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Inside Arne Slot's journey to Liverpool management with Jose Mourinho and Diego Simeone spat

Arne Slot
-Credit: (Image: BART STOUTJESDIJK/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)


Incoming Liverpool manager Arne Slot doesn't shy from speaking his mind.

The Dutchman has built a reputation after managing several clubs like SC Cambuur, AZ Alkmaar and Feyenoord. But like predecessor Jurgen Klopp, Slot has learned that sometimes you need to get tough.

PEC Zwolle's Bram van Polen has described how Slot would tell him to fly into tackles in training when the Dutchman became an assistant coach at the club after spending his last four seasons there as a player. He said: "Slot puts a lot of energy in all his training sessions. He is very demanding and wants things practiced in perfection.

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"But oh dear, if he thought at the end of the week that the players had not given everything in training. If the squad had been lacking sharpness, he would come up to me a day before the game and say 'can you drive everyone over the edge in our last training session?'

"And do you know what? I loved that. Oh yes, I was triggered. He wanted me to put the boot in - and I would give it all. I would clatter them in training full on - and it was fantastic how Slot would get everyone in the right sharp and aggressive attitude for the match the next day. I knew then, that he was becoming a really fabulous coach."

Slot has a history of getting under Jose Mourinho's skin, having faced him five times in European competitions over three years. He once told the former Chelsea and Manchester United manager that he preferred to watch Pep Guardiola's teams, saying: "If I watch Pep's teams, I know I may learn a thing or two. There are always great details in his attacking and attractive style."

Mourinho hit back by suggesting studying his team might help Slot win a trophy. A fiery encounter with Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid concluded with the Argentine confronting the Dutchman post-match following a verbal altercation.

The situation escalated when Simeone caught Slot laughing at him in the tunnel. He later revealed: "Slot had the guts to tell me that I was a frustrated character and that I get wound up over all sorts of things. I would never say stuff like that about a fellow manager."

Van Pollen believes his former coach has what it takes to succeed at Anfield. He stated: "Slot has a lot of good qualities as a coach. I knew even when he was still a player that he would be good.

"He knew how to get the best out of players and that turned out to be so true once he got the chance to build his own team."