Slot: My Liverpool won't be completely different to Klopp's

19 Jun 2024
Arne Slot-Liverpool

Reds' new head coach gives first interview as he discusses his plans for the club

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New Liverpool head coach Arne Slot has said his side’s playing style will not differ too much from the one made famous by Jurgen Klopp.

In his first interview since taking charge of Liverpool, the 45-year-old Dutchman spoke on a number of topics, including what he will bring to the club and the help he has received from Klopp.

“We are going to try to work on what Jurgen left behind and we will see a lot of similar things,” Slot told the club’s official website. "But, of course, I bring my own things to the table as well and I think that's also what is expected of me.

“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 [Pep] 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.”

Support from Klopp

Klopp enjoyed a trophy-laden nine-year stay at Anfield, which included a Premier League title and UEFA Champions League, and Slot said it was important to get as much advice from the man he has succeeded.

“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. 

Arne Slot interview

“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.”

Improving on last season

One of Slot's main objectives is to help Liverpool mount a sustained push for the Premier League title and add to the one they lifted in 2020 after they fell away in last season's title race, finishing third.

“We would all love to see Liverpool a bit higher than third place and this is the challenge we are facing now – to build on from what we have,” he said. 

Slot used tennis legend Novak Djokovic, who has won a record 24 Grand Slam titles, as an example of having the kind of mindset that his players can benefit from.

“I tried to use examples of cycling or at the moment we've seen Roland-Garros [French Open tennis] and we've seen Djokovic winning in a really tough game, and I think that's one of his qualities, that he can also win the game when it's not going his way, he can still find a way to win it. I think those are examples you can use towards players as well.”

Slot also revealed his new backroom staff at the club will consist of Sipke Hulshoff, Ruben Peeters and Fabian Otte.

Liverpool’s first match of the 2024/25 season is a trip to promoted Ipswich Town in Saturday 17 August’s early kick-off.

Before then, Liverpool will face both Arsenal and Manchester United as part of their pre-season tour to the United States.

See: Premier League pre-season fixtures

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