Erik ten Hag odds-on for Tottenham job: A history of Dutch managers in the Premier League

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 29 April 2021, 10:20

Tottenham’s search for a new manager has heated up following the news that they are set to meet with Ajax boss Erik ten Hag, who is now the odds-on favourite for the job, having previously been out at 33/1 last week.

Prominent journalist, Fabrizio Romano tweeted:

“Tottenham have scheduled a ‘direct meeting’ with Erik ten Hag. He’s among the candidates to become the new Spurs manager - ten Hag is open to leave Ajax in the summer. Nothing decided yet.”

We know that top target Julian Nagelsmann won’t be be coming to Spurs as he's signed a five-year contract with Bayern Munich. Brendan Rodgers has shut down rumours he could swap Leicester for London, while former frontrunner Maurizio Sarri has drifted out to 10/1. 

Oliver Glasner recently entered into the betting - you can read more about the Wolfsburg boss here. Gareth Southgate’s representatives have reportedly been contacted, although the England manager is currently way out at 33/1, while Ralf Rangnick is believed to be in contention.

You can see why Spurs are interested in Ten Hag, who is just one point away from leading Ajax to another league title.

The 51-year-old employs an attack-minded, attractive style of football. He has won silverware; lifting the league and cup double in 2019, which he’s set to replicate this season (last season the league was cancelled). 

He’s managed in both the Champions League (as Spurs well know) and the Europa League, and has successfully maximised the talents of a catalogue of young players including Frankie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, and Hakim Ziyech.

If a move comes to fruition it won’t be the first time that Tottenham have appointed a Dutch manager.

In 2004, we saw Martin Jol get the top job at White Hart Lane. His first game was a remarkable nine goal thriller against rivals Arsenal who left white Hart Lane with the spoils (4-5), he’d go on to finish 9th and 5th twice but was then infamously sacked just before a Uefa Cup game against Getafe, which he unsurprisingly lost.

He returned to the Premier League in 2011 with Fulham, who finished 9th and 12th under his tutorship.

Jol is one of eight Dutchmen to have managed in the Premier League, the first of which was Ruud Gullit at Chelsea back in 1996. 

Originally player-manager, Gullit led the Blues to their first trophy in 26 years (FA Cup). He then took charge of Newcastle where he came close to winning a second FA Cup winners medal. A well-publicised spat with Alan Shearer led to his departure.

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Could Erik ten Hag become the ninth Dutchman to manage in the Premier League?

We also have seen a trio of former Ajax managers Ronald Koeman (Southampton and Everton), Louis van Gaal (Man Utd), and Frank de Boer (Crystal Palace) ply their trade on these shores.

Koeman led Southampton to their best-ever Premier League finish (6th), then managed Everton, while he’s now bidding to propel Barcelona to La Liga glory.

Van Gaal famously led Ajax to domestic and European success in the 1990s. He was linked with Spurs in 2014, however he instead opted for Man Utd where he won the FA Cup. 

De Boer won four successive Eredivisie titles as Ajax manager, only to lose his job at Crystal Palace after all of four Premier League games - the shortest spell of any Premier League manager.

The current Curacao boss Guus Hiddink managed Chelsea twice in an interim capacity - he won the FA Cup - while an emotional Dick Advocaat memorably saved Sunderland from relegation.

As a first team coach at Man Utd, Rene Meulensteen helped the club win multiple Premier League titles, League Cups, the Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup. He then managed Fulham, but lasted only a few months in the dugout.

Dutch Managers in the Premier League

- Ruud Gullit

- Martin Jol

- Guus Hiddink

- Rene Meulensteen

- Ronald Koeman

- Louis van Gaal

- Dick Advocaat

- Frank de Boer

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Odds Correct as of 2021-05-12 19:50:14
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