Three things we learned and one thing we didn't in Arne Slot's first Liverpool press conference

Arne Slot outside the AXA Training Centre.
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Head coach Arne Slot and sporting director Richard Hughes faced the media for the first time in their new Liverpool roles earlier today. The pair spoke well on a variety of topics.

Inevitably, Jurgen Klopp was mentioned early on. "When Jurgen arrived, he was the normal one," Slot said. "But when he left, it was the impression he left behind. He said he was the normal one but the fans see him differently. What he did for the club was more than normal."

What else did we learn from Slot's first press conference? has rounded up the best bits all in one place — and noted one thing we will have to wait a little longer for an answer to.

READ MORE: Every word of Arne Slot's first Liverpool press conference
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Liverpool formation stance confirmed

Perhaps the most interesting element of the press conference was when it was put to Slot that he played a 4-2-3-1 system with Feyenoord. Confused, the new Liverpool boss disputed this fact, making clear that he didn't see it that way.

"I was hoping if people looked at my Feyenoord team, it wasn't 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3," Slot said. "It's a lot of freedom to take different positions, a lot of freedom when we have the ball, sometimes 4-1-4-1.

New Liverpool head coach Arne Slot
New Liverpool head coach Arne Slot -Credit:John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

"I wouldn't put myself in a position where I say I prefer a formation. If you asked me, I'd say we played 4-3-3 at Feyenoord. When we don't have the ball, we want to be really aggressive."

The idea that there will suddenly be a de facto number 10 at Liverpool, then, can presumably be discounted. The Reds' squad looks far better suited to sticking with 4-3-3 — and it would appear to be that Slot agrees.

Liverpool transfer and contract plans

Much has been made of the fact that Slot is a 'head coach' rather than a 'manager' but as the 45-year-old said himself, this is perfectly normal in most countries outside of England. Even in the Premier League, this is how most sides are set up these days.

"For me, it is not a change," Slot confirmed. "In Europe, we work like this. I worked at my former clubs like this. There are not clubs in the world where one person does everything.

New Head Coach Arne Slot at his first press conference at AXA Training Centre on July 05, 2024 -Credit:Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images
New Head Coach Arne Slot at his first press conference at AXA Training Centre on July 05, 2024 -Credit:Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

"There are not sporting directors that bring players in the manager doesn't like. At a club like this, there are many more people that can bring their opinion. That is the way I work and that is how I like to work."

On the contract situations of the likes of Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk, Hughes said: "These are private matters between club and players. The only concern we have is total commitment to the cause for next season and we're convinced that is the case."

Why Arne Slot was chosen as Jurgen Klopp successor

Hughes outlined the reasons for Liverpool selecting Slot as the man to take over from Klopp. "That philosophy and playing style that attracted us to Arne is subjective and is based on football opinion, and data. On all the metrics, his Feyenoord team came out really well," Hughes explained.

"The way they played, with a real front-foot attacking approach, with intelligence and passion. They are attributes we welcome here and lend well to the current squad we have, our supporters and the football club.

"This way of playing that Arne has been successful with is the most attractive to watch, in my opinion. I believe it will be so with the fans too and that is the most important thing. There is a duty here to play that kind of football and grab games by the scruff of the neck. It is not going to be a completely different approach."

Trent Alexander-Arnold and Cody Gakpo positions

The only thing that Slot wasn't keen to open up on was where he believes Trent Alexander-Arnold and Cody Gakpo's best positions are. The pair have been experimented with a little at the European Championship, to varying degrees of success.

Alexander-Arnold has played in midfield for England under Gareth Southgate while Gakpo has thrived off the left flank, where he played a lot for PSV but has rarely been seen for the Reds. In the case of the latter, it would be nice to see more of him there at club level as well as for the Netherlands.

Slot was unable to provide a definitive answer at this stage, however. Instead, he politely declined the chance to give his opinion until he has spoken with the players themselves. That could still be a few weeks off if England and the Netherlands win this weekend.