Blog > News & Trivia

Staff Roundup: The Key Appointments in World Football: May 10-24

Staff Roundup: The Key Appointments in World Football: May 10-24

After nine gruelling months of high-quality football, tactical innovation and physical battling, the Premier League season has come to an end. Manchester City made history by becoming the first team in English top flight history to win fourth league titles in a row, clinching the trophy on the final day with a win against West Ham. Their record-breaking boss Pep Guardiola is contracted until next summer, so he will be staying in place to compete for yet another division title. However, across the rest of the Premier League, and much further afield, there has been plenty of change in the last couple of weeks, from the high-profile departure of Jurgen Klopp from Liverpool to the domino-like movement of various other assistants and coaches all over Europe and beyond.

In our second biweekly staff roundup of the summer, we'll be guiding you through some of the most significant changes that have taken place behind the scenes over the last two weeks, from coaches and analysts to sporting directors and executives.

Arne Slot, Liverpool

Everyone has known for weeks that 2022/23 title-winning Feyenoord boss Arne Slot would be heading to Liverpool to replace Jurgen Klopp this summer, but earlier this week the Reds finally confirmed their new appointment.

The hotly-tipped (and super ambitious) Dutch coach will formally take up his new position on 1st June, and while it will be extremely difficult to match up to Klopp's levels, the departing German club legend leaves Liverpool's first team in a strong place, with plenty of talent and youth in place to guide the club into a new era. Amongst that squad is a strong Dutch contingent that Slot will hope to inspire, containing Virgil van Dijk, Cody Gakpo and Ryan Gravenberch.


Pepijn Linders, Red Bull Salzburg

Red Bull's multi-club ownership model has attracted criticism from some quarters, but it has also led to plenty of footballing success for the teams within its umbrella. RB Salzburg have been dominant in the Austrian Bundesliga in recent seasons, and the club will be hoping that the appointment of Dutchman Pepijn Linders will keep them on that course for the foreseeable future. Their new Head Coach — appointed to his new role on 16th May —  has spent most of the last decade working at Liverpool, as an U16s coach, a first team development coach, and most recently an assistant manager. 

His only senior management experience came with a brief spell at Dutch side NEC Nijmegen, but RB Salzburg were clearly impressed enough with his work here that they trusted him to guide the club forward. The new boss said: "I want to develop a mentality with the team that places a lot of emphasis on attacking style of play and where passion and hunger for success are the basis of everything."

Robin van Persie, Heerenveen

It's been a big couple of weeks for high-profile Dutch footballers making managerial switches, but Robin van Persie is by far the most famous name from the Netherlands on this list. On 17th May, the former Arsenal and Manchester United striker was named as the new manager of Eredivisie club Heerenveen, signing a two-year deal to secure his first ever managerial role.

The 40-year-old is taking over from Kees van Wonderen, whose contract recently came to an end after two years at the club. Van Persie dubbed the new opportunity "a fantastic challenge to contribute to the sporting ambitions and development of the club."

Natasha Patel, US Soccer

Over a decade working at Southampton, Natasha Patel developed a reputation as one of the most trusted analysts in the game and one of the highest-flying women working in men's football. She joined the south coast club in 2011 as part of their embryonic analysis department, before graduating to Head of Performance Analysis and Assistant Academy Director. This experience prompted New York Red Bulls to headhunt her in 2019, and her time in the MLS clearly attracted the attention of Stateside soccer recruiters, as she's now been appointed Director of Analytics for US Soccer. She'll be working closely with Matt Crocker, the Sporting Director of US Soccer, who also worked with Patel at Southampton. As soccer in the US continues to grow, this represents a huge opportunity for the incoming Director of Analytics to gain even more respect within the game.

Pablo Sanz, Oscar Caro, Juan Peinado, Borja De Alba, Edu Rubio, West Ham United

Incoming West Ham United boss Julen Lopategui (whose move we reported on in the last edition of our biweekly staff roundup) has announced which coaches he'll be bringing in to join him at his new club in east London. In total, five new names have been revealed; Pablo Sanz will be Assistant Head Coach, Oscar Caro will be Head of Performance and Assistant Coach, Juan Peinado will join as Head of Analysis and Assistant Coach, while Borja De Alba will be Fitness Coach and Edu Rubio Technical Coach. It's a big period of upheaval behind the scenes, with a number of backroom staff departing including Nick Davies, Kevin Nolan, John Heitinga and Billy McKinlay. The former Real Madrid and Spain coach is wasting no time when it comes to putting his stamp on the club.

Neil Warnock, Torquay United

75-year-old veteran English manager Neil Warnock just can't stay away from football. The former manager of a whopping 17 clubs including Sheffield United, Leeds, QPR, Cardiff, and Notts County has presided over an incredible 1626 professional matches; but now, he's turning his hand to a slightly gentler behind-the-scenes role.

As National League South side Torquay United attempt to plot their rise up the English football pyramid, Warnock will be joining the club's board of directors as a football advisor. "You can't just retire and get the chicken eggs in and walk the dog, you've got to have something," he told BBC Sport following the appointment. "It's nice to put something back in." Torquay fans will be hoping that his vast experience in the game can pay dividends.

Steve Gallen, Millwall

Millwall's departing Director of Football Alex Aldridge has been replaced by Steve Gallen, who has been based at fellow south-east London club Millwall over the last seven years, working as Director of Football and most recently Head of Recruitment.

Gallen clearly has an eye for talent; at Charlton, he played a key role in securing the loan signings of promising players like Conor Gallagher and Josh Cullen. His new club evidently believe he can replicate this success at The Den, and help the club bounce back from a disappointing season in which they finished in the bottom half of the table for the first time since 2018/19.

Vincent Kompany, Bayern Munich (Potential Appointment)

Before we go, let's turn our attention to an extremely surprising story that has been developing over the last few days. Former Manchester City captain and Burnley manager Vincent Kompany — who has just been relegated from the Premier League after accumulating only 24 points during the 2023/24 season — is in advanced talks with Bayern Munich to become their next manager. 

In their search for a replacement for Thomas Tuchel, the German giants reportedly approached several managers including Julian Nagelsmann and Ralf Ragnick, before landing on Kompany as a back-up option (according to some reports, their eight choice manager). While the imposing 38-year-old coach has played some attractive possession-based football at Burnley and won the 2022/23 Championship title in some style, this appointment would still be a massive shock to the vast majority of football fans. The deal is yet to be confirmed, but it would have been remiss of us not to report on this major turn of events in the European football staff world.