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Next Gen Johan Cruyff

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Dutch coaches have been the most sought after in modern-day football. From Johan Cruyff to Louis Van Gaal and now Erik ten Hag and Arne Slot. The most common aspect among these managers is that they always want to do something with the ball on the pitch, rather than off it.

Having managed AZ Alkmaar to great success, Arne Slot was hired to coach Feyenoord in the 2021/22 season and assisted by Robin van Persie took the Dutch club to the Europa Conference League final in his debut season.

The 44-year-old wanted to quickly deploy his philosophy of Total Football on the Feyenoord players and it may come as a little bit of a surprise as to how efficiently the squad has carried out his instructions to perfection.

The game of football is seen from different views from different sets of managers. And Arne Slot has just one take on this. Play the most beautiful of football and the results will come eventually. That has been the case with most successful modern-day managers like Xavi of Barcelona and Arteta of Arsenal.

Nevertheless, Slot could be Dutch football’s next Johan Cruyff in terms of football management and his approach to the game suggests just that. While the Feyenoord manager is the priority for Spurs’ next managerial appointment, here is what the fans of Tottenham should know about Slot.

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Who is Arne Slot?

Slot is a Dutch manager who has spent the entirety of his managerial and playing career in his native country. He currently manages Feyenoord who sit on top of the Eredivisie table, ahead of Dutch giants Ajax and PSV, and have comfortably won the 2022/23 league title.

Slot began his senior playing career in the mid-1990s and made his debut for FC Zwolle. A midfielder by trade back then, he then moved around Dutch teams such as Sparta Rotterdam, PEC Zwolle and NAC Breda. Before retiring in 2013 at age 35.

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In the early days of his managerial career, he coached one of the youth teams at PEC Zwolle in 2013 and then joined Cambuur in 2017 as their assistant manager. He then joined his future club where he would be manager, being assistant to John van den Brom where he could not make his mark. After the dismissal of Van Den Brom, Slot was given the first-team manager role at AZ.

The 44-year-old’s maiden season as a first-team manager was cut short due to Covid-19, where a winner wasn’t crowned in 2019. The following season, Slot was sacked from AZ after being accused of not being focused on the team. Despite this, he still averaged 2.11 points per game – the highest points tally from any manager in the club’s history.


Arne Slot’s tactics and style of play

The 44-year-old’s managerial style has been likened to former Leeds fan favourite Marcelo Bielsa. That was mainly due to the attractive brand of football that he expects his teams to play, irrespective of the opponents.



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Feyenoord always want to play out from the back and that begins with their goalkeeper, Justin Bijlow. The Dutch goalkeeper usually launches a long ball which is usually aimed towards the halfspace – something very similar to what Bielsa does with his teams. This helps attackers to make darting runs inside the box or where there is space available to exploit.

The previous coach, Dick Advocaat, had Feyenoord play in a low block with tight man-marking duties. Slot as previously mentioned, chooses his lineups based on training merit and not former fame or glory. This allows players to begin with a clean slate after every match.

Such tactics are usually risky and Slot has always been prepared for the counter he faces from his opponents. This will be music to the ears of Spurs fans who have been on the end of criticism for not being able to handle counter-attacking plays themselves.

Arne Slot’s Feyenoord analysis

After his dismissal in 2020 from AZ Alkmar which came as a shock to many considering he had this team playing some of its best football. Slot was announced as the new Feyenoord manager and initially agreed to a two-year deal.

It has come as a surprise to many how quickly the Dutch manager has seen his stocks rise out of nothing. He wants his team to play in a particular manner, much more like his Dutch counterpart Erik ten Hag. Spurs are chasing Slot for a reason and that is a clear identity of football.

Arne Slot will surely provide that and on top of it will bring through young academy players as he has done at Feyenoord. If he does end up at Spurs, Daniel Levy will be getting himself a proven fighter if not a winner, and that is what the fanbase and current squad need right now.

Arnold Lewis
A hardcore Chelsea fan, who is often found playing football on the weekends. He has an exceptional voice and his rendition of old Hindi classic songs will make your heart melt. He is the man with the funky hair.

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