When our media team met Erik ten Hag

Wednesday 25 May 2022 09:57

For many at Old Trafford, it was an ordinary Monday morning. As the curtains closed on our Premier League campaign, focus and preparation quickly shifted to next season.

Given the recent news that Erik ten Hag was set to arrive in Manchester and begin his tenure, there was certainly a sense of excitement in the air upon coming into work. Especially as a number of colleagues from our London office had informed us that the Dutchman had introduced himself to them late last week, in what they described as a surreal but pleasant surprise. 

The day had started in pretty typical fashion. But while we were conversing at lunch, we were suddenly met with sounds of excitement and astonishment. Erik ten Hag had wandered in.

Naturally, we were all quite amazed that he was there. But soon after we returned to our conversation, as it’s not like we’d want to bother him during what we assumed was his own lunch break on a rather busy day! 

However, a couple of moments later John Murtough, the club’s Football Director, introduced Erik to us and Erik, very politely, introduced himself to each one of us and asked how our day was going, what we were up to, and if we were enjoying our food. 
Personally, having bumped into playing and coaching staff previously, they’ve always been really accommodating to our team and have always been really nice, outgoing and welcoming. But I definitely wasn’t expecting Erik to come in and introduce himself on his first day at Old Trafford. For me, it really sets a precedent of what is to come at Manchester United. 

Speaking to other members of the media team, here’s what they had to say on their first encounter with Erik. 

Jordan B said: “It was great to see Erik introduce himself to the office staff. He had a warming presence and seemed extremely personable. He immediately made you feel welcome and valued.”

It’s also worth noting that he didn’t just introduce himself to us. He quite literally went over to every member of staff in the vast canteen and spoke to them personally, which absolutely reinforced the theme of cooperation that he'd alluded to in his press conference only a short time before. 
A lifelong United fan, Matt, explained: “It was fantastic to see Erik ten Hag around Old Trafford on Monday. I thought it was a very classy touch for him to meet as many of us behind the scenes as possible, on what was a very busy day!”

Jordan E echoed that sentiment, stating: “For a man who surely needed little introduction as the new manager of Manchester United, Erik ten Hag's willingness to speak with new colleagues at Old Trafford was as refreshing as it was engaging. Ten Hag has spoken about his quest to unify all areas of the club and his presence at our home stadium was an impressive launchpad to fulfil just that.” 

Maddy felt the following, after her encounter with Erik: “Erik made sure he introduced himself to every single member of staff that he came across at Old Trafford, and showed real class. He genuinely wanted to make sure that everyone felt part of the team, reminding us that “we will all work together.”
The Inside View: Ten Hag's tour Video

The Inside View: Ten Hag's tour

Join Erik ten Hag as he goes backstage at the Theatre of Dreams and meets United staff and fans on his first visit...

Nick, who had spent time with Erik throughout the day, explained: “I was incredibly fortunate to spend the morning following Erik, capturing behind-the-scenes footage of his Old Trafford welcome.

While his energy and enthusiasm was infectious, I was personally moved by the respect he paid when walking through the Munich Tunnel.

Although his schedule was busy, he spent a considerable amount of time reading each tribute, learning more about the history of this special club. It was a powerful and moving moment that I felt privileged to have seen first-hand.”
It was a really refreshing feeling for us to meet Erik, and based on our team’s encounter with him, he seems to be not only a man that lives and breathes football, but also someone who believes in the importance of teamwork, no matter what position you may hold in the club.

Here’s to seeing what the future holds for United and Erik!