Christian Eriksen is the man who the Boys in Green faithful believe could blow Ireland’s World Cup dreams out of the water according to an article in The Irish Examiner.
The article starts by saying Danish fans view our Number 23 as the new Michael Laudrup, and that the Denmark coach Age Hareide has said simply: “When we get the ball, the first thing we do is look for Christian.”
The piece continues adding that it seems longer than four years since then national coach Morten Olsen publically castigated Eriksen, still only 22 at the time, after defeat to Portugal in a European championship qualifier.
It tells how Eriksen had just joined us from Ajax a year before, and Olsen reckoned the move to the Premier League should have resulted in an improvement to the young star’s game.
“After so many matches he could pick up the ball and help to control the game. He has not been able to,” the article quotes Olsen as saying and he also complained of Eriksen’s “sloppiness” and said: “He must stand up to the criticism.”
The article adds that such criticism was also more frequent in the stands at White Hart Lane than some Spurs fans may care to admit now
It’s says there was a feeling that Eriksen lacked that extra spark that would allow him to pull the strings however it does say he has progressed under Mauricio Pochettino into one of the most effective club players in Europe, so Hareide’s adoption of a five-man midfield has enabled Eriksen to flourish on the international stage too.
The article compares Eriksen’s game with that of team mate Dele Alli. It says Eriksen has learnt the value of pacing his game, of sitting back and looking for options.
By contrast, Alli’s natural tendency is to get forward, to make the kind of probing runs a support striker is expected to make.
And in consequence, he’ll sometimes become frustrated, exhausted, or both.
Eriksen’s patience makes a big difference according to the author adding that his passing is neat and tidy, there’s rarely a wasted ball.
His set-piece delivery is exceptional — and him being due one of his spectacular free-kick goals will be a fact not lost on fans of Ireland.
It goes on to talk about what he (Eriksen) has brought to his all-round game — the final riposte to Olsen’s criticisms perhaps? — and the article cites an example from our recent 3-1 humbling of European champions Real Madrid.
It explains that for the third goal “Eriksen spotted the chance to break at speed, deftly received a well-judged pass from Harry Kane, held off the attentions of Luka Modric — a symbolic battle-win in itself — and slotted home coolly.
As the ball nestled in the net he cantered to the home end smiling, drank in the celebrations briefly, and then returned to work”
It is no-fuss attitude epitomised his approach says the author & that Mauricio Pochettino says he is “a player that does not need too much the feedback of the fans, the media, the people outside. He does not need to be recognised.”
It concludes by saying Eriksen simply wants to play, to achieve for the sake of achieving, and that this perhaps explains why he is such a valuable asset, and provides a welcome antidote to the pumped-up self-importance of much in modern football.
It quotes Eriksen saying this week: “I don’t think Ireland will just focus on one player. However, I hope they will, because then I’m sure other players will take over.”
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