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Renee Slegers’ arrival at Arsenal: What qualities does the ex-Arsenal youth bring as an assistant?

As Arsenal Women announced the appointment of Renee Slegers as the new assistant, she had already got down to work alongside Head coach Jonas Eidevall preparing to face one of her former side Linköping FC (as of writing this article, Arsenal ran out comfortable winners against them).

This article takes us through her coaching journey and some of her coaching methods with Rosengard that we might see at Arsenal:

Renee Slegers – Background

This is not the first time Renee is walking down the London Colney streets, as a youngster she was part of Arsenal Women’s where she initially spent in a competitive environment before returning to her native country Netherlands with Willem II and this also subsequently opened doors for her national Team debut in 2009.

Also read: Vincent Kompany’s Tactical Approach: Mastering Possession And Pressing

She climbed the ladder in Women’s professional football when she eventually signed for Linköping FC and it’s in 2016 when as a 27-year-old, she had to retire following a serious injury to her Knee and a subsequent Pelvic Injury, both of which just forced Renee to pursue a coaching career.

In 2021, 3 years after coaching Linköping FC, she took over Rosengard, coached by none other than Jonas Eidevall, and her work there earned a move to Arsenal to work as Jonas’ assistant.

Understanding Renee’s Game Model and her approach as a coach




Pic 2, 3, 4: Rosengard’s 4-5-1/4-4-2/4-1-4-1 system that adjusts according to various movements.

The UEFA women’s Champions League between Rosengard and Barcelona is a very good example of Renee Slegers being adaptive as a coach. After Barcelona had made light work of Benfica in a 9-0 win, Rosengard put up a stern approach, using an interesting OOP (out of possession) setup that varied between 4-5-1/4-1-4-1/4-4-2:

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  • The focus of this system is to ensure short passes in the centre are hard to play with the striker up top cover shadows Barca’s pivot (Pic 1). This way Barca’s players that are generally pushed high are unable to drop without encountering numerical overload and forces Barcelona to play long outwide, and Long balls have more favorable chances to win
  • In particular, when Barca would change Buildup strategies (if they went from a 3-1 to 4-1), the extra player from midfield can step up (Pic 4) and make it a 4-2 pressure vs 4-1 buildup backline of Barca, again a numerical advantage for Rosengard.

Barca’s quality as a world-class team would bring them the result against Rosengard eventually but Renee’s traits as a reader of the game and more importantly instill belief in Rosengard’s players to stay in the game as long as possible, both traits very helpful for Arsenal women.



Pic 5, 6: Rosengard’s Buildup vs Benfica

Rosengard’s Buildup too focuses on some general principles against teams that were far superior technically:

  • Focus on creating space between lines: In 1st phase, as seen in Pic 5, The Goalkeeper alongside CB’s split is used in buildup, this entices press to create space behind that could be explored by playing Long balls behind (Renee’s preference for vertical buildup is something that we may also see in Arsenal as time goes).
  • She preferred pushing her 8’s up to pin the opponent’s 2nd line, usually creating space between the opponent’s 1st and 2nd line where Fullbacks can explore options to dribble inside (Pic 6 is a good case where left-back of Rosengard (in black kits) has option of dribbling inside to recycle if needed or attempt give and go with the 8 dropping inside as shown by an arrow on pic

Understanding how her role would require her to transmit her coaching knowledge

Renee Slegers described that one of the reasons she joined Arsenal was that She and Jonas shared many ideas and in her own words quoted: “I’ve worked with Jonas before, so I know what he wants to do and what he wants to build. There are a lot of similarities and I was really excited to contribute. And then also looking at the quality of the squad, it’s fantastic”

Also read: Chelsea’s Last-Minute Bid For Nottingham Forest’s Taiwo Awoniyi Falls Through, Leaving Pochettino’s Strikers Short



Pic 7, 8: Jonas’s usage of a 4-4-2/4-5-1 vs Lyon

Jonas in many ways was seen using ideas that we discussed when profiling Renee, ideally a 4-4-2/4-5-1 OOP system where Stina Blackstenius and Foord in these roles would have freedom to understand to either advance or drop/stay narrow depending upon how Lyon built up their attacks. For Renee to translate ideas she shares with Jonas, it would make it very seamless for Arsenal women to get Jonas’s ideas.

Also read: Ansu Fati To Brighton: An Opportunity For The Spaniard’s Revival

Renee also described that her role would focus on working with individual players, helping in developing their game and as an ex-player her experience in this regard would prove invaluable.

Renee Slegers – Conclusion

Renee Slegers’ work as a coach at Rosengard and her connection to Arsenal Women as a youth already made Renee an ideal candidate for taking the assistant coach position. But Perhaps her understanding with Jonas with whom she has worked before and her traits as a coach that could psychologically motivate players will prove invaluable for Arsenal and bring success to the club.

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