5 takeaways from Arne Slot’s first Interview as Liverpool Head Coach

Welcome to the Arne Slot era, Liverpool fans.

The Dutchman is in at Anfield, and Jurgen Klopp is off in a blaze of glory, enjoying life’s finer things – competitive padel and Taylor Swift.

Slot sat down with Liverpool’s media team for his first interview at the club on Wednesday, giving a mighty fine account of himself, his vision and more.

Here are our five predominant takeaways from that interview.

  • Jurgen Klopp’s blessing

In one of his final acts as Liverpool manager, Klopp chose to serenade his successor on the Anfield pitch, disrupting his own farewell celebrations to kick-start Slot’s tenure.

Slot confirmed he has spoken with Klopp about the task on his hands at Anfield, though stressed the German had left Liverpool ‘in a good place’.

“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,” Slot said of Klopp.

  • Clarification over his job title and transfers

Liverpool have done a mighty fine job at telling the world that Slot is coming in as their ‘head coach’, rather than ‘manager’.

It’s largely semantics, but there is a slight distinction. Klopp, as manager, was central to everything at the club, but Slot will mainly be tasked with what happens at the training ground.

However, he’s unconcerned by this prospect and insists he’s familiar with playing such a role in a club’s wider system, while he is also still given input over transfers alongside new sporting director Richard Hughes.

“For me, it is normal because this is the way it is in Europe and in Holland,” Slot claimed. “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.”

  • Watching games, watching training

Laced in the interview were notions that Slot had studied Liverpool so intensely that he didn’t just watch back games from last season, but training sessions run by Klopp and his assistant Pep Lijnders.

“There are two things [why] to do this [watch training],” Slot explained. “Of course to get to know more about the players because mostly you see them during the games. And you want to know also what the culture is, how they train and what they are used to. I think it’s always interesting if you are the successor of Jurgen Klopp and also Pepijn Lijnders, who does quite a bit of work on the training pitch, to see what their ideas were on the training pitch.

“I said this, we all try to steal a bit from each other – mostly this is done by looking at the games but if you can see the way they train, that can only help you. Let one thing be clear: the players are not going to get all the same exercises again – we will implement our own things. But it’s interesting to see what they did also during the week.”

Talk about doing your homework and leaving nothing to chance.

  • A charming wit will go a long way

There was plenty of data involved in Liverpool’s search for a new boss, plenty of wondering how the new guy would fit into their structure.

But for a club as cerebral as the Reds are, it was also important that they hired a candidate with charisma and charm, character and personality.

With Klopp, his energy leapt off the screen. He’s a one-of-one that we’ll never see again in this sport.

Slot could never be quite on that same level in his first interview, but he definitely radiated the characteristics desirable in a Liverpool head coach.

Slot’s success at Feyenoord made him popular in Rotterdam, but it was also who he was as a person that took him into legendary status. That matters.

  • How to pronounce ‘Arne’

When Klopp took to the mic on his final Anfield appearance and started singing ‘ARN-EE SLOT, LA LA LA LA LA LA LA’, it seemed that would be the name that stuck.

Now, that’s not strictly how you pronounce ‘Arne’, but Slot said he doesn’t mind if people necessarily default to that.

However, he did note that the correct saying is ‘Arr-nuh’. Which is much more roll-of-the-tongue Dutch than excited-German.

What we know

  • Arne Slot has given first interview as Liverpool head coach
  • Dutchman has replaced Jurgen Klopp in Anfield dugout
  • Takeaways and analysis from interview.

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