Arne Slot plays down Liverpool pressure as announcement of Jürgen Klopp successor edges closer

Feyenoord coach Arne Slot during the Dutch Eredivisie match between NEC and Feyenoord in De Goffert on May 12, 2024 in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Liverpool seems as though it might be waiting until the end of the season to announce Arne Slot as the replacement for Jürgen Klopp. The trouble is, when that full-time whistle blows at Anfield on Sunday, nobody is going to care about what comes next.

In time, there will be excitement about a new era. But Liverpool could announce that the hologram of Bill Shankly is going to be the new manager (sorry, head coach), and it would barely cut through the emotion of Klopp's final goodbye. At least for a while, in a sport and at a club that so relentlessly looks forward, there must be a time for fondly looking back.

And what good times there are to reminisce over. Klopp will leave Liverpool as one of the all-time greats, having won every major trophy on offer. But even if he was leaving empty-handed, having never quite shaken off the old final 'hoodoo' that now looks so ridiculous, he would still be a legend — for the excitement he brought, for the way he utterly embraced what the club stands for, and for the way he turned doubters into believers.

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Taking over from a figure such as this is a hugely daunting task for Slot, as it would be for just about anyone. While Xabi Alonso had his own reasons for wanting to stay at Bayer Leverkusen, avoiding what could be seen as a poisoned chalice at Liverpool could plausibly have factored into his thinking as well.

Yet Slot has played down the significance of replacing Klopp. He likened the pressure to what he might have expected to face if he had stayed at Feyenoord:

"That would also have been the case if I had stayed at Feyenoord," he told Algemeen Dagblad when asked about the pressure he might face at Liverpool. "Expectations in De Kuip are also high. People expect good football and good results. That has often been successful, but as a trainer, you are constantly working on that."

Slot also admitted that he thinks 'almost every trainer of a top club is on the edge of being overworked', more or less echoing Klopp's reasons for stepping down and taking a break. How the Dutchman handles the workload and competing pressures at Liverpool could define his tenure. says: Slot couldn't really say much else. He has to back himself to handle the size of the job, and cannot be overawed by the shadow of Klopp. But while there's no denying he will have faced significant pressures at Feyenoord, he also has to be prepared for a leap up. The scrutiny at Liverpool is orders of magnitude higher, with so many millions of eyes on the Premier League.