Arne Slot has built up an impressive CV in the Netherlands, but does it tell us how he will fare as Liverpool manager…


FILLING a vacuum is never an easy task.

In the absence of truth and knowledge, the mind walks a narrow path of grasping for answers that always seem excruciatingly out of reach.

That’s where Liverpool are right now, a long way into the abyss, and no turning back now.

Haunted by the ghost of after-the-lord mayor shows past – Graeme Souness, David Moyes and Unai Emery – all stare down Arne Slot as he makes his long way to the Main Stand dugout.

But he’s not bothered. Aloof, grinning happy to associate himself with Liverpool Football Club in his final Feyenoord press conferences.

One wouldn’t be unreasonable to ask is this really happening?

Yes, yes it is.

Jürgen Klopp’s successor is soon to walk through the Kirkby front door as The Reds’ manager, and few really know who he is.

You really ought to find out.

So this is him…

Arne Slot led Feyenoord to the Eredivisie title in 2022-23 after a seven-year wait.

His team finished second in the Eredivisie this campaign, seven points behind runaway leaders PSV Eindhoven.

Slot’s side won the KNVB Cup, the Dutch equivalent of the English FA Cup, beating NEC Nijmegen in the final.

Slot, now 45, helped Feyenoord to reach the first-ever UEFA Conference League final, which they lost 1-0 to Roma.

A league title and more trophies at a big club, after a long wait, sounds familiar.

Cool, but we have had one of the most charismatic leaders consign himself to a lifetime of posting padel selfies on Instagram, so what’s this fella like as a human being?

Slot grew up in Bergentheim, a small village in the Netherlands’ bible belt.

He began coaching the village’s football teams at 14 years old to older children.

Slot’s charisma often comes through in press conferences, and like Klopp, has a great rapport within the dressing room.

One of his former players, Myron Boadu, said: “Arne is a fantastic person and a fantastic trainer.”

Slot took over at Feyenoord in 2021, and has since imposed a high-tempo passing style of play that has been likened to Pep Guardiola’s.

Feyenoord play a 4-2-3-1 formation which draws the opposition out, before threading the ball into the space behind.

They sat third in the Eredivisie for number of short passes completed, behind PSV and Ajax – albeit the latter saw a lot less success.

Feyenoord have created an impressive 80.3xG in 30 league matches thus far this season.

He, like Klopp, enjoys attacking football.

Last summer, Slot was linked heavily with moves to Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur, before signing a new contract at Feyenoord until 2026.

He knew it wasn’t the right time to move, and he was under no illusions about it.

Slot was previously manager of AZ Alkmaar, before being dismissed in December 2020 due to not being fully focused on the club, his eyes already set on a new life at a port city.

He was already being courted by Feyenoord, and Slot was willing to listen to their offer.

Slot is determined in the pursuit of ambition, and if channelled in the right way, can be of huge positive significance.

However, he too abandoned Feyenoord pretty quickly once Liverpool came knocking, and it has crossed my mind whether he would be as willing to skip port, away from the jurisdiction of the purple wheelie bin, if the opportunity ever arose.

The Dutchman earned 2.11 points per game while at AZ, the most of any coach in the club’s history.

According to his former assistant manager Marino Pusic, “He has a lot of feeling for good atmospheres in stadiums and appreciates the fans a lot.”

Slot’s style will be a gift to us fans, as his high-tempo passing football makes its way to Merseyside.

While he bares many similarities to Klopp, he will bring a fresh idea or two as well.

I can see him combining the fierce ball-winning capability of Wataru Endo with the intelligent passing of Alexis Mac Allister.

Giving Dominik Szoboszlai more attacking freedom in the 10 role could get the best football out of the Hungarian over a longer period than we saw this season.

It is always scary when you take a leap of faith from the trusted managerial nous of someone like Jürgen Klopp.

Time will tell whether this leap of faith will land.


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