'Arne will Slot right in!' - Why Liverpool's No.1 managerial target CAN succeed at Anfield

Tom Weber
2 months ago

Arne Slot's thrilling three-year stint as Feyenoord head coach appears to be coming to an end. After several twists and turns in pursuit of a successor to Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool are homing in on the 45-year-old. 

It is not difficult to see why Slot would be one of the top targets for the Reds. In just a few seasons in charge, he managed to make Feyenoord great again. 

When he was appointed in July 2021, the storied Eredivisie giants hadn't reached a European final in 20 years and they hadn't won a league title since 2017. He now looks set to leave having achieved both and plenty more.  

A midfielder renowned in the Netherlands for his vision and passing, Slot's managerial career has already been a lot more successful than his playing one. Having retired at PEC Zwolle in 2013, the Dutchman earned his coaching spurs in the club's youth setup before becoming an assistant and later interim coach at second-tier side Cambuur. 

In this latter role, he led the club to their first-ever KNVB Cup semi final and battled for promotion, ultimately falling short in the playoffs in 2017. Slot left to join AZ as an assistant and eventually became head coach in the summer of 2019.

Though only in charge of the Alkmaar club for a year and a half, the tactician made a name for himself by finishing as runners-up to Ajax (on goal difference) in a truncated 2019-20 campaign and eventually leaving as the coach with the best points-per-game record in AZ's history when he was sacked in December 2020 for talking to Feyenoord. 

Slot puts Feyenoord back on their perch

He officially joined the Rotterdam giants for the 2021-22 campaign and immediately led them to the inaugural UEFA Conference League showpiece, which they would narrowly lose to Jose Mourinho's Roma. 

The following season, Slot led Feyenoord to their first Eredivisie title since 2017 with scintillating attacking football. Another trophy followed suit in 2023-24 when they beat NEC Nijmegen to win the KNVB Cup in April of 2024. 

Still a relatively young coach, Slot already boasts an impressive CV and is regarded as one of the brightest footballing minds in the Netherlands.  

Arne Slot Feyenoord

Arne Slot Feyenoord

Slot is now in talks with Liverpool to succeed Jurgen Klopp and Reds fans can look forward to exciting football. Dutch football expert Milan Keskin told Anfield Watch: "Slot's playing style is quite attacking. He demands a lot from his players, who all fully support his approach." 

This fact is nicely illustrated by reports coming from the Netherlands that several of Feyenoord's players will consider their futures if the manager does end up departing. 

Slot is better than Ten Hag

"Slot is known for being involved in football day and night," Keskin continued, "and can perhaps be compared in many ways to [Man Utd boss] Erik ten Hag.

"However, I believe Slot is tactically stronger and also a better ambassador for his club than Ten Hag. Liverpool's choice of Slot is absolutely brilliant." 

Slot has been compared to many up-and-coming coaches of his generation, chief among them Brighton's Roberto de Zerbi, of whom Liverpool are also big fans. The Dutchman further shares characteristics of an early Jurgen Klopp at Anfield. 

Slot wants his team to press relentlessly, firmly adhering to the principle that a good press is the best form of defence. Despite being an attack-minded coach who wants his side to entertain and who stubbornly sticks to his preferred system, 4-3-3. 

Slot is not willing to sacrifice defensive solidity to the same extent as perhaps Ange Postecoglou does. It seems Arne would Slot right in at Liverpool.  

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