Tactical acumen and man-management: why Arne Slot is a 'great match' for Liverpool

Arne Slot’s tactical acumen and motivational prowess are poised to revolutionise Liverpool. That's according to Oussama Idrissi, who flourished under Slot’s guidance at both AZ Alkmaar and Feyenoord.

The Moroccan winger, currently playing for Pachuca in Mexico, outlined to the Guardian exactly why he believes Slot and Liverpool are a match made in heaven.

He told them: "At AZ and Feyenoord, I encountered a coach who was tactically sharp, an exceptional analyst, and an astute man-manager."

The Moroccan winger reminisced about his initial introduction to Slot through a teammate, highlighting Slot’s reputation as a detailed and knowledgeable coach even during his assistant days at AZ.

Santiago Gimenez Arne Slot

Santiago Gimenez Arne Slot

Detailed analysis and training

"Arne was very detailed, providing solutions to game situations while working on it in training," Idrissi said.

Slot’s emphasis on tactical team talks and rigorous analysis during training sessions motivated Idrissi to improve constantly, he said.

Slot’s debut season as head coach at AZ left a significant impact. "We beat many top teams, and Arne made a huge impression on everyone," Idrissi said.

He praised Slot’s method of using video analysis to demonstrate solutions and reinforce training exercises, which he believes made Slot’s philosophy trainable and effective.

Adaption to opponents

One of Slot’s notable strategies involved preparing the team for opponents who played defensively.

"He would train us on making high runs from deep, sometimes using videos from other teams, like Liverpool or Atlético Madrid," Idrissi explained.

These detailed preparations, often accompanied by real-world examples, showcased Slot’s exceptional ability to adapt tactics to various scenarios.

Inspirational leadership

Slot’s motivational skills were also highlighted by Idrissi as he shared an anecdote about Slot drawing parallels from other sports to inspire the team after a Europa League exit.

"Arne said we had to persevere, just like the next bend or next sprint for a cyclist," Idrissi recounted. The speech galvanised the team to a 2-0 victory over Ajax, positioning them joint first in the league before the season was halted by the pandemic.

Ultimately, though, Idrissi’s reunion with Slot at Feyenoord in 2022 culminated in a Dutch title, the first for the club in six years.

"His analysis was even better by then, and we won the title," Idrissi said, attributing the success to Slot’s attention to detail and transparent management style.

Man-management

Slot’s personal touch off the field also impressed Idrissi. Recalling the day of a crucial Dutch Cup semi-final against Ajax, Idrissi mentioned how Slot told him to prioritise his family when his wife was about to give birth.

"Arne convinced me to put family first, and I was on time for the birth of my child," Idrissi shared, emphasising Slot’s understanding and supportive nature.

And it's these qualities Idrissi believes will serve Slot well at Liverpool.

"I think it’s a great match, Arne Slot and Liverpool. People are going to appreciate him for how well-equipped he is and they will enjoy his style of football."

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