Potential Unai Emery replacements – Erik ten Hag: The pros and cons

Is Erik ten Hag ready to manage a big club like Arsenal?

Erik ten Hag is one of the most sought-after managers at the moment and that is for good reason. The Dutchman, who started his managerial career with the Bayern Munich youth academy has transformed Ajax.

His side fell just short of reaching the Champions League final last season. He won the Dutch league, Cup and Super Cup in the 2018/2019 season. Does that mean he is ready for the big leagues?


Ten Hag is a great manager of young talent. That can be seen by how he built his team around the talents of Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, Hakeem Ziyech among others.

Ten Hag’s teams also play very beautiful attacking football. Bringing that style of play into Arsenal would transform the mood around the Emirates. It would certainly make the fans proud of their team again.

The 49-year-old has also shown that he can rebuild a player as he has done with Dusan Tadic. Perhaps Mesut Ozil needs a manager like him to thrive again.


While Ten Hag has been amazing at Ajax, the Dutch league hasn’t been the happiest of hunting grounds for Premier League teams who are looking for a manager.

He is still largely inexperienced outside his current job and could struggle at the Emirates as Frank De Boer did at Inter Milan and Crystal Palace despite having won the league title with Ajax.

Ten Hag may also struggle to manage egos of big-name stars like Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Ajax is suspect in defence as the goals conceded to Tottenham last season and Chelsea this season have shown.

Although he is a good manager, the Arsenal job may come too soon for him if he is hired right now.

This is the fourth in a series of articles that I will be doing and all words are my own perception and opinion.


  1. But he has the talent which he showed last year in CL semifinal and by winning their league cup, For me he can be welcomed if the chance is given.

  2. I like his style of football. Very entertaining football to watch. And kinda match the Arsenal spirit. I would rather go for him than Allegri or Rodgers, or even Arteta. Erik has shown how to build a team around your key players, and develop the youngsters as well, as you said. Would fit in Arsenal right away.

  3. Another working manager with long-term contract and safe position as our “potential” candidate? These are the managers that could possibly replace Emery:

    – Pep Guardiola: Man City might sack him at the end of this season if Man City become runner-up in EPL, because he can’t get a CL trophy despite the heavy investment. If this happens, he might want to prove a point by managing another big EPL club with less pressure

    – Laurent Blanc, Thierry Henry, Jose Mourinho and Giovanni Van Bronckhorst: Need jobs. Van Bronckhorst is rumored to be Guardiola’s replacement at Man City though

    1. Leicester City hired a manager under contract that was guaranteed European football at his club. That really does smash a hole in your insistence that managers currently in employment cannot be hired. I think you need to drop this line because there are literally hundreds and hundreds of other examples.

      1. I’ll say this for you Martin. Unlike Admin Pat, you have the guts to come on here regularly and argue your point with those who disagree with you. Though to be fair to PAT, HE DOES NOT LACK COURAGE BUT SEEMS TO BELIEVE THAT WE FANS SHOULD DISCUSS THE THREADS WITHOUT MORE COMMENT FROM HIM. That is a point of view though that I do not share, since each individual, YOURSELF VERY MUCH INCLUDED, has a perfect right to state his or her view. My take is that our board now realise they made a huge mistake on not hiring Rodgers when he was still at Celtic but they realise tht he would not come here now, esp since he knows full well we will not spend the countless millions it would need to bring in a virtual whole new defence and adequate back up. Currently we have half a good squad AND THE OTHER HALF IS RUBBISH. Rodgers knows that as well as we all do!

    1. And any coach who tries to do that is a clown. When it comes to senior players, you either want them or not. You don’t change them and ask something of them they haven’t done in their entire career.

  4. Is rather see beautiful football and lose or draw and win than this drab rubbish Emery plays. Even a manger with a bit of a clue is better than one who doesn’t know his team and what to do with them. I’d take the local manager that plays down the local park over Emery. Didn’t like the appointment from the start.

  5. Again? Are you gonna keep doing this with every coach?
    What about Gardiola or Klopp be perfect!

    Beside these coach all busy after titles and CL, you have related what every news outlet did; a message from board:


    Therefore, this article is outdated, or ahead of time, no changes will occur til end of season.

    1. Is this Martin? With all due respect and support. We are fans and not happy, not personal or towards you at all.

      It hurts enough to see what Kroenke does, to show us the great coach we won’t get because he said so, only hurts more, but of course important and should be subject today but how do we force Kroenke to consider us? will allow to make this change…

      Respect to you and all team as all readers and fans, let’s not fall into Kroenke trap, divide to conquer. You guys do a great job we enjoy, important mainly, in hood and bad times!
      United gunners for life.


      1. Your comments are not taken as personal and you are free to comment. Please continue. But when appropriate I will respond. It creates debate.

    2. Are you so sure about that? The bookies have him one of the favourites to be sacked. Pundits and fans left right and centre calling for him to be sacked. In my personal opinion, these sort of articles are very appropriate.

  6. For Arsenal right now, it doesn’t matter Emery stays or go the biggest problem we have is players we really don’t have the proper balance we have big names but they don’t perform – I will do comparison between Torreira and Fabinho who is better player miles and miles good build physically, he can shoot from long distance and can fill in as RB/CB when needed. Our centre midis overcrowded with useless players we have quantity, not quality.

    1. We had other areas in more urgent need and only so much in transfer funds. We needed LB, CB and wing position filled, and Ceballos we thought was coming in to help midfield for the time being. Last few seasons we’ve all been watching players get sold, Walcott’s generation, and we’ve been asking for strikers (Auba Laca) combative midfielder (Torreira) GK, defenders and wingers, which have all been arriving a few pieces at a time. Now we’re back onto midfield but fans are talking like we had the money to do everything at once. When we bring in a couple of midfielders then fans will move to another area and forget everything they’ve been saying this season.

      We should’ve kept Ramsey, Ramsey and Torreira are capable go getters, would like to have seen them either side of Luiz with Luiz in a holding position and spreading the play, he’d also be good at dropping back and filling in for fullbacks or becoming an extra CB when under the cosh. Ramsey and Torreira would also add a punch to our forward play, I believe Emery didn’t realize what he had, hard working midfielders who can play a decent game too. Klopp would’ve used them if he had them at his disposal. Teams know how to stifle us, shadow Auba and cut build-up supply between Laca & Auba ..and kills more than half our danger play. With Ramsey and Torreira they would not be able to do this so often, because there’s more players to keep an eye on, and these players are the type that always get back into position when things break down, you don’t even have to train them or instruct them to do it.

  7. I have found the articles interesting and relevant given the pressure that is building on Emery with every week.All the Manager’s mentioned are worthy of consideration but to me I cannot see our hierarchy making a change mid season.I suspect they would appoint Ljumberg as an interim Manager of push came to shove, but personalities aside my preference would be to see the team, under Emery go on a long unbeaten run.The benefits of Ljumberg are twofold.Firstly he knows the strengths and weaknesses of each player and secondly he would be accepted by the vast majority of fans on an interim basis.I get the impression that Ljumberg would not be a soft touch and as a very fine player himself like Lampard, he would have the respect of the players.All in all he would be my choice for the reasons stated.

    1. What Ljumberg is gonna do with Ozil who is finished as footballer and pocket 350,000 a week? or Auba who has lost his leg can’t even dribble past an opponent and wait to score tap-ins?. It will take Arsenal two more transfer windows with proper scouting to get a proper balance I hope Edu can be able to make those changes.

      1. You mean Auba is finished. He has been salvaging wins all 2 seasons. And he isn’t exactly a dribbler, but with the right service, he converts, nobody can deny that in the EPL currently. And Ozil isn’t finished imo, he just needs a right setup and a manager who want to dictate the game and not hole up in his own goal box all game.

  8. Dutch coaches have not proven to be successful with big clubs in England; Gullit,Koeman and Van Gaal,to mention.
    For me, I think MOURINHO should be given the opportunity to bring in some steel and discipline because our team is completely in a state of mental collapse.

  9. Please correct me if I’m wrong but I thought the coach is already with a ‘big club’, seeing as Ajax have won the Champions League FOUR TIMES and he got a relatively young squad to the semis, losing out in the most unfortunate of ways.

    1. I would suggest most people these days would not class Ajax as a big club and in every single metric, fan base, finances etc Arsenal is much much bigger.

  10. Despite the fact that Arsenal Is much bigger all round is because it’s in England.
    In terms of European competition we all know Ajax has done better than Arsenal.
    So IMO I do not consider Ajax a small club at all.
    Given a fixed match now, Ajax vs Arsenal hmm score unpredictable. Big or not, current position matters.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs