Mitchell van der Gaag

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Mitchell van der Gaag
Personal information
Full name Mitchell van der Gaag
Date of birth (1971-10-22) 22 October 1971 (age 50)
Place of birth Zutphen, Netherlands
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Position(s) Centre-back
Club information
Current team
Manchester United (assistant)
Youth career
SC Brummen
De Graafschap
1986–1989 PSV
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1994 PSV 44 (4)
1989–1990NEC (loan) 10 (2)
1990–1992Sparta Rotterdam (loan) 55 (4)
1995–1997 Motherwell 42 (8)
1997–2001 Utrecht 99 (11)
2001–2006 Marítimo 154 (18)
2006–2007 Al-Nassr 27 (3)
Total 431 (50)
National team
1990–1991 Netherlands U21 4 (0)
Teams managed
2008–2009 Marítimo B
2009–2010 Marítimo
2012–2013 Belenenses
2015 Ermis
2015–2016 Eindhoven
2016–2018 Excelsior
2018–2019 NAC
2019–2021 Jong Ajax
2021–2022 Ajax (assistant)
2022– Manchester United (assistant)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Mitchell van der Gaag (born 22 October 1971) is a Dutch professional football coach and former player who played as a centre-back, currently the assistant manager of Manchester United.[1]

He made 208 Eredivisie appearances and scored 19 goals, for NEC, Sparta Rotterdam, PSV and Utrecht. Abroad, he had spells at Motherwell in the Scottish Premier League and Marítimo in Portugal's Primeira Liga, playing 174 total games for the latter and scoring 19 times.

As a manager, van der Gaag led several teams including Marítimo and Belenenses in Portugal, as well as Excelsior and NAC in his country.

Playing career[edit]

Van der Gaag was born in Zutphen, Gelderland. After graduating from PSV Eindhoven's youth academy, he spent three seasons on loan to NEC Nijmegen and Sparta Rotterdam, returning to Eindhoven for a further three years but never being an important first-team figure, however.

In January 1995, van der Gaag signed with Motherwell. He scored a career-best seven goals in 28 games in his second full season to help the Steelmen narrowly avoid relegation from the Scottish Premier Division,[2] and subsequently returned to the Eredivisie with FC Utrecht.

For the 2001–02 campaign, van der Gaag joined Portugal's C.S. Marítimo,[3] going on to be one of the Madeira club's most influential players as it consolidated in the Primeira Liga. He netted six times in 2003–04, helping the team finish sixth and qualify for the UEFA Cup.[4]

Coaching career[edit]

Van der Gaag retired from football in 2007, having spent one season with Al-Nassr FC in Saudi Arabia.[5] In July of the following year, he returned to Marítimo as a coach and took the reins of its B team.

In October 2009, after Carlos Carvalhal's dismissal following a string of bad results, van der Gaag was promoted to the main squad.[6] After helping them finish fifth – a place conquered in the last round with a 2–1 away win against Vitória de Guimarães, who were leapfrogged in the process – and qualify for the Europa League,[7] his contract was renewed for a further year.

On 14 September 2010, after collecting only one point in the league's first four matches and being ousted by FC BATE Borisov in the Europa League, van der Gaag was sacked by Marítimo.[8] He returned to management after nearly two years, still in Portugal, signing with Segunda Liga side C.F. Os Belenenses.[9] In his first season he won the league, thus returning the club to the top flight after three years.[10][11]

Van der Gaag took a temporary leave of absence in late September 2013 due to heart problems, after feeling unwell during a league game against former side Marítimo (1–0 home win).[12] In February 2015, he was appointed at Ermis Aradippou FC of the Cypriot First Division,[13] being released after just one month after refusing to renew his contract for the following campaign.[14]

After spending the 2015–16 season back in his country with FC Eindhoven, in the Eerste Divisie,[15] van der Gaag moved to the top flight and successively coached SBV Excelsior[16] and NAC Breda.[17] On 24 May 2019, he returned to the former tier after signing a two-year deal at AFC Ajax's reserves.[18]

Van der Gaag was appointed assistant manager of the first team of on 1 June 2021, replacing the departing Christian Poulsen. His position at the reserves was filled by John Heitinga, who had previously worked in the youth academy.[19]

On the 23rd May 2022, Van der Gaag was confirmed as assistant head coach of Manchester United, along with Steve McClaren, to work with first team head coach Erik ten Hag, who he previously worked with at Ajax.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Van der Gaag's father Wim was also a footballer, who was one of the first professionals in the Netherlands in 1954.[20] His sons Jordan and Luca also went into the game, representing Belenenses SAD.[21]








  1. ^ a b "Backroom Staff Appointments Confirmed". Manchester United. 23 May 2022. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  2. ^ Parks, Gordon (11 December 2014). "Mitchell van der Gaag becomes hot favourite to take charge at Motherwell". Daily Record. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Van der Gaag tekent bij Marítimo" [Van der Gaag signs with Marítimo] (in Dutch). Voetbal International. 2 July 2001. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Maritimo warning for Gers". BBC Sport. 29 September 2004. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Al-Nassr zet Van der Gaag op straat" [Al-Nassr show door to Van der Gaag] (in Dutch). Voetbal International. 5 September 2006. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Marítimo: SAD confirma Van der Gaag como treinador principal" [Marítimo: PLSC confirms Van der Gaag as head coach] (in Portuguese). Mais Futebol. 17 October 2009. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  7. ^ "Marítimo rouba última vaga da Liga Europa ao Guimarães" [Marítimo steal last Europa League berth from Guimarães] (in Portuguese). SAPO. 9 May 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Maritimo ontslaat Van der Gaag" [Maritimo sack Van der Gaag] (in Dutch). Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. 15 September 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  9. ^ Abecasis, João Pedro; Ferreira, Nuno Miguel (29 May 2012). "Van der Gaag por três épocas" [Van der Gaag for three seasons]. Record (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 30 May 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Mitchell van der Gaag held in Lissabon" [Mitchell van der Gaag hero in Lisbon]. Algemeen Dagblad (in Dutch). 5 April 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Belenenses um clube de Lisboa" [Belenenses a Lisbon club]. Record (in Portuguese). 6 May 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  12. ^ "Van der Gaag deixa Belenenses devido a problema cardíaco" [Van der Gaag leaves Belenenses due to heart problem]. Público (in Portuguese). 26 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  13. ^ Κατέληξε στον «τουλίπα» Μίτσελ φαν ντερ Χάαχ [In comes "tulip" Mitchell van der Gaag] (in Greek). Sentra Goal. 4 February 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  14. ^ Larkos, Panos (25 March 2015). «Ευχαριστώ για την ευκαιρία...» [«Thank you for the opportunity...»] (in Greek). Sentra Goal. Archived from the original on 2 June 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  15. ^ "FC Eindhoven stelt Van der Gaag aan als coach" [FC Eindhoven appoint Van der Gaag as coach]. Algemeen Dagblad (in Dutch). 1 June 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  16. ^ "Trainer Van der Gaag verlengt aflopend contract bij Excelsior niet" [Manager Van der Gaag does not extend expiring contract with Excelsior] (in Dutch). 4 March 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  17. ^ "Van der Gaag weg bij NAC Breda" [Van der Gaag out at NAC Breda]. De Telegraaf (in Dutch). 18 March 2019. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  18. ^ "Mitchell van der Gaag trainer Jong Ajax" [Mitchell van der Gaag Jong Ajax manager] (in Dutch). AFC Ajax. 24 May 2019. Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  19. ^ "Van der Gaag schuift door naar Ajax 1; Heitinga trainer Jong Ajax" [Van der Gaag through to Ajax 1; Heitinga manager of Jong Ajax] (in Dutch). Ajax Showtime. 1 June 2021. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  20. ^ Verkamman, Matty (24 December 1993). "Een duizendpoot met een groot sporthart 'Ik zie Hans Boskamp nog staan, aan beide armen een blondine' 'Als ik het over moest doen, deed ik het weer precies zo'" [A centipede with a big sporting heart 'I can still see Hans Boskamp standing, a blonde on each arm' 'If I had to do it all over again, I would do it exactly the same way']. Trouw (in Dutch). Retrieved 12 October 2021.
  21. ^ Pereira, Sérgio; Alvarenga, Vítor Hugo (2 October 2021). "O futebol português também é uma questão de ADN" [Portuguese football is also a question of DNA] (in Portuguese). Mais Futebol. Retrieved 12 October 2021.

External links[edit]