Arnesen reveals reason for deviating from appointment with Kuyt to make him head coach: ‘Did Dirk find difficult’

Frank Arnesen did not want to fulfill the promise to move Dirk Kuyt on as head coach of Feyenoord. The former international was promised a role as a trainer of the team from Rotterdam by the previous board, but the technical director who has since left personally told Kuyt that it would not be a good idea. Eventually Arne Slot succeeded Dick Advocaat and with success.

Things went well under Advocaat and Arnesen saw no reason to move Kuyt on. “When I came to Feyenoord, Dick was a trainer,” says the Dane in conversation with Football International. “He did so well and it was so quiet that we wanted to continue for another year. Dirk Kuyt was ready to succeed him. He seemed to have that promise in his pocket. At first I wanted to conform to the promises that were made, only it was a bit unclear. I have had long conversations with Dirk, sometimes intense. He had trained Feyenoord Under-19. I said: Dirk, don’t do it, go and gain experience first. Do I know how it works? Coaching is an experiential profession. If it goes wrong, your career is over before it has even started.”

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Something else was devised for Kuyt to involve him in the club. “Dirk understood that, but still found it very difficult. Eventually the supervisory board also gave the assignment to look for a trainer with more experience. For Dirk, Feyenoord had Under-21 in mind, a team that had to win and develop. Ideal for a trainer who strives for the same. But Dirk didn’t want that.”

In the end, Kuyt became a trainer of ADO Den Haag, where things did not go as they should. The former international was fired and replaced by Lawyer. Slot came over from AZ at Feyenoord and in his first year the head coach reached the final of the Conference League. In this season, the coach became champion with the team from Rotterdam and is in the interest of clubs in the Premier League.

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