How does Slot stack up?

Comparing Arne Slot and Erik ten Hag’s managerial records in the Eredivisie

Arne Slot looks set to become Liverpool’s next manager – though some fans might be forgiven for being a little apprehensive given the last highly-thought-of bald Dutch tactician to go from the Eredivisie to a high-profile Premier League job is currently under immense pressure.

It looks increasingly unlikely that Ten Hag will remain in his post at Old Trafford next season, his stock having fallen considerably since he was regarded among European football’s next great coaches whilst he was consistently delivering silverware at Ajax.

Ten Hag built more than one very good Ajax side during his five-year stint in the Dutch capital. He brought through a number of talented players, won three Eredivisie titles and two KNVB Cups. He came seconds away from leading the club to the 2019 Champions League final, having knocked out both Real Madrid and Juventus en route to the semis.

In recent weeks he’s gone on the defensive in his press conferences, pointing out that he’s taken Manchester United to three of four domestic cup finals during his two seasons at Old Trafford.

While there were some notable question marks – that 7-0 against Liverpool, a very poor away record against top sides – there was plenty to be encouraged about from Ten Hag’s first season in English football. He ended United’s six-year trophy drought with the League Cup, showed leadership in binning off Cristiano Ronaldo and got them back into the Champions League.

But he might need to lead United to an unlikely victory over Man City in next month’s FA Cup final to salvage something from a much more underwhelming second year.

Some hapless displays resulted in them failing to make it out of their Champions League group, while results in the Premier League have left them almost certain to finish outside the top four. Performances have arguably been ever worse, with underlying numbers painting a picture of a solidly bottom-half side. They might yet register their worst placing and points tally of the Premier League era.

So there’s a degree of logic in looking at their biggest rivals and fearing the same will happen with Slot at Anfield. It is worth considering Jose Mourinho’s famous ‘football heritage’ spiel, however; United have struggled for over a decade since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure and Ten Hag’s tenure is merely a continuation of that at a club that have been run questionably – to put it mildly – behind the scenes.

Liverpool have tended to fare considerably better in recent years. And with recruitment specialist Michael Edwards returning to the fore, there’s an argument that the hierarchy will give Slot a better chance of success.

Like Ten Hag two years ago, Slot boasts a strong reputation at Feyenoord. He’s won at Eredivisie title and a KNVB Cup and led them to the UEFA Conference League finals in 2021-22. He reportedly turned down Leeds and Tottenham last year but is believed to be keen on the opportunity at Liverpool.

Ten Hag and Slot actually boast remarkably similar records in the Eredivisie, although the former had more experience with almost a hundred more games under his belt. Slot’s win percentage and points-per-game is marginally better, although Ten Hag’s side scored at a slightly greater rate and conceded fewer.

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Here’s how their records in the Dutch top flight stack up against one another.

Arne Slot’s Eredivisie Record – AZ & Feyenoord

Games: 131
Won: 90
Drawn: 25
Lost: 16

Win percentage: 68%
Loss percentage: 12%

Goals per game: 2.34
Goals against per game: 1.11

Points per game: 2.25

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Erik ten Hag’s Eredivisie Record – Utrecht & Ajax

Games: 228
Won: 153
Drawn: 35
Lost: 40

Win percentage: 67%
Loss percentage: 17%

Goals per game: 2.45
Goals against per game: 0.99

Points per game: 2.17