KLOPP’S LAST GAME SOUVENIR

Who is Arne Slot? The new named linked as next Liverpool manager

The latest name thrown into the discussion of the next Liverpool manager is Feyenoord’s Arne Slot, but who is he and what could he offer at Anfield?

We are no closer to discovering who will take over from Jurgen Klopp this summer, but Sporting boss Ruben Amorim became the latest to be all but ruled out – he flew to England for talks with West Ham.

Slot has quickly become the new favourite among the bookmakers, but as he will be a relatively unknown quantity for many, let’s get to know him a little bit better.

UPDATE: This Is Anfield understands that Slot is now strong contender to replace Klopp. Read more here.

 

What style of football does he play?

Arne Slot is remaining in the Netherlands (Richard Sellers/PA)

The 45-year-old spent the entirety of his playing career in the Netherlands and has followed a similar path in management to date, first with AZ Alkmaar and currently Feyenoord.

He prefers to deploy a 4-2-3-1 formation but it is far from rigid, his style was previously described to i as “high-energy attacking football in a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 with two deep-lying midfielders and a reliance on wingers to create chances.”

His Feyenoord side, whom he has managed since 2021/22, currently boasts the best defensive record in the Eredivisie – conceding just 23 goals in 30 games – and has the second-most goals scored (77).

As per the Coaches Voice, Slot doesn’t “overcommit to the high press,” with his teams “comfortable dropping into a more reserved block” if the opportunity to win the ball back is not there.

A key difference to that of Liverpool under Klopp.

 

How does he describe his approach?

He plays an attractive, attacking brand of football and is someone who is not afraid to trust in youth, while his man-management skills have also been widely praised.

Slot takes a possession-based approach and demands his side to be intense, he doesn’t stand for casual movement – which would be a carryover from Klopp.

Explaining his approach with Feyenoord, Slot told UEFA: “We are an attack-minded team that likes to have a lot of the ball, and we play with a lot of intensity.

“When we don’t have the ball, we want to win it back as quickly as possible by being aggressive and pressing to win back possession. I think we are a team that is difficult to beat.”

That last sentence is something we have always heard from Klopp!

He has been a senior manager for only five years but has drawn comparisons to Marcelo Bielsa’s style, he likes his full-backs high up the pitch and his centre-backs to move wider.

 

What’s he won and what have Feyenoord said?

2WGRKR0 Alkmaar, The Netherlands. 04th Feb, 2024. Alkmaar - Feyenoord coach Arne Slot during the Eredivisie match between AZ v Feyenoord at AFAS Stadion on 4 February 2024 in Alkmaar, The Netherlands. Credit: box to box pictures/Alamy Live News

With a place in the Europa Conference League final in his first season at the club, and having won the Eredivisie title in his second and the KNVB Cup in his third, it’s understandable Slot has attracted interest.

Only last summer, he was a strong candidate to take over at Tottenham and despite the growing spotlight, Feyenoord technical director Dennis te Kloese is working under the assumption he will not be on a new manager search this year.

He told Voetbal International:

“I think it is logical that he is in such a good position. It is very special how he has manifested himself in recent years and has really given Feyenoord a face.

“We responded by extending his contract. In any case, we assume that he will also be our trainer next year.

“We have experienced this situation before and will take good care of our own interests.”

 

What is he like as a manager?

The Liverpool job is all-encompassing, a manager cannot simply tick one box, he has to tick plenty – and a lot of that revolves around character.

Sky Sports previously described him as “engaging, polite, very smiley, he’s got presence and charisma – and he’s funny.”

“He can be angry with his players, of course,” Dennis van Eersel, of Dutch national TV channel RTV, explained. “But he also puts his arm around them. They like him because he’s built a harmony at the club.”

If you were wondering, he can speak fluent English, and during the time Tottenham were linked last year, he spoke on his future plans, as quoted by Sky Sports.

He said: “My next step will not be a club in Holland.

“If that is my next step, then I’ve failed completely. The normal next step will be to go abroad and I’ve always said the best league in the world is the Premier League.”


UPDATE: This Is Anfield understands that Slot is now strong contender to replace Klopp. Read more here.