Report: Liverpool Already Eyeing Huge Appointment After Arne Slot’s Arrival

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Liverpool FC’s Strategic Move: Investing in a Specialist Set-piece Coach

Reds Gear Up for Tactical Edge

Liverpool’s decision to appoint a specialist set-piece coach as part of incoming manager Arne Slot’s backroom team signals a significant strategic shift. Traditionally, set-piece duties at Anfield fell to the assistant coaches under Jurgen Klopp’s regime, with Pep Lijnders and Peter Krawietz at the helm. However, in a departure from this practice, Slot, freshly signed from Feyenoord, is charting a new course by seeking a dedicated expert in this area.

This move aligns with a growing trend across the Premier League, where clubs are recognising the substantial impact of set-pieces on the game’s dynamics. Notably, Nicolas Jover’s success at Arsenal has underscored the potential gains; Arsenal emerged as a dominant force from dead-ball situations this season, netting 20 goals from these opportunities. Liverpool’s own performance last season, with 15 goals from set-pieces, provides a solid foundation for this new appointment.

Photo: IMAGO

A Growing Premier League Trend

Liverpool are not alone in their pursuit of set-piece excellence. Chelsea’s recent acquisition of Bernardo Cueva from Brentford and Aston Villa’s employment of Austin MacPhee highlight the league-wide emphasis on capitalising on this often-underutilised aspect of football. The success stories of these specialists, like MacPhee’s significant contributions to Villa’s set-piece goals, are testament to their value.

The Role of a Set-piece Specialist

The responsibilities of Liverpool’s new set-piece coach will be multifaceted. The coach will not only design and run team sessions aimed at refining both defensive and offensive set-piece strategies but will also focus on individual skills such as delivery and finishing. This tailored approach could be crucial for Liverpool as they look to improve on their set-piece performance and gain an edge in tightly contested matches.

Building on a Strong Foundation

Under Klopp, Liverpool already boasted a robust set-piece strategy, and the new specialist will be expected to build on this to further enhance the team’s capabilities. As David Lynch from This is Anfield reports, “Liverpool confirmed the appointment of Slot on a three-year contract on Monday, with the Dutchman set to formally begin work on June 1.” With Slot at the helm, alongside his trusted team including assistant Sipke Hulshoff, head of performance Ruben Peeters, and technical advisor Etienne Reijnen, Liverpool are positioning themselves for a fresh tactical approach that leverages every possible advantage.

In summary, Liverpool’s decision to invest in a set-piece specialist is a clear indication of the club’s intent to remain competitive at the highest levels by embracing a more nuanced and specialised approach to football tactics. This strategic shift is a proactive move to harness an area of the game that, while often overlooked, has proven to be a critical element in achieving footballing success.

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