New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag brings in Steve McClaren and Mitchell van der Gaag as assistant coaches
According to The Telegraph (Subscription Required), new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is set to bring in Steve McClaren and Mitchell van der Gaag as his assistants in the coaching setup at Old Trafford.
The Dutchman has only been officially announced as the new permanent boss of the Manchester side today, but that has not stopped the incumbent Ajax Amsterdam head coach from already making changes and taking decisions on what his future in the Premier League will look like.
After watching coaches like Chris Armas, Eric Ramsay, Mike Phelan, and Richard Hartis taking their places in the dugout at the Theatre of Dreams on match days alongside current interim manager Ralf Rangnick, supporters of the Red Devils will now be introduced to the fresh faces of van der Gaag and McClaren.
Older United fans will be familiar with McClaren however, as he was part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s coaching staff from midway in the 1999 season until 2001. ten Hag will surely benefit from the veteran’s experience of English football and also his knowledge of the Manchester side.
United board give in to ten Hag
While the new manager’s request to bring in his long-time assistant van der Gaag was not refuted by the Red Devils, his idea of roping in McClaren was met with objection from the United board. The club insisted that ten Hag look at the existing staff before making any major decisions on his aides in the backroom.
Now, it seems as though the English side have had a change of heart and agreed to the Dutchman’s need for bringing on board McClaren, with a deal expected to be done in the coming weeks. That said, negotiations with Ajax are yet to be completed for prising away van der Gaag.
ten Hag looks to be prepared in advance to start his era at United, bringing along people he trusts and is comfortable working with in order to settle in and implement his ideas on the first team. Surrounding himself with the right kind of people is sure to benefit him in the long run.
While he has a long-time assistant in van der Gaag, he will have an aide with English football experience in McClaren, which could prove to be a smart move. The Premier League is unforgiving of new players and managers who struggle to adapt to the game, and the current Ajax boss cannot afford to make such mistakes when in charge of such a big club.
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Aside from his matchday duties as assistant to ten Hag, McClaren would also have oversight over the day-to-day running of the club and examining who does what. The former United coach may have been familiar with the side in the past, but that was nearly two decades ago, and he may have to relearn a few things as he starts the job.
For United fans, it is sure to be a summer of excitement as they look forward to seeing what their new manager and his coaching staff get up to. ten Hag has a brilliant record in Holland with Ajax, so it will be interesting to see if he can replicate that in England with United.