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Arne Slot to Liverpool: From FC Zwolle to Cambuur, AZ Alkmaar to Feyenoord, the making of Liverpool’s subsequent supervisor | Soccer Information

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Arne Slot has emerged as the popular candidate to switch the departing Jurgen Klopp as the following Liverpool supervisor however who’s the person that the membership consider can lead them into this new period and what can they anticipate from this 45-year-old Dutch coach?

In dialog with those that coached Slot and those that have been coached by him, in addition to colleagues on his workers, we study the making of Liverpool’s subsequent supervisor, exploring his tactical concepts, his man-management and his dealing with of the media.

‘He was simply absorbing the whole lot’

‘Lazy’ is a phrase that sometimes comes up when discussing Slot as a participant. Extra usually it’s gradual. A languid No 10, there would have been no place for him in Slot’s urgent recreation. “He was not the quickest however he had an ideal contact,” Rob McDonald tells Sky Sports activities.

A former striker with Newcastle and PSV, McDonald was the assistant coach at FC Zwolle, Slot’s boyhood membership. He not too long ago bumped into Slot at a recreation between Feyenoord and Groningen, resulting in a short reunion following a double-take from Slot, an adolescent no extra.

“He may play,” provides McDonald. “He was all the time one in every of these who regarded round, a bit like [Paul] Gascoigne, and a bit like a few the opposite prime gamers who had that means to only preserve an excellent straight physique and have an excellent go searching.”

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Arne Slot pictured taking part in for PEC Zwolle towards Feyenoord in 2013

McDonald now recruits Dutch coaches for roles all over the world however admits he didn’t essentially anticipate Slot’s teaching profession. “I feel he was simply absorbing the whole lot if I look again in hindsight.” That curiosity for teaching got here later in his taking part in days.

When Slot returned to Zwolle later in his profession, then referred to as PEC Zwolle, he had develop into a pacesetter on the sector, asking questions, and demanding to know the ways. He joined the workers on the membership earlier than starting that teaching journey in earnest at Cambuur.

‘Hours watching movies’

It was at Cambuur, beneath Henk de Jong, and, particularly, Marcel Keizer, a future Ajax coach, that Slot’s concepts about how soccer needs to be performed started to crystallise. He would trade ideas with Keizer, the 2 sharing a video library of matches.

Michel Vonk, the previous Manchester Metropolis defender who later labored with Slot at AZ Alkmaar, has fond reminiscences of Slot’s urge for food for the sport. “He spent hours watching movies of the massive groups, Barcelona and, in fact, Manchester Metropolis,” Vonk tells Sky Sports activities.

“Arne is an amazing soccer coach who likes to play soccer in an attacking manner.” Like many prime coaches, his dedication to his concepts is complete. “He’s like Pep Guardiola,” provides Vonk. “He believes in these rules and he lives by them with the group.”

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Kaveh Solhekol explains the main points round Arne Slot’s potential transfer to Liverpool

Slot bonded with Keizer over this enthusiasm for Barcelona’s soccer and when Keizer moved on in October 2016 it was Slot, working with Sipke Hulshoff, who was afforded his likelihood as a head coach. Jurjan Manners was amongst his first signings in January.

“Marcel wished me in Cambuur. He went to Ajax however advised me Arne was there and that I needed to go and work with him,” Mannes tells Sky Sports activities. “I went for the negotiations and received the presentation from Arne. Instantly, you knew that is the place you wished to be.”

‘Actually clear what he wished’

“I used to be fortunate to have a coach like him in my profession,” says Mannes. Amongst Slot’s many qualities was the readability of the communication of his tactical concepts. Cambuur often performed on a Friday night however Slot’s group knew the opposition inside out by Tuesday.

“By then, we already knew they have been going to press with three, we have been going to construct with two defenders and two midfielders dropping again and this was the answer to beat the press. In his classes, you have been already handed the options for Friday.

“What Arne did rather well was the readability of what we have been going to do versus what the opponent desires us to do. It was so clear. That was the very best factor. Whenever you did video evaluation with him or have been simply talking about your position, he simply simplified the whole lot.

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Watch Arne Slot’s inspirational group speak following Feyenoord’s win over Ajax final season

“He made it actually clear what the purpose of your place was, what he wished you to do, what he did not need you to do. He gave examples utilizing movies, that sort of stuff. It was actually clear what he wished from me, what I needed to alter, and then you definately simply exit and do it.”

Having stated that, Mannes had different coaches who have been clear of their considering. “That readability was not the factor that made him stand out. It was the controlling of house with out going one towards one.” If Cambuur needed to go to a 5 to retain an additional defender, they did so.

“If we did swap, we had ready six or seven weeks earlier than the sport in order that the opponent was not anticipating it. He’s a really intelligent, good man. I feel the management he has and the flexibility to visualise what the opponent goes to do is possibly the very best factor that he has.”

‘We have been absolutely dominant’

It was in that first job that Slot started to draw consideration due to his accomplishments. Notably, Cambuur, as a second-tier aspect, defeated Ajax within the KNVB Cup earlier than following that up with a quarter-final win over an Utrecht aspect coached by Erik ten Hag.

Arne Slot of SC Cambuur Leeuwarden give instructions to Erik Bakker of SC Cambuur Leeuwardenduring the Dutch Cup semi final match between AZ Alkmaar and sc Cambuur Leeuwarden at AFAS stadium on March 02, 2017 in Alkmaar
Arne Slot throughout Cambuur’s 2017 KNVB Cup semi-final towards AZ Alkmaar

Solely a penalty shoot-out defeat to AZ Alkmaar within the semi-final denied Slot a 3rd victory over elite opposition in that cup run. However much more spectacular was their league kind that season. Cambuur had been 14th when he took over however he lifted them to 3rd.

“We have been absolutely dominant,” says Mannes. Play-off defeat was robust to take. “We ended up not getting promoted however style-wise we have been removed from everybody else.” Slot’s departure to take an assistant teaching position at AZ was the following step on his journey to the highest.

‘A shock for some gamers’

It was no shock to Mannes when AZ got here calling. Certainly, the one shock was for the AZ gamers, whose concepts have been quickly being challenged by their new assistant coach. “You can already see the model altering within the first 12 months that Arne was there,” says Mannes.

“I learn about some actually clear shows he gave to the gamers nearly instantly. There was nearly a shock second for a number of the gamers as a result of he was pointing them in a brand new path that they weren’t used to. These are the tales that I heard.”

Slot spent two years as assistant to John van den Brom earlier than the pinnacle coach moved on in the summertime of 2019. “I feel everybody who was a bit of near Arne knew he was going to be the pinnacle coach after this.” It was a leap ahead for Slot – and for AZ.

‘We have been on a roll’

The next marketing campaign was a fraught one for AZ in some respects. “We needed to take care of so many issues that season,” Pascal Jansen tells Sky Sports activities. The collapse of a roof on the membership’s creaking stadium meant having to play house video games at an alternate venue.

It didn’t forestall Slot main AZ’s spectacular title push. Jansen was on Slot’s teaching workers on the membership earlier than ultimately succeeding him. There may be nonetheless frustration about how that season performed out. AZ have been degree on factors with Ten Hag’s Ajax with 9 video games left.

AZ coach Pascal Jansen, Feyenoord coach Arne Slot during the Dutch Eredivisie match between Feyenoord and AZ at Feyenoord Stadium de Kuip on November 7, 2021 in Rotterdam
Arne Slot with Pascal Jansen – the pair took AZ Alkmaar to the brink of the title

“We had an enormous likelihood as a result of we have been in an excellent part, an excellent temper,” remembers Jansen. “We have been on a roll, had overwhelmed Ajax twice. We have been mentally robust, performed good soccer and scored plenty of targets. After which the season stopped.” It by no means did restart.

“When you evaluate our league to the remaining, they’d a break and completed the league,” provides Jansen. “That’s one thing that the Dutch authorities didn’t permit us to do and we’ll by no means know the way that season would have completed. It was an enormous frustration.”

Slot was sacked in December of the next season, amid accusations that he was not absolutely targeted on the group having been negotiating with Feyenoord. It was an unlucky finish however his legacy was sturdy. “He spent plenty of time with the kids,” says Vonk.

‘Urgent at a better depth’

Greater than that, he instituted the attacking recreation that has develop into de rigueur throughout Europe – possession play mixed with intense urgent. These have been rules that he had begun to place in place on the very begin of his teaching profession with Cambuur, reveals Mannes.

“Urgent-wise, his groups are very effectively organised. At Cambuur, we all the time felt that we have been urgent at a better depth than our opponents, pushing them into the areas the place we wished to press them, dominating even after we didn’t have the ball.”

It was comparable at AZ. “He likes his groups to use stress on the opponent at any second,” says Vonk. “With that, he understands the significance of being tremendous match. He makes his group stronger, working them very arduous to have the ability to play by his rules.

“And due to this excessive press, his groups have plenty of self-belief. There are rules that underpin his attacking strategy. It begins on the coaching pitch. Lots of video evaluation. He’s very clear and makes certain he takes his group on the journey with him.”

Feyenoord was the identical story. “The preliminary thought is to look ahead,” says McDonald. “They aren’t a group that’s all the time taking part in it backwards or sideways until the sport calls for it and they’re 1-0 up with a couple of minutes left. The intentions are all the time to go ahead.”

‘Arne will get extra out of gamers’

Mannes regards Slot’s success at Feyenoord as a continuation of his work, a continuation of a development. Since their Eredivisie title win in 2017, the membership had not completed within the prime two since and have been languishing down in seventh spot within the desk when he took cost.

“He took over from Dick Advocaat, an excellent coach however a coach with a totally completely different model to Arne. You can see how the group modified, the model, the dominance, the outcomes, the trophies. Arne will get extra out of gamers than a traditional coach.”

There was progress in his first full season with Feyenoord restored to 3rd earlier than successful the Eredivisie title in 2023. It was achieved taking part in a model of soccer that felt like the long run for the membership, a victory for Feyenoord and a victory for Slot’s imaginative and prescient.

‘Top-of-the-line with the media’

Within the trendy recreation, promoting that imaginative and prescient to the gamers is just a part of the job – promoting it to the broader world may be simply as vital. Slot’s means to do this units his aside from many coaches within the recreation. “With the media, I fee him as probably the greatest,” says Vonk.

McDonald stays an admirer of Ten Hag however acknowledges that that is maybe a key distinction between the 2 Dutch coaches and a purpose to consider that Slot is extra possible to achieve the Premier League. “I feel Arne is less complicated on the ears,” he says.

“What I like about Arne is that he’s actually clear. He doesn’t rush. He doesn’t get hassled. He figures out the questions that the press try to place to him and has received them sussed very quickly. I feel that is among the primary the explanation why he has executed so effectively.”

Curiously, his {old} participant Mannes makes this similar level about Slot understanding what to anticipate from the press forward of time. “One factor Arne is aware of methods to take care of is the media. I nearly know that he’s making ready press conferences as he does with video games.”

Roma's head coach Jose Mourinho, center, and Feyenoord's head coach Ame Slot, right, give instructions from the side line during the Europa Conference League final soccer match between AS Roma and Feyenoord at National Arena in Tirana, Albania, Wednesday, May 25, 2022.
Arne Slot misplaced out to Jose Mourinho within the 2022 Europa Convention League remaining

Slot has even had the compulsory run-in with Jose Mourinho earlier than turning into Liverpool supervisor. Slot had praised Napoli however when dealing with Mourinho’s Roma advised he didn’t watch so a lot of their video games, preferring to observe Guardiola’s groups as an alternative.

“Mourinho was fairly upset and motivated his group,” remembers Mannes. “That most likely backfired as a result of they misplaced towards Roma so he may also be taught from these issues.” However, as Mannes and plenty of others see it, this playfulness is all a part of the person’s appeal.

“As a participant, you simply actually consider in him. He’s the one you observe. Whenever you go in at half-time, he gives you the little particulars to show the sport in your favour, you do it and, increase, it occurs. You simply purchase into him. That can be what he does within the media.”

‘One of the best managers nonetheless lose’

It might have purchased Slot a while this season as a result of PSV have been the runaway leaders within the Eredivisie, not even dropping a recreation till the twenty seventh week of the season. Feyenoord did win the KNVB Cup however have needed to accept second spot within the desk.

Santiago Gimenez, who scored 13 targets within the second half of final season, has solely managed three in the identical interval this time round. “It has been a little bit of a pity that he has not been on the ball as a result of he was scoring for enjoyable earlier than that,” says McDonald.

“That has been an issue. A few of these coming in to switch sure gamers in sure positions have simply not been ok. You may be the very best supervisor on the earth however you’ll nonetheless lose.” And but, Feyenoord may nonetheless surpass final season’s factors complete.

‘Good individual to observe Klopp’

Liverpool are trying past trophies when assessing the fitting individual to switch Jurgen Klopp. There’s a feeling amongst those that know Slot and his work that it’s the mixture of taking part in model and persona that makes him the fitting match.

“I’ve little question that he can relate to the folks, he’s tactically good and he’s arduous if he must be,” says McDonald. “If there’s a downside he’ll remedy it. I feel he is an effective individual to – I can’t consider I’m saying this – observe Jurgen Klopp. That’s enormous.

“However I like that Arne is an easy-going individual and I feel that can stand him in good stead when it comes to following somebody who had such an excellent relationship together with his gamers. That respect from the gamers can solely be received by coaching strategies and communication.”

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Jamie Carragher says Arne Slot might discover the step up from Feyenoord to Liverpool troublesome

Tactically, Vonk thinks that the change may be comparatively seamless. “Most undoubtedly. They’re additionally a group that may be dominant on and off the ball.” Whereas Mannes is satisfied that it’s this mixture of urgent and passing that makes Slot preferrred for Liverpool.

“I do not observe Liverpool as a lot as Feyenoord however I do know Pep Lijnders. In addition they stand out for his or her urgent, with a special model beneath Jurgen Klopp with three up entrance and three centre-midfielders and the full-backs huge. However it’s intense urgent too.

“If they need a coach who can organise a group with urgent but additionally be actually good on the ball, for sure Arne Slot is a type of guys who will most likely shock lots of people not that into Dutch soccer. Type-wise it will likely be one thing that fits, undoubtedly.”

A frightening process however one Arne Slot has been making ready for.

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