THU: 12º/5º FRI: 15º/3º
Youngster steals the show despite defeat
Denmark’s 1-2 loss to England a reflection of its weakness in depth, not its first choice elevenDenmark’s 1-2 defeat to England at Parken last week on Wedneseday proved two things: the national football team’s ‘B side’ isn’t very good, but in its young attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen, the country has one of the most exciting prospects in world football.
It was a game of two halves: the first finished 1-1 despite Denmark dominating, the second 0-1 as England threatened to score a hatful, but in both Eriksen shone. The Ajax player laid on the first goal with an inch-perfect cross, hit the post, and set up countless more, the pick of which was an audacious back-heel for Dennis Rommedahl when the game was there for the taking midway through the second half. Unfortunately, it fell to the veteran left winger’s right foot and he scuffed his shot.
But despite Eriksen’s efforts, Denmark lost a friendly in which each team used their full allocation of 17 players. Daniel Agger’s early header was cancelled out by a Darren Bent tap-in when defender Simon Poulsen should have done better, and in the second half Ashley Young scored a deserved winner as England’s ‘second eleven’ dominated with a strong Aston Villa presence in its attack.
Eriksen, according to English tabloid The Sun, was “the star of the show”, a view shared by every Danish and English newspaper last week. “Expect him to be linked with a big-money move across the North Sea by the weekend,” it contended.
The Guardian newspaper gave a more in-depth analysis: “When the Danes prospered, their play revolved around the brilliance of their own teenager of the moment, Christian Eriksen. His invention unsettled the visitors. He may not yet be strong enough to thrive in English football, and his influence rather waned after the interval, but he has the trickery, delivery and exquisite technique to flourish wherever his club career takes him.” (bh)
Factfile | Christian Eriksen
The 170cm-tall midfielder, born in Middelfart in Jutland, turned 19 on Monday.
He was the youngest player present at the 2010 World Cup, and made substitute appearances in the losses against Holland and Japan.
He signed for Ajax in October 2008 for close to 10 million kroner, and his current contract expires in the summer of 2014.
He made his debut in January 2010, and has already played 28 games this season, scoring three goals.
He had already attracted the interest of London clubs Arsenal and Chelsea. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was alerted to his talent by Dutchman Dennis Bergkamp.
Now Liverpool, AC Milan, Manchester United and Barcelona have also been linked with a summer bid for a player the Danish media call the ‘new Michael Laudrup’.