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Sports News of Saturday, 31 December 2022


Super Eagles star says Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is the best coach he ever had

Erik ten Hag Erik ten Hag

Super Eagles forward Cyriel Dessers has revealed he has high regard for Feyenoord head coach Arne Slot and Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, maintaining the two are the best he has ever worked with.

Cyriel Dessers and Erik ten Hag worked together for a few months in 2017 at FC Utrecht, a club Ten Hag served as the sporting director and head coach from the summer of 2015 to December 2017.

Ten Hag left Utrecht to become the manager of Ajax and in May this year, he was appointed to take charge at Manchester United.

Dessers also left Utrecht in 2019 to join Heracles Almelo and a year later he teamed up with Belgian giants KRC Genk.

The 28-year-old striker was back in the Netherlands in 2021 to sign for Feyenoord on loan from Genk, where he was tutored by Dutch tactician Arne Slot.

And Dessers is clear that the two coaches, far more than any tacticians he has worked with, are his favourites.

In an interview with NU (via Soccernews), Dessers said, “You can see that he (Arne Slot) is a very great trainer.

“I have had other trainers who told a bullshit story, kept me on the line or gave false promises. Then you get frustrations.

“Slot knew how the opponent played and countered it completely. He thought two, three steps ahead. Together with Erik ten Hag, he is the best trainer I’ve had.”

Which is Dessers’ best career match?

With Feyenoord, Dessers reached the greatest heights of his career to date, as the Dutch side reached the final of the maiden edition of the Europa Conference League.
Dessers was the competition’s top goalscorer with ten goals.

The Cremonese targetman has fond memories of that tournament, insisting that it played a key role in making 2022 the best year of his career.

Feyenoord defeated Marseille 3-2 at home in the semifinals – Dessers scored the opening goal – and the Nigerian attacker is convinced it is the most memorable match he has ever played in.

“It still gives me goosebumps. The stadium exploded in such a way… The best match of my career? Absolutely, no doubt about it. Everything was right.

“It has without a doubt been the best year of my career. It’s one of the best locker rooms I’ve ever had. Everyone was focused and no one complained. It is unbelievable that I am part of the rich history of Feyenoord.”

Dessers left Feyenoord to return to Genk in the summer and in August he moved permanently to the Italian Serie A to join Cremonese.

He has two goals in 13 appearances for the newly promoted side.