Thursday, July 25, 2024

Slot keen to build on Klopp legacy at Liverpool

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 20 Jun 2024

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New Liverpool head coach Arne Slot is keen to build on the solid foundations laid by Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.

Slot, who led Feyenoord to their KNVB Cup success last season, officially started his position at the start of June as the Reds start life without Klopp, who won eight trophies during nine years on Merseyside.

Liverpool finished third in the Premier League, nine points behind winners Manchester City and seven behind runners-up Arsenal, lifting the Carabao Cup in February against Chelsea.

The Dutchman is optimistic his new side can once again challenge for the title in his first campaign in charge and is hopeful of continuing the good work Klopp started back in 2015.

“I think 82 points is a result of the playing style. Always the points you get is always a result of the way you play,” Slot said in his first interview with the club. “I’ve seen many games already, I’ve seen many training sessions as well.

“Of course the fans can see the games, so they know we have some very good players. But I’ve also seen a lot of training sessions already and this is where you bring the culture, and they are always working hard – like the fans see during the game.

“A real good team, real good players, managed to be on top for a very long time, but I think in the end 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.

“I have all the confidence in this because of the players, that we can add a few things where we hopefully can get a bit more points than 82, which is necessary with the likes of Arsenal and City, to end up hopefully a bit higher than we did this season.”

Slot’s appointment was confirmed in May, with comparisons between his style of play immediately compared to Klopp’s.

During the 2024-25 campaign, Feyenoord won possession in the final third more than any other team in Europe’s top five leagues, with Liverpool in second place.

The Dutchman added his attacking brand of football was similar to his predecessor, saying: “This is probably one of the reasons they came to me as well,” Slot said.

“We were all inspired by (Pep) Guardiola and Klopp and I think at a big club, which I worked in at Feyenoord as well, it is probably the only style you can play – to have the ball a lot, to have a lot of energy.”

Liverpool next play in a pre-season game against Real Betis on July 26. They start the new Premier League campaign away to Ipswich Town on August 17.

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