam, Ten Hag achieved great success, leading his side to several Eredivisie championships and coming within a minute of the Champions League final in 2019. United was impressed by his accomplishments and offered him the top position in 2022, where he finished third in his first campaign.
However, this season has been more difficult, with Ten Hag’s club losing four of seven league games and two of two in the Champions League. Given that the manager’s position has come under scrutiny as a result of the results, Perez is planning ahead as Ajax faces their own challenges in the Netherlands.
What if Erik ten Hag lost his job? Would Ajax be stupid to beg him back? Perez enquired on Voetbalpraat of ESPN (via Metro). The international striker from Denmark played for two different stretches at Ajax and, while playing for FC Twente with Steve McClaren, who was Ten Hag’s assistant, helped the team win the Eredivisie.
“Manchester United is known for the fact that things can get difficult if things don’t go well,” he continued. Then it’s not an absurd notion, is it?
Journalist Willem Vissers mirrored Perez’s remarks, stating, “I think that this project of his there just won’t work in the end. He won’t be a coach there for very long, in my opinion.
United’s record-worst start in the Premier League era is nine points from seven league games. Ajax’s situation has gotten worse, though, as the 36-time champions have been struggling ever since Ten Hag left.
After top players Lisandro Martinez and Antony followed Ten Hag to Old Trafford, the Amsterdam team finished third in the Eredivisie the previous year. Midway through the season, manager Alfred Schreuder was fired, and John Heitinga was unable to lead the team into the Champions League positions.
This summer, more players left than ever before. Captain Dusan Tadic went for Fenerbahce, and Jurrien Timber and Mohammed Kudus moved to the Premier League. Maurice Steijn, a former Sparta Rotterdam manager, was hired as manager, although the team’s performance has remained poor.
Only five points were earned by Ajax in their first five Eredivisie games, including a 4-0 loss against Feyenoord at home that was postponed due to fan disturbance at the Johan Cruijff ArenA and then resumed the following day. Ajax was ahead of RKC Waalwijk in their sixth match, however the match was called off due to a major injury to the home team’s custodian, Etienne Vaessen.
The RKC match’s remaining minutes won’t be played until December 6. Before that, Ajax has a number of games, including a Thursday Europa League trip to AEK Athens.
Steijn commented before to the game in Athens, “I don’t think that is required, but it would be wonderful for the spectators if it became a show again.”So long as we travel to Amsterdam with three points.”