Tottenham frontrunner Arne Slot had the best managerial win ratio in AZ Alkmaar history when he was asked to leave the club back in 2020 – because he had lost focus on the jobs.
Arne Slot – the new front-runner for the Tottenham job – was once sacked by a club for ‘losing focus’.
The Dutchman is the current favourite to be the permanent successor to Antonio Conte, who left Spurs in the wake of his astonishing tirade about the club following a 3-3 draw at Southampton back in March.
Cristian Stellini and now Ryan Mason have taken charge in a caretaker capacity as Spurs flail in their efforts to find a top-level boss having decided to overlook Mauricio Pochettino, who now looks set to join Chelsea.
Slot has built an impressive reputation in his homeland since landing his first job in management with AZ Alkmaar. Following the Covid-interrupted 2019/20 season, Slot enjoyed a nine-game unbeaten run and was averaging 2.11 points per game – the highest in the club’s history – when he was suddenly sacked.
The club was clear on its reasons, claiming Slot had lost focus amid speculation linking him with a move to Feyenoord, where he would end up the next calendar year.
“We spoke with Arne Slot in response to the earlier reports [linking him with Feyenoord],” said their technical director Max Huiberts in a club statement.
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“As a club we have elected for an immediate departure. At AZ we want a head coach who is fully focused on AZ.
“We would like to thank Arne Slot for the past three-and-a-half years, the successes that we have achieved together and we wish him success in his further career.”
The decision was backed by the players too, with Calvin Stengs saying at the time: “This trainer has given us a lot. I worked with him for four years and he brought how we play. It’s tricky and it’s tough, but it’s the way it is.
“I also understand the management if he has indeed spoken [with Feyenoord]. As AZ we want to compete with some teams and that includes Feyenoord. If the trainer were to go to a competitor, then that is simply not possible.