Ayoub played for Ten Hag at FC Utrecht.
He recalled on Voetbalzone: "He really is a man to my heart, to be fair.
“He finally called me to ask how I was and how my family was doing. He really is a man to my heart.
“Everyone always has certain prejudices. I had been with FC Utrecht for a few years now and that was really my comfort zone. When he came in I thought: who is this crazy? In the end I got to know him as a person and I really have love for him. How often does it happen that an old trainer calls you to ask how it goes? Never!"
The first impression Ayoub had of Ten Hag was, he says, "a bit strange".
“Everyone knows which tack he has. He enters the dressing room and he starts talking: 'We are going to make it a great season guys, huh, huh, huh'.
"I turned around and really had to hold back my smile. I really didn't know how to react."
Of his training sessions, Ayoub added: "As a player you get so tired of that. It all took so long. Pass not good? Again. Eleven to eleven. Again. But after three months everything went so smoothly. Then you looked at him and thought: you really know what you are doing. You really saw an upward trend and I like that."