Arne Slot’s Tactics Used for Feyenoord: What Is the Manager Bringing to Liverpool?

April 29, 2024

by xfcedi

arne slot feyernord tactics 1

By Eduard Bănulescu

Arne Slot is a name that Liverpool fans will need to grow accustomed to. He will be Jurgen Klopp’s successor, news that has caught many by surprise.

While Slot is not a household name, and while Peter Bosz‘s PSV Eindhoven has defeated Feyenoord quite comfortably this season, there’s no denying that the Dutch manager has been crafting an impressive career in the Netherlands.

Arne Slot has come to be known as a man who can do a lot with little resources. He’s also known to employ tactics and man-management strategies that are not unlike those of Klopp, the esteemed manager he will be replacing.

Let’s look at Arne Slot’s tactics used with Feyenoord and at what he will bring to Liverpool starting with the 2024/25 season.

arne slot feyernord tactics

Career Prior to Managing Feyenoord

Arne Slot’s biography resembles that of other high-profile Dutch managers of the modern age. He was a competent player in the Netherlands but always looked more likely to use his knowledge of the game behind the scenes. Slot spent the longest part of his career in the service of NAC Breda as midfielder.

Slot got his start in management in only 2016. He was first assistant manager of lowly Cambuur, becoming their interim once the team was relegated the Eredivise. A run of good form, that included victory over Ajax Amsterdam in the KNVB Cup earned him a full-time contract.

He next moved to bigger things, coaching AZ Alkmaar for the 2019/20 season, briefly turning them into one of the strongest teams in Holland. He quickly jumped ship again to join Feyenoord, the second most successful team in the country. He has since won the Eredivisie title in 2023, the KNVB Cup this season and even got the club to the final of the Conference League.

That’s not too shabby. It’s enough for Liverpool’s hierarchy to look past a relatively disappointing 2023/24 season. THis time, the club was swept aside by Peter Bosz’s highly entertaining PSV and faced very little challenge from Ajax in one of their worst seasons in recent memory.

But it’s all about the profile he fits. Why is Slot the manager for the Liverpool job?

Football Philosophy

The Liverpool managerial job no longer involves merely competent tactical knowledge. Jurgen Klopp changed that. The team needs tactical instructions as much as it requires an inspiring leader. The Reds’ board think Slot can bring that to Anfield.

Klopp’s Liverpool is known for playing with high intensity, for employing the gegenpressing approach and for scoring goals. So far, Slot’s teams have done the same, albeit against a different calibre of opposition.

Slot’s teams defend from the front. They typically include two defensive midfielders and expansive wingers. They build up from the back and include good ball-playing defenders. The team also includes attack-minded full-backs and wingers that can make use of great technique and creativity.

Formations and adaptability

On paper, it should be easy for Arne Slot to slot into a Premier League role. He is a disciple of Pep Guardiola. He has been compared to Roberto De Zerbi, a manager Liverpool considered for the job. And he employs highly modern football tactics.

Typically, Slot’s Feyenoord is set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Based on necessity and opposition faced, this can be changed to a 4-3-3 or 4-4-1-1.

The team typically excels when it comes to counterattacking football. Most chances are created from the wings, with full-backs Lutsharel Geertruida and Quilindschy Hartman usually involved. They have a striker that’s effective when serving the ball in the box, Santiago Gimenez. And they rely on a technically-proficient number 10, Calvin Stengs to provide creativity.

feyernord tactics arne slot

What Liverpool may have got wrong about Arne Slot?

There are plenty of reasons to get excited about Arne Slot joining Liverpool. But the club, in what seems like a desperate attempt to move on from not being able to sign either Xabi Alonso or Roberto De Zerbi, may be ignoring a few details.

Slot’s biography reads similar to that of Jurgen Klopp prior to leaving Dortmund. However, Klopp simply had more experience, had defeated opposition of a higher calibre in European competitions and had practically revolutionized modern football with his tactics.

Secondly, Slot’s profile isn’t that dissimilar from that of Erik Ten Haag. If anything, the current Manchester United had achieved greater things prior to joining the EPL. He used similar modern tactics when coaching in the Eredivisie. Little of that has been translated into this new job.

Thirdly, the fact that Slot has been so quick to depart AZ Alkmaar and Feyenoord whenever a better proposition came along might speak of his character. Is the man to replace Klopp a man who has vowed never to manage in the EPL ever again?

arne slot feyernord tactics

Feyenoord in Defense

Well, Slot’s Feyenoord plays a lot like Liverpool in defence. Or, a lot like modern, successful teams. You won’t be surprised to hear that. Slot ditched previous manager Dick Advocaat’s man-marking approach. Instead, the team presses high up the pitch and gets the striker and wingers involved in blocking the opponents’ counterattacks.

Feyenoord uses a gegenpressing approach, trying to win the ball back within seconds of losing it and recycling it to attack. Does that sound familiar? They tend to focus their pressing on certain areas of the pitch, preferring to lure teams into wide areas. However, Feyenord’s players will adopt something resembling a man-marking style when the ball is there.

The team’s central defenders must not only be strong on the ball. They have to be able to advance toward the centre of the pitch and win their tackles there, as well as track back quickly when needed. Gernot Traumer and David Hancko are Feyenord’s preferred central defensive pairing. It looks like Arne Slot will be able to work well with Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool’s leader, and Ibrahima Konate.

Feyenoord in Attack

Feyenoord, like Liverpool, relies particularly on four players to produce goal opportunities. The two wingers, the number ten and the centre forward rely on speed, good ball control and well-drilled tactics.

The two wing-backs are essential to the team’s build-up and counterattacks. They help provide the team width. And the team’s double pivots help cover for them defensively.

The team scores most of its goals on centre-forward Santiago Gimenez. He has produced over a quarter of the team’s goals. Igor Paixao and Yanguba Minteh are the second most productive attacking threats.

What is next for Arne Slot, Feyenoord, and Liverpool?

Arne Slot will have a hard time proving himself to be right for the Liverpool job. But, he will inherit a strong squad, one with a great winning mentality.

Liverpool will have a fight on their hands, especially considering how tired the team looks this season. Still, no doubt, they are one of the strongest teams in the Premier League.

Feyenoord will face a very strong PSV Eindhoven and an Ajax Amsterdam team needing to prove itself after a terrible season.

It’ll be tough for all involved. However, the fans have one advantage. They can use their football knowledge to win real prizes in fantasy football in FootballCoin.



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