Slot talks in full about the unprecedented performance of his team at the press conference after Slavia Prague-Feyenoord (2-2). How highly he values this achievement, the words he utters at the end of his speech prove: „Even if we had lost, I would have been proud of this team. If you see what we have mainly laid down in terms of play, not only here in Prague but also in previous rounds, it is unbelievably good. But now that we are already group winners after five games and have received the loot, I am even more proud.”
There have been enough references this season to Dick Advocaat’s Feyenoord, who played less offensively than his younger successor. Still, Slot highlights a quality that he discovered under the Lawyer at Feyenoord and that has apparently been ingrained in the players. Slot: „What Feyenoord showed here in Prague is that it is able to come back from behind. Not only against Slavia, but very often. That is not new to me, because I saw this very often last year under Lawyer. That’s great, when a team has that ability. And everyone knows that we have really needed that quality in recent weeks.”
In addition, quite a few obstacles were raised in Prague that would initially hinder a good result for Feyenoord. The blunders of the Israeli goalkeeper Ofir Marciano, which cost two goals. Sending Guus Til away, who thought that a big tackle would only give him a yellow card, but he had to leave the field with a red card. Bryan Linssen dropped out with an eye injury and the home team went so wild that they took a mountain of yellow cards, but also created dangerous theatre.
Slot: „The red card for Guus – apart from the violation that I have yet to see again – was the most bizarre thing I have ever seen. At first I thought he had protested and received a second yellow card. Then Guus himself said, no, the referee turned that card over and turned it red on the instructions of his linesman. Well, apparently it’s all part of it.”
The draw that Feyenoord forced thanks to its supersub Cyriel Dessers, caused a small party in the hotel afterwards. It has been seven years since Feyenoord wintered. Not everything, of course, was gold that shone on the field. The performance of keeper Marciano still requires some aftercare.
Slot: „It may be the first time in his life that he concedes two goals due to two mistakes of his own at this level. I told him that you have to provide a good response. Dessers was the bitten dog in the media after our loss against RKC, when he missed opportunities. But look where he is now. That’s the life of a goalkeeper and a striker, sometimes you’re the hero, sometimes the schlemiel. Now it’s up to Marciano to come back like Dessers. I would really like that.”
In the competition, the Belgian striker has had a taste for it for a while, but in Europe Dessers is now also worth gold for Feyenoord. In Prague he scored his second and third European goal. The first came of course on November 4 in Berlin against Union Berlin, where he saved Feyenoord.
Feyenoord’s entire European campaign is full of goals and is in the hands of six players. Luis Sinisterra has seven goals, Guus Til has six, Alireza Jahanbakhsh has four, Bryan Linssen has three, just as many as the often relieving Dessers and Orkun Kökcü found the net once.
Dessers was very proud of the performance of the entire team afterwards, without giving much thought to his own performance. “I don’t think it’s collegial to talk about my goals or about a starting spot. That is not fair to my fellow strikers or the trainer. I just try to be there as a striker every time I have to fill in. Whether in the 85th, 65th or 25th minute. I want to do my thing and I always succeed, I am very happy about that.”
“Of all groups, besides Vitesse, we perhaps had the toughest opponents. It’s great that we are certain of group victory and wintering one round before the end. It is even better that we cross the line in such a race with ten men.”
Source: De Telegraaf by www.telegraaf.nl.
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