Arne Slot’s first Liverpool press conference: ‘Jurgen Klopp big shoes to fill at Liverpool’ | Football News

New Liverpool head coach Arne Slot admits he has “big shoes to fill” succeeding Jurgen Klopp but said winning matches would be the best way to start.

Slot has the unenviable task of following nine seasons of success under the popular German, who won the club’s first Premier League title in 30 years and reached three Champions League finals, winning one.

Klopp’s affinity with supporters was also a major factor during his reign and Slot said that was something he would have to develop – but success on the pitch would help.

Jurgen Klopp and Arne Slot
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Arne Slot was full of praise for Klopp’s tenure at Liverpool

“They are big shoes to fill but you can look at it as inheriting a squad and a team which has a winning culture,” he said at his first press conference.

“One of the reasons to come here – and there are always more reasons for this – but I do feel we have a real good squad, and as a manager you want to work at a club with good players with an opportunity to win something.

“The past has shown there is a possibility to win some trophies. I like to work with players and like to develop them but I like to win as well, and at this club there is an opportunity to win.

“It always helps to get to know the city but I think, as a manager, it helps even more if you win most of your games.

“If we do that in the best possible way it will probably give me some time as well, and if I have time then I can get to know the city a bit better. But it all starts with improving the team and winning as many games as we can.”

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Liverpool manager Arne Slot was very impressed by the young talent shown at Anfield last season

Slot calm over transfers – ‘We’ve inherited a good team’

Preparations for the new season now begin for Slot, who has just eight players – Stefan Bajcetic, Conor Bradley, Jarell Quansah, Sepp van den Berg Owen Beck, Curtis Jones, Caoimhin Kelleher and Kostas Tsimikas – back in training with many of the other first-team squad still on international duty.

The transfer window is also now in full swing and questions during Slot’s first press conference soon turned to the club’s transfer plans, but the new Liverpool boss, whose first game in charge will be in the early hours of Saturday July 27 against Real Betis, isn’t in a rush to get new faces through the door this summer.

He said: “No specific numbers. We’ve inherited a good team.

“I can see during the Euros how important it is to work on a daily basis and over a longer time with a team. You see many really good players but not all of them have the same level as they have at the clubs. That proves my point. The longer a team players together – if there’s a good head coach – normally you will see things improve.

“That’s why I’m fortunate I’m going to a club where normally not many players go out. At Feyenoord, it was normal for eight, nine or 10 to leave after every season.”

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Liverpool footballer and Alpine investor Trent Alexander-Arnold discusses his excitement for the Monaco GP, England’s hopes for Euro 2024 and a new era at Anfield

Hughes: We’ll be ‘opportunistic’ in transfer market

Liverpool’s new sporting director Richard Hughes, who joined the club at the end of last season from Bournemouth, was alongside Slot facing the media and he insists the club will be opportunistic in the transfer market as they look to improve certain areas of the team.

He said: “It’s been great to work with Arne. Clearly it was a difficult position at first because there were important jobs to finish where we were, and important jobs to finish here at Liverpool.

“Since then, we’ve been in communication daily over logistics, organisation and preparing the transfer window, which is something we will know more about as we go on and we know more about our current squad, which we are delighted to have inherited.

“We need to improve on the training pitch and, with the window open, we will be opportunistic. If we can improve certain areas as we go, we will look to do that.

“Contractual situations I don’t think would be fair for me to talk about. These are private matters between the club and players.

“The only concern I have is total commitment from the players to the cause for next season and we’re absolutely convinced that is the case.”

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On Back Pages Tonight, Miguel Delaney and Henry Winter discuss Liverpool’s new head coach appointment Arne Slot

Slot: Klopp was more than the ‘normal one’

Slot asked about Klopp introducing himself as the ‘normal one’ at his first Liverpool press conference:

“It’s special what Jurgen did to this club. When he arrived, he said he was the ‘normal one’ but what made him special was the impression he left behind, winning trophies and his playing style – the fans loved it.

“Maybe he said he was the normal one but I think the fans saw him differently. What he did for the club was more than normal.”

The making of Arne Slot: Why he is right for Liverpool

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Liverpool have confirmed Arne Slot as Jurgen Klopp’s successor, but why have the Reds gone for the Dutchman?

Slot replaced Klopp as Liverpool manager – but who is the man the club believe can lead them into this new era and what can they expect from this 45-year-old Dutch coach?

In conversation with those who coached Slot and those who have been coached by him, as well as colleagues on his staff, we examine the making of Liverpool’s manager, exploring his tactical ideas, his man-management and his handling of the media.

Read Adam Bate’s feature here…

Liverpool fixtures: Reds start with trip to Ipswich

Slot kicks off his Liverpool reign with a lunchtime trip to newly-promoted Ipswich Town on the opening Saturday of the 2024/25 Premier League season.

The Dutchman will then come up against compatriot Erik ten Hag when Liverpool take on arch-rivals Manchester Unitedat Old Trafford in just his third game in charge of the club with the game currently scheduled for Saturday August 31.

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Liverpool footballer and Alpine investor Trent Alexander-Arnold discusses his excitement for the Monaco GP, England’s hopes for Euro 2024 and a new era at Anfield

Liverpool’s first six 2024/25 Premier League fixtures

All fixtures subject to change.

August

17: Ipswich (a) – Kick-off 12.30pm

24: Brentford (h)

31: Manchester United (a)

September

14: Nottingham Forest (h)

21: Bournemouth (h)

28: Wolves (a)

Liverpool have easiest start

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On Back Pages Tonight, Miguel Delaney and Henry Winter discuss Liverpool’s new head coach appointment Arne Slot

Analysis by Sky Sports Data Analyst Adam Smith:

Liverpool have the easiest opening six Premier League fixtures on paper, according to the average position of opponents’ league positions last season.

The Reds’ upcoming average league opponent ranked only 14.8 in the standings last term.

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