Arne Slot: New Tottenham Head Coach?

The Dutchman could be coming to Tottenham Hotspur to become the permanent successor to Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte was dismissed from his position as Tottenham Hotspur Head Coach back in March, and the Italian was briefly replaced by his assistant, Cristian Stellini. Stellini was then himself replaced as interim Head Coach by former Lilywhites midfielder Ryan Mason for the remainder of the 2022/23 season back in April.

With the Premier League season coming to an end on Sunday 28th May 2023, Mason will be looking to lead Spurs to a top 7 finish which would secure European Football for next season, but results do have to go their way.

Following the final day, all eyes will be on the summer transfer window and next season. There have been a number of recent reports that suggest that Feyenoord Head Coach Arne Slot could be close to agreeing a move to the North London club to become Conte’s permanent successor.

Slot is held in high regard across the continent, and his reputation has only grown as a result of his work for Dutch Giants Feyenoord this season. The Dutch Head Coach was able to lead De club aan de Maas (The Club on the Meuse) to only a second Eredivisie title in since 2000, finishing 10 points clear of PSV Eindhoven in 2nd place.

An emphatic 3-0 win against Go Ahead Eagles sealed the title for the club with just 2 games of the season remaining.

2017 was the last time that the club had won the Eredivisie before this season. This triumph 6 years ago was their first league title win since 1999.

This season (2022/23) was stunning for Feyenoord, who won 25 of their 33 league matches whilst also scoring 81 goals – the third best in the division. They also had the second best defence in the Eredivisie, only conceding on 29 occasions. Only FC Twente had a better defence with 26 goals conceded.

Arne Slot’s Feyenoord were also very impressive in Europe. They won their Europa League group which contained FC Midtjylland (Denmark), Lazio (Italy) and Sturm Graz (Austria), before eventually getting to the Semi-Final where they came face to face with José Mourinho’s AS Roma.

Slot’s side did win the first leg 1-0 at De Kuip, courtesy of a goal from Dutch midfielder Mats Wieffer in the early stages of the second half. However it went wrong at the Stadio Olimpico in the second leg, losing 4-1 against the Giallorossi (The Yellow and Reds).

Leonardo Spinazzola, Paulo Dybala, Stephan El Shaarawy and Lorenzo Pellegrini scored the goals for the Italian side. Brazilian forward Igor Paixão scored the only goal for Feyenoord in the Italian capital.

Rewind time back to 1995 and Arne Slot was playing for FC Zwolle as a midfielder, where he won the Eerste Divisie title (Dutch Second Division) in the 2001/02 season. He subsequently played for NAC Breda (2002 – 2007) and Sparta Rotterdam (2007 – 2010) before returning to PEC Zwolle. He was once again part of the team to win the Eerste Divisie in his second spell. Slot retired from playing football in 2013.

Slot’s coaching career began with Zwolle in 2013, where he was hired as a youth coach. He remained in this post until 2014 when he was appointed as an assistant coach at fellow Dutch club Cambuur.

In 2017, AZ Alkmaar Head Coach John van den Brom appointed Arne Slot as his Assistant Manager. Slot went on to take over as Head Coach in 2019, and in his first season with the club (2019/20), AZ finished 2nd in a season disrupted by the pandemic.

Slot was dismissed from AZ on 5th December 2020 when it was clear that he was to leave the club. A deal was struck with Feyenoord, and the Dutchman was announced as the club’s new Head Coach on 15th December 2020. He would take over at the start of the 2021/22 Eredivisie season.

In Slot’s first season with the club, Feyenoord ended up finishing in 3rd place, with arch rivals Ajax winning the title. In an impressive debut season with the club, he also led them to the Europa Conference Final, where they lost 1-0 to Roma.

Feyenoord have of course gone on to win the 2022/23 Eredivisie title. With his impressive managerial career to date, it is no surprise that Tottenham want to appoint him as their new Head Coach.

It remains to be seen as to whether Arne Slot will end up becoming Antonio Conte’s permanent successor and Spurs’ new manager, but if he does this would be a very promising appointment for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

UPDATE: Reports emerged on 25th May that Arne Slot is in fact set to remain at Feyenoord as their Head Coach. Tottenham’s search for a permanent successor to Antonio Conte goes on.

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