Teams /  Denmark  / Denmark 
Denmark have 940 Fans
World Cup 2010: Danish backsides hover above bacon-slicer, but hopes still high
Lars Eriksen - 4 years ago

As Norwegian insults go, this was right up there with Maggie Thatcher's boys taking "one hell of a beating". International criticism rained down on Denmark after their 2-0 defeat to Holland in the Group E opener, but none was more painful than Norway's Dagbladet comparing the ambition and tactics of Morten Olsen's team to that of Egil 'Drillo' Olsen, the Norwegian manager whose long-ball approach has bored crowds senseless from Oslo to Wimbledon.

Drillo himself even joined the chorus. "You saw Nicklas Bendtner was weakened," the Norway manager said. "Then they had Dennis Rommedahl who created something, but Denmark have huge shortcomings going forward. It was made very obvious in the game [against Holland]." Could it really be true that the footballing nation of Danish Dynamite, the Laudrups and the aspirational attacking ethos has turned into a carbon copy of the creatively defeatist Norwegian model?

It you take a closer look at Denmark's current squad, it would be hugely unfair to even mention them in the same breath as the 80s team. Sepp Piontek's red and white pinstriped legends, who took the world by the storm in Mexico 1986 only to crash out in the most heartbreaking fashion, contained some of the best players in Europe at the peak of their careers. However, the backbone of the current squad is an admirable yet shaky old guard. While Martin Jørgensen was a revelation when he was introduced to the world stage at France 1998, it's frustrating to see the AGF midfielder running out of steam and having to be dragged off after 60 minutes. The proof should be in the numbers. Alongside Jørgensen's 97 caps, the quartet of Jon Dahl Tomasson, Rommedahl, Jesper Grønkjær and Christian Poulsen have combined for more than 350 internationals.

So, the consensus among the manager and some commentators after the Holland game was that Denmark had done OK considering the limited options available. Despite the goal-giving gaffe by the otherwise decent Simon Poulsen, the defence is our strongest suit and going forward ... well, it's probably as good as it gets. It's the same soul-crushing realisation you get when you are invited to the prom, only to find yourself standing alone by the punch bowl all night while all the cool jocks are putting the moves on your date.

However, there is still plenty of time for Olsen's team to charm its way back into this party. Admittedly, there isn't much room for manoeuvre when it comes to out-and-out strikers, and you would have to question the wisdom of bringing only three players for this position: the fading Tomasson, the perennially injured Bendtner and Søren Larsen, who the Denmark manager admits is not good enough to be in the starting 11.

On the plus side, there is one great hope in midfield in the shape of 18-year old wonderkid Christian Eriksen from Ajax. No, he is not the new Laudrup and it would be ludicrously unfair to pin a country's hopes on a teenager who has hardly been blooded at this stage. Right now, however, he does seem like the only option of generating some excitement into this team and Olsen would do wisely to introduce him to the starting line-up. During an otherwise miserable spell for Denmark leading up to and including the first game at the World Cup, the young playmaker's quick bursts and ball-handling skills have been an oasis of encouragement.

With a little bit of chutzpah and attacking ambition this Denmark team could still dish out one hell of a beating to Cameroon tonight and progress in South Africa.

This is not a news report and may contain views expressed by the author which are not supported by GNM.

Share your thoughts
Sign in to comment

Latest News, Blogs & Podcasts

BBC News - 1 week ago
A project in Denmark is encouraging homeless people to get off the streets and onto the football pitch - with dramatic results. The coin is tossed. In just a few seconds the game kicks off. While running up and down the field, trying to score a goal ...
"It was huge. ...the big thing was to get respect back to Denmark football. That was huge. The stands were packed again. The community really has rallied around us this offseason in helping us fundraise with things." Perhaps the most exciting part of ...
The Kalundborg site itself, which houses several more production facilities, is the size of 156 football fields, about 1 million square meters. "We could play a lot of football here," jokes Jan Hoff, Novo's SVP who heads the Kalundborg production site ...
Squawka Football News - 12 hours ago
Leeds United are reportedly interested in midfielder Casper Sloth who plays for Aarhus, according to reports. The Championship club have been busy this summer signing Nicky Ajose, Giuseppe Bellusci, Zan Benedicic, Gaetano Berardi, Tommaso Bianchi, ...
Appleton Post Crescent - 6 minutes ago
The teams replacing those schools in the EVC will be Denmark, Luxemburg-Casco, Marinette and Oconto Falls, currently in the Bay; as well as Wrightstown, which plays in the Olympian-Packerland-Large Division. That means big rivalry games such as those ...
Deutsche Welle - 12 hours ago
It was "the last registered football club" to have achieved this feat, said the club's president Bernd Wahler in a newspaper interview. The probability of a registered football association winning a national championship again is very low, he added ...
Appleton Post Crescent - 6 minutes ago
Menasha has bid farewell to the Valley Football Association and this season joins the Bay Conference, where the Bluejays immediately become the favorites in the eyes of most prognosticators. Menasha is coming off a 10-3 season in which the Bluejays ...
Greek Reporter - 14 hours ago
APOEL Nicosia grabbed a precious 1-1 draw against Aalborg in Denmark for the Champions League Playoffs. The 2014 Champions are the only team from Cyprus remaining, fighting for a Champions League Group Stage spot. In the 2011-12 season, APOEL stunned ...
Channel News Asia - 8 hours ago
Harry Kane (R) of Tottenham celebrates with his teammates during their Europa League play-offs first leg football match against AEL Limassol at Antonis Papadopoulos stadium in Larnaca, Cyprus. (AP/Petros Karadjias). Enlarge; Caption. PARIS: Tottenham ...
The Guardian - 1 day ago
Denmark's chances of having two sides in the group stage for the first time look remote after Copenhagen's home defeat against the seasoned campaigners Leverkusen. Stefan Kiessling gave the Bundesliga side a fifth-minute lead, only for the Danes to hit ...

Latest Photo Galleries

World Cup 2010: Holland v Denmark in pictures
4 years ago
Tom Jenkins captures the best of the pictures as Holland take on Denmark at Soccer City
Kick4Life - changing lives through football