Liverpool journalist backs Arne Slot to avoid one ‘issue’ with which Erik ten Hag has ‘struggled’

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Neil Jones is confident that, if appointed as Jurgen Klopp’s replacement at Liverpool, Arne Slot seems well equipped to avoid one ‘issue’ with which his compatriot Erik ten Hag has ‘struggled’ at Manchester United.

The Feyenoord boss seems poised to come in at Anfield as head coach ahead of the 2024/25 season, and while there has been scepticism in some quarters about his suitability to take charge of the six-time European champions, the journalist believes the 45-year-old will succeed in coming across well publicly.

Speaking to EOTK Insider about Slot, Jones said: “I don’t know him as a character but I’ve read about a lot of people who’ve dealt with him and say Slot’s a pretty good character and communicator.

“I’ve seen some say his English is far better than someone like Erik ten Hag who does seem to have struggled with that element. It did surprise me, when Ten Hag initially came in, how poor his English and communication was. I don’t think that’ll be an issue with Slot from what I’ve seen.”

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Ultimately a manager will be judged on their results rather than how they come across in public, but the best coaches in the world hit that sweet spot of communicating well with their players while still making it clear who’s king of the castle.

Interestingly, Jones’ assertion about Slot having a much better grasp of English than Ten Hag was also mentioned by Adam Crafton in a recent piece for The Athletic which noted the charisma of the Feyenoord boss and his ‘humane and thoughtful’ management of the playing squad in Rotterdam.

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That article cited several similarities between the 45-year-old and Klopp, such as a desire to leave a legacy at his club, favour players who bring ‘energy’ to a stadium, demonstrably put plenty of faith in youth and take the opinions of others on board while ultimately having the final say.

Contrast that with Ten Hag at United, where Old Trafford has frequently been a lightning rod for fan anger amid a series of damning results and uninspiring performances, with the former Ajax boss occasionally going down the Jose Mourinho route of criticising young players in public.

Slot’s impending reign at Liverpool will be defined first and foremost by results on the pitch, but his cause would be helped significantly if he can replicate the outgoing manager’s inspirational charm and ability to forge a special bond with his staff and, of course, the supporters.

🚨 EOTK Insider with Neil Jones: Questions Arne Slot must answer at Liverpool, Klopp faces Ferguson-esque challenge, what might have gone against Amorim and much more!

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