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Five things we learned from Arne Slot's first Liverpool interview as unveiling delay explained

Arne Slot has spoken for the first time as Liverpool head coach
-Credit: (Image: Liverpool FC)


Arne Slot has given his first interview as Liverpool’s new head coach, with the Dutchman covering a variety of topics after arriving on Merseyside.

Slot spoke to the club’s media as he prepares for his first season in charge, having been confirmed as Jurgen Klopp’s successor earlier this summer following a three-year spell at Feyenoord.

He is set to meet his new squad next month as the Reds’ pre-season preparations get underway, while he also now knows who he will be facing in his first competitive match in charge. Liverpool will face Ipswich Town in its first game of the new Premier League season.

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Before that, there will be plenty of work for Slot to do. Here are five things we learned from his first interview as Liverpool boss.

Why the unveiling took so long

Slot’s appointment has been no secret for some time now. In fact, practically everyone knew he was coming to Anfield before he was officially confirmed on May 20 – the day after Jurgen Klopp’s final game.

After that though, there was radio silence from Slot. Although his appointment had been confirmed, there had been no unveiling until today, which left some fans a little concerned. Rest assured though, he has kept himself busy during that time.

Explaining why it took so long for him to be unveiled by the club, Slot said: I think it is, because of a few reasons. First and foremost, maybe the farewell of Jurgen, which was really special from what I saw.

“It was on the same day I left Feyenoord as well but I did see a few things and afterwards there was even a few more farewells from what I saw, so I think it was fair to him and to the club and to the supporters to wait a bit and then to come in.

“Apart from that, I went on holiday as you probably can see! And yeah, I think now is a good moment to arrive here and talk to you, but let's be clear: I don't start today, I've been in a lot of contact with staff members already – from people who are working here to the new staff members that are coming in – and, of course, almost every day Richard [Hughes] and me are calling each other because we have to talk.

“This is also a very important phase for the new season, to make sure the team is ready, and we have to play in the pre-season. So, a lot of things have been done but more in the background and now I am sitting here in front of you, I think it's a good moment to do it now for the few reasons I just gave you.”

He’s spoken to Jurgen Klopp

Slot will have a tough act to follow. Klopp completely transformed Liverpool after arriving at a club drifting around mid-table back in 2015, going on to win every major trophy he could, including a first league title in 30 years.

The German is now set to take a well-earned rest, although he has still been on hand to pass on some advice to his successor, as Slot lifted the lid on their conversations.

“I did the same in my former clubs when I started over there but I think if someone worked at a club for nine years [and had] been so successful, you want to know all about it from him and you also want to know things of the players – although I think it is also important to get my own opinion about that. So, you can only use all this information he has because he did so well, not only in terms of results but I think also everybody saw in his farewell but also in the years before that how popular he was.

“He gave me more than a few good tips but I think what stood out for me was that he was so happy for me and that – and I think he said this in the media as well – he would be my biggest fan from now on because he supports Liverpool in the best possible way, and you don't see this very often. So, it says a lot about his character, the way he handled this situation as well.”

He’ll play a similar style

One of the biggest reasons why Liverpool decided on Slot as Klopp’s successor was due to the similar way in which his Feyenoord side played in the Eredivisie.

It’s a style that Slot plans on carrying over with him to Anfield, which should hopefully make the transition to the new head coach a simple one.

“It is my style but I think it is the style of many modern coaches at the moment: we were all a bit inspired because of the rivalry between City and Liverpool. We were all inspired by Guardiola and Klopp and I think at a big club, which I worked in in Feyenoord as well, it is probably the only style you can play – to have the ball a lot, to have a lot of energy, and I think also now there are comparisons between the club I left behind and the club I am going to work for now.

“Both [sets of] fans love to see a team that wants to do everything to win a game and if things are tough they try to do everything to turn the game around and I think that has been done by Liverpool many times and I think that has been done by my former side Feyenoord many times as well.”

What his new title means

Unlike Klopp, who held the title of manager during his time at Liverpool, Slot arrives as the club’s head coach. The new title has led plenty of people to assume he will take on less responsibility than his predecessor, whose influence on transfers and other matters away from the pitch grew during his time in charge.

Slot explained what his new title entails, and what it will mean in terms of transfers this summer with sporting director Richard Hughes.

“For me, it is normal because this is the way it is in Europe and in Holland. I don't think there is much of a change between a head coach and a manager, it's just that by being a head coach I can go in fully to the things I would like to do.

“So, work with the team, prepare the team in the best possible way, and me and Richard are going to work together when it comes to transfers but not only the two of us – there is a big backroom staff included in this as well.

“I think for me it is the way I have worked always and it for me is the ideal way of working because I can use the most of my time by working with the team and the time that is left will probably be a bit for the family and a bit to talk with Richard about how we can strengthen the team. But we already have a really strong team.”

His backroom staff

Slot has confirmed three members of his backroom staff have been appointed, with two of his former coaches from Feyenoord joining him at Anfield.

Sipke Hulshoff will join him as an assistant, having held the same role role in Rotterdam, as well as with Ronald Koeman with the Netherlands national team.

Ruben Peeters arrives as performance coach, while Fabian Otte takes over as the club’s goalkeeping coach, having previously worked at Borussia Monchengladbach, while he is currently working with the USA at this summer’s Copa America.

More appointments will be expected before the new season gets underway in August, with Slot set to take charge of Liverpool for the first time next month during the club's pre-season tour of the US.