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Arne Slot on similarities with Klopp, building on his Liverpool legacy, Guardiola rivalry & more

New Liverpool head coach Arne Slot granted his first in-house interview since signing on to take charge of the Reds.

The Dutchman will succeed Jurgen Klopp next season, and he discussed his excitement, approach, and goals for the upcoming season.

Slot knows he has massive shoes to fill after Klopp’s successful reign that delivered eight trophies across his storied nine-year spell at Merseyside.

Slot said (LFC’s website): “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.”

The 45-year-old former AZ Alkmaar manager also emphasised continuity and the importance of building upon Klopp’s legacy.

Slot revealed his admiration for Klopp and Guardiola’s coaching rivalry, which heavily influenced his football philosophy.

He stressed the importance of an attacking style with high energy, similar to what Liverpool fans have come to expect.

“I think there are (similarities between me and Klopp),” Slot said. “I think that is also one of the reasons why I came in because I think the way Liverpool ‘scouted’ me.

“I’m not sure if that is the right word to use – they were looking for, not the same type, but I think when something has been successful [with] a certain way of playing you would like to extend this or to go on with this. This is probably one of the reasons they came to me as well.

“Yeah, 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 Feyenoord as well, it is probably the only style you can play – to have the ball a lot, to have a lot of energy.”

Slot recognises the importance of fostering strong relationships with players, staff, and fans. It is just as important as implementing tactics. He highlights this aspect as one of Klopp’s strengths and aims to emulate it.

“When I come in in the first days, in the first week I’m here, I will be really focused on the training ground.

“I think that is the place where you can influence the most, and you have to influence the most, because you have to influence your players, common to [the] game model and your game plan.

“And I think that’s where it’s all about – to find a way of playing which suits the players the best and then adjust maybe with the game plan a bit where we can win a few things.

“But that’s all tactical, and I think there’s something else towards being a head coach or a manager or the way you want to call it, and that is the relations you have with people.

“The relationships I have with my staff but also the players, how they get along with each other and the relationships between staff and players – and I think this was one of the things, looking at it from the outside, where Jurgen was great at as well apart from playing style.

“That is a challenge because I’m 100 per cent sure that many people who are still at this club still love him.

“We have to find a way that people get used to me and used to the new staff that’s coming in, and get the same energy in this building and eventually into the stadium as well because that’s where it’s all about – we have to perform during the games.”

The Reds boss also confirmed the first additions to his backroom team. Sipke Hulshoff will join as the assistant coach from Feyenoord. He has been Slot’s right-hand man since 2022.

Fabian Otte is also coming to Merseyside from the USA national team to head first-team goalkeeper coaching following their participation at the Copa America. Performance coach Ruben Peeters will join Liverpool from Feyenoord.

Slot is eager to get started. He is keen on integrating his game plan during pre-season preparations. He is particularly excited about leading the team in the upcoming USA tour and eventually at Anfield.

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