The 52-year-old was confirmed as Ralf Rangnick’s successor at Manchester United on Thursday morning, signing a three-year deal at Old Trafford. He will start his new role after finishing the current season at Ajax, who are aiming to win the Eredivisie title. The Dutch giants are four points clear of PSV in second with four games remaining.
If Ten Hag signs a lease in Manchester, he will be avoiding a mistake Jose Mourinho made during his two-and-a-half-year spell at Old Trafford. The Portuguese coach famously lived in a hotel throughout his time in the North West, rather than move to the area.
Mourinho’s failure to find a home in Manchester concerned United fans. It gave the impression his spell at the club was always going to be brief. And, as we now know, his long-term future wasn’t in the northern city.
Although he brought success to United – winning the club’s most recent trophies to date – Mourinho failed to challenge for the Premier League and Champions League. They were also struggling at the time of his departure, sitting 11 points off the top four.
“I would be unhappy if I was in a house on my own,” Mourinho told The Telegraph in 2019. “I would have to clean, I don’t want to. I would have to iron, I don’t know how to. I have to cook, I would cook fried eggs and sausages – that’s the only thing I can do.
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“I would be very unhappy. I lived in an amazing apartment, it was not a room. It was mine all the time, it was not like after one week I had to leave. No, it was mine. I left everything there, I had my television, my books, my computer. It was a flat, with ‘bring me a coffee latte, please’ or ‘I don’t want to go down for dinner, bring my dinner up’.
“I was watching football or doing work with one of my assistants and I would ask ‘bring us food’. I had everything, if I was in an apartment alone it would be much more difficult. I was fine, more than fine.”
Although Mourinho was happy to live in a hotel, Ten Hag wants to embed himself within United’s culture and traditions. He is not planning on bringing many members of his Ajax backroom staff to Manchester and wants to appoint people who understand the club’s identity. Ten Hag’s current assistant Mitchell van der Gaag is poised to follow him.
Steve McClaren, who was Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant when they won the treble in 1998-99, is expected to join his the Dutchman’s backroom staff in the coming days. Ten Hag was McClaren’s assistant at Twente during the 2008-09 campaign.
The incoming United manager is following in the footsteps of Pep Guardiola, who’s lived in the heart of Manchester since being appointed by City in the summer of 2016. Guardiola has established a relationship with the club’s faithful during the last six years, winning three Premier League titles, four EFL Cups, two Community Shields and the FA Cup.
The Spaniard is enjoying the longest spell of his managerial career at the Etihad and was filmed singing along to Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back in Anger” at last season’s title celebrations. Oasis icons Noel and Liam Gallagher are passionate City supporters.