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Category: Christian Eriksen

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Tottenham must prove no one is irreplaceable – not even Christian Eriksen

Spurs are facing a dilemma over the Danish playmaker but he is not likely to sulk even if he stays so they need to make the most of the situation and plan aheadAston Villa ought to feel flattered. Following Christian Eriksen’s match-winning cameo from …

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Christian Eriksen running short of options for future away from Spurs

Only a handful of sides have the resources and stature to attract the midfielder and he could end up staying at Tottenham“In my mind I have had the following list for a long time: Ajax-Arsenal-Barcelona. Call it the Marc Overmars route,” Frenkie de Jon…

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Christian Eriksen due at Tottenham training after wish to go brings no bids

• Spurs midfielder has said he wants a new challenge• His situation has been complicated by Paul Pogba scenarioChristian Eriksen is set to join up with his Tottenham teammates by the end of the week for pre-season training despite having made plain his…

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Christian Eriksen’s loss would be costly for Tottenham, says Danny Rose

• ‘When Christian doesn’t play … we don’t look the same’• Left-back wants the powers that be to get behind the teamDanny Rose has called on the Tottenham hierarchy to ensure Christian Eriksen remains at the club next season and for many more thereafter…

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Christian Eriksen set to return for Tottenham at West Ham

• Mauricio Pochettino says midfielder will either start or be sub• Eriksen’s agent plays down comments by Denmark managerChristian Eriksen will be available for Tottenham’s visit to West Ham on Saturday, according to Mauricio Pochettino, despite the un…

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Croatia’s Luka Modric fluffs big line but still prevails in duel with Eriksen | Kieran Pender

Real playmaker’s class is evident, though not everything went perfectly when he faced his Danish successor at TottenhamLeafy Nizhny Novgorod, at the confluence of the Oka and Volga rivers, has witnessed geniuses in action before. Maxim Gorky, a five-ti…

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The Football Atlas: the illustrations putting the World Cup on the map

Michael Raisch has combined his love of maps, football and design to create a series of love letters to the World Cup Interview by Will Sharp for These Football TimesArtist and designer Michael Raisch has combined his expertise in photorealistic portr…

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Tottenham have improved beyond all recognition, says Christian Eriksen

• Completely different from when I came, adds Danish midfielder• Eriksen’s name in the frame for another improved contractChristian Eriksen said that Tottenham are virtually unrecognisable from the club he joined in 2013 as he reflected upon Tuesday ni…

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Christian Eriksen is our Special One, says Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino

• Midfielder nicknamed ‘the Screamer’ needs only to feel the love at Spurs
• Victor Wanyama fit to return against Bournemouth after back injury

Christian Eriksen is joint top of the Premier League assists’ chart this season. The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder has created more chances than any other player in the division, and comfortably so.

Related: Dele Alli’s latest delight sparks Tottenham Hotspur’s rout of Watford

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The Dozen: the weekend’s best Premier League photos

Your weekend roundup of the best photography from the top flight

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The Dozen: the weekend’s best Premier League photos

Your weekend roundup of the best photography from the top flight

Follow us on Instagram for more great sports photography

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Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen keen to have last laugh on Kasper Schmeichel

Erikson and his Denmark team-mate at Leicester are fierce rivals in the title race and the Tottenham midfielder is determined his side will keep up the pressure

Christian Eriksen needed a table in London, at one of the capital’s hot places, and he needed somebody to help him get it. So the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder turned to a fixer – the Leicester City goalkeeper, and his Denmark team-mate, Kasper Schmeichel. “I needed a table from some of his contacts,” Eriksen says. “I just texted him the other day.”

The exchange, though, quickly came to address the table that consumes them, the one that shows Leicester seven points clear of Tottenham at the top. “I said to him: ‘Good luck winning – or not,’” Eriksen says, with a smile. “And he said the same back.”

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Christian Eriksen: We showed we can play against Chelsea and beat them

Tottenham’s young Dane has packed a lot into a short career and is ready to start winning titles, starting with the Capital One Cup against Chelsea

Christian Eriksen is used to pressure. The man who carries Tottenham’s hopes of a first trophy in seven years has been the darling of Danish football since a teenager, played in four finals with Ajax where he signed at 16 and used to lock his bedroom door after a bad game to avoid speaking with his father.

He grew up shouldering the weight of a nation’s expectation, proclaimed as the next Michael Laudrup, and has become accustomed to ever-present, hyperbolic epithets during a career that remains in its infancy. Eriksen, still only 23, has had to deal with such hype for many years. This season, though, he has certainly justified it.

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Christian Eriksen: Tottenham’s late winners down to raised fitness

• ‘We’re still 100% ready to go at the end of the game’
• ‘Europa League has prepared us for festive schedule’
• Match report: Swansea City 1-2 Tottenham

Christian Eriksen believes Tottenham Hotspur’s new fitness levels are responsible for their dramatic late shows in the Premier League.

Eriksen came up with an 89th-minute winner in the 2-1 victory at Swansea City on Sunday to maintain Spurs’ recent fine away form and take Mauricio Pochettino’s side up to seventh in the table.

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Tottenham’s Eriksen compared to Bergkamp after late goal at West Brom

Tottenham playmaker’s cool finish hailed as ‘Bergkampesque’ Fightback to draw 3-3 with West Brom papers over cracks Continue reading…

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Christian Eriksen proving the perfect playmaker for Tottenham Hotspur | Barney Ronay

Understated but assiduously effective on the ball, Eriksen is enjoying making his mark at Spurs and in the Premier League

Another week, another fraught selection of noises off at Tottenham Hotspur: Spurs may be on course for a creditable fifth place in the Premier League but this season will surely take its place as one of the more relentlessly tortured episodes of par-score achievement in recent Premier League history. If there is something almost endearingly overblown about the scale of dissatisfaction – capped this week by apocalyptic statements of censure from Tim Sherwood towards his squad – then there was at least a reassuring consistency about the return of Christian Eriksen in the Europa League defeat at home to Benfica on Thursday night.

A symbol of soft-pedalled optimism in a frantic season, Eriksen produced another persuasive performance of sideways-shunted creativity from his position on the left of midfield. Spurs host Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon with their season now apparently in the balance and a manager in a state of potentially terminal funk. If there is a note of positivity it is surely here. Never mind the bluster. Where there is Eriksen there is – quietly, methodically – hope.

Not that the club’s shrewdest signing of that rapacious summer spree is the type to shout his own merits too loudly. Eight months on from a relatively low-key summer move from Ajax – a rare note of clarity in the great jangling symphony by numbers that was Tottenham’s post-Gareth Bale transfer window – Eriksen still seems pleasantly surprised that he is able to travel on the tube or go to the cinema in London without being recognised. But then Eriksen, the most understated of high-grade attacking midfielders, has always tended to operate by stealth, a gloriously talented 22-year-old who in his midweek post-training kit looks less like one of Europe’s select band of tyro millionaire sportsmen and more like a trainee quantity surveyor just back from a lunchtime game of squash. It is a misleading air of nonchalance. After a season muddied by injury and managerial change Eriksen will make his Premier League return in the north London derby an increasingly settled and even – whisper it – quietly effective, creative influence.

“I’m not a player to defend or run around, I want the ball,” he says of his distinctive light-touch style, speaking at Tottenham’s beautifully high-spec, new-era complex in Enfield. But this is also a little misleading, as Eriksen is above all a team player, whose worth this season is perhaps best measured Moneyball-style by its bare statistical returns. Since Christmas Spurs have lost three times – to Arsenal, Manchester City and now Benfica – when Eriksen has had at least half an hour on the pitch. In that period he has scored five goals and provided three assists in 11 matches. In the past three months he has more goals and assists combined than Mesut Özil, David Silva, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard. Against this a total of 19 players moved into or out of the Premier League last summer for more than Eriksen’s cut-price £11.5m fee, which looks an increasingly convincing candidate for bargain of the summer.

It has been a sure-footed early spring rise to not-quite-prominence, so much so that when Eriksen chides his team-mates, mildly, for the muted nature of last weekend’s 4-0 defeat at Chelsea it is with a degree of gathering authority. “It is always hard when the referee is against you. Then Chelsea scored goals from personal mistakes, so it’s easy for them of course and it makes it more difficult for us to come back. I think you still have in your head that you lost 6-0 or whatever [against Manchester City], so you want to keep it as short as possible and maybe that’s why you play more for the 2-0 and not the 6-0.”

Spurs’ tendency to collapse against teams above them in the league has cast a pall over preparations for a season-ending spell that includes matches against Arsenal and Liverpool as well as the return leg against Benfica. “You can’t get in the top four if you can’t beat the clubs who are in the top four,” Eriksen says. “I don’t know how big the gap is. It’s bigger than we would have hoped but we know we’re not that far. But we need to start winning against the top four before we can start to be compared equally.”

Victory against Arsenal would be an excellent place to start. “I’ve only played it once [the north London derby] but I could still feel how it is with the fans and everything around the club, so yeah, we know it’s going to be a really nice game to play,” Eriksen says, before going off-message in his praise for the local rival with whom he was linked at Ajax after glowing reviews from Dennis Bergkamp. “Anyone who loves football will like the way [Arsenal] have played the last few years and the players they have there,” he continues, acknowledging the injured Özil as a personal influence.

“You can learn from anyone who plays your position. But when I was at Ajax I used to look at how he played for Real. I’ve not watched him much at Arsenal because I’m trying to find my own game here. When you look at him he is natural. He knows the people’s runs around him. He knows how to run and pass the ball.”

These qualities mark out Eriksen too, although there is a familiar tension in his game with the more explosive demands of big-league football. He is in many ways a fascinating player all round: a beautifully balanced two-footed playmaker who is at the same time not particularly athletic, not particularly quick, not particularly strong, not blessed with disorienting charisma or given to outlandish moments of extraordinary skill. He is instead, assiduously effective, notable above all for his peripheral vision and awareness of space, the ability to play not just the pass before a goal but the pass before the pass that makes a goal, qualities that do not so much leap out as emerge, once again, by stealth.

“It’s just the type I am. I always want the ball,” Eriksen says, although he has been increasingly effective of late shunted to the left in the rigid stylings of Sherwood-era Spurs. “Now we play more 4-4-2 it’s a bit different to what I’m used to. But it’s still, like, I can run and ask for the ball, you just have to keep your mind on that. It’s free but at the same time it’s English. I feel all right. I have no problems with it.”

It is a studied assessment from a player whose career has been a story of calculated advance. Eriksen was a prodigy during his early years at Odense, spending time as a teenager at Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Milan and Chelsea, whom he came close to joining aged 15. “I had my mind on the Dutch league,” he says. “It was much better for my development and it was where I wanted to be, so I think there was no better place than Ajax.”

It was a happy move, bringing Eriksen three Eredivisie titles, 42 caps to date for Denmark and the endorsement of Johan Cruyff, who compared him to both Laudrup brothers – a form of Danish footballing canonisation – during his breakthrough season in 2010-11.

It also brought him into contact with Frank de Boer, who built the creative core of his title-winning team around the teenage Eriksen’s playmaking craft. “I was with him at Ajax from the under-19 level,” Eriksen says. “He gave me the responsibility to play my own game, to get involved, to get the ball and just to play, to show my talent.”

De Boer has, of course, been linked with a move to Tottenham, a subject on which Eriksen remains wryly opaque: “I only had good years with Frank de Boer. I don’t have anything bad to say about him.”

Under De Boer Eriksen initially dropped an age group at Ajax before moving up to the first team, and tenacious adaptation has been a feature of his career. It is a process that seems likely to survive Spurs’ season of flux. “I have just arrived. I have not set my mind on leaving,” Eriksen says, before admitting, with just the right note of teasing deftness, that he would like to play in the Champions League in the near future. “Maybe we will get it, maybe not. But I am probably still here next season, yes.”

Christian Eriksen was speaking at an event for Thomas Cook Sport, official travel partner of Tottenham Hotspur. Thomas Cook Sport offers Spurs match breaks from £119 per person, including ticket and accommodation. For more information click here or call 0844 800 9900

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Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen out for only four weeks with ankle knock

• Midfielder sustained knock on international duty with Denmark
• Scans have allayed fears of ruptured ligaments

Tottenham Hotspur have received the welcome news that Christian Eriksen’s ankle injury is not as bad as first feared and is only likely to keep him out for around four weeks.

Eriksen hobbled off 40 minutes into Denmark’s 2-1 win over Norway on Friday following a late tackle from Vegard Forren, prompting fears that the 21-year-old had ruptured ankle ligaments, but scans have since revealed he had suffered only a sprain.

A statement released by Tottenham on Tuesday read: “Following an MRI scan on Monday it has been determined that Christian Eriksen suffered a sprain of the lateral ankle ligaments playing for Denmark against Norway on Friday. The scan showed no sign of ruptured ligaments which will result in a shorter period of recovery for the attacking midfielder.”

Spurs are reluctant to put an official time frame on his recovery, but if all goes well with Eriksen’s rehabilitation, it is understood that he could be available for his side’s home fixture against Liverpool on 15 December.

Spurs signed Eriksen from Ajax for £11.5m in the summer and the creative midfielder excelled on his debut against Norwich and scored in the following fixture against Tromso in the Europa League. He had recently seen his place in the side taken by Lewis Holtby following a dip in form, but returned to the starting XI for Spurs’ last fixture, a defeat to Newcastle.

Tottenham manager André Villas-Boas has plenty of players who can fill Eriksen’s role while he is out, with Holtby, Erik Lamela, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Harry Kane all capable of playing in attacking midfield.

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Amy Lawrence on Christian Eriksen

The Denmark No10 has met every challenge in his short career and has the vision and mentality to thrive in the Premier League

To borrow an old footballing slogan, 1992 was a good year for Danish football. Christian Eriksen was born. He was only a few months old when the former Yugoslavia, embroiled in its civil war, was excluded from the European Championship and Denmark’s players were summoned from their holidays as late replacements. Nobody dared to imagine that the party gatecrashers would end up dancing on the tables and taking home the most beautiful prize.

An auspicious footballing year in Denmark, indeed. The goalkeeper from that triumphant team, Peter Schmeichel, happened to be in London when Eriksen made a stylish Premier League debut. He was chuffed to see one of his compatriots sparkle. “It was a good moment to be a Dane in England,” he said. “He’s a damn good player.”

In his early appearances for Tottenham Hotspur, Eriksen has demonstrated what people back home who know him well knew all along. When it is time to climb another rung up the ladder, nobody need worry for one second about the sureness and confidence of his footing.

Uffe Pedersen is the head of talent for OB, the boyhood club where Eriksen’s career began to become serious. Back in Odense, on the island of Funen, Pedersen’s fondness flows as he considers the boy who arrived at his club with unusual gifts packed into an awkward teenage body. “At that age lots of kids are growing and look funny,” he recalls. “You could tell already he was something special. Every time Christian moved to a higher level he needed just one or two games to cope with that and then become the best player.”

Eriksen was regularly promoted to play in age groups a couple of years ahead. “He steps up easily, this young guy taking over the whole game, setting the speed and shape of the game. Christian could play anywhere with good players,” remembers Pedersen. It is the nature of his position – in the classic No10 role, as his team’s creative heartbeat and rhythmic metronome – that makes his accelerated development so interesting. To take the responsibility of being the playmaker at a young age, and wear it well, is remarkable.

Eriksen is far from the only gifted No10 (in spirit if not on the back of the shirt) to move to England lately. On Saturday he will come up against a Chelsea team with such a collection that José Mourinho seems to have got himself tangled up in blue playmakers. Arsenal still seem to be fairly amazed they managed to buy Mesut Özil. Liverpool have been enchanted by Philippe Coutinho since he arrived in January.

Arsène Wenger reckons these creative specialists are in vogue because English football is short of centre forwards: “If you look at the strikers that have been sold during the summer most of them are South American. If you compare England today with 20 to 30 years ago the main difference for me is that you have no strikers any more, in a country who produced so many. Why? We have developed the technical game, so the guy who delivers this kind of ball has become even more important.

“Before you could get the cross in and you had a guy who could jump above everybody and head the ball in. Today you have to find him through little pockets.”

The ability to see and deliver a killer pass is the quality that has always stood out in Eriksen. When Frank de Boer, Ajax’s head coach who was in charge of youth when Eriksen arrived as a skinny 16-year-old, took him under his wing it was the vision that made the most vivid impression. “He’s always on the move. Quick thinking. He has eyes in his back. When you think he doesn’t see you, he sees you,” assesses De Boer.

Eriksen caught the attention of a string of major European clubs vying to sign him from OB. His father, Thomas, was a coach himself and a down-to-earth soul. The message he continually taught his son was humility: don’t brag. If you are good people will notice. Let your feet talk.

Eriksen’s parents tried not to get impressed by agents. Instead they asked Pedersen to look after their son. “His family were so nice, they just told me to take care of him and let them know if something interesting came about,” he recalls. “There was no fuss.”

Pedersen accompanied Eriksen to Barcelona, Chelsea, Milan and Ajax, and the player’s final decision was an intelligent and calm one. He could have been swept away by La Masia. He might have been richly rewarded by Roman Abramovich. But his priority was not money or celebrity as he chose a place to suit his personality and drive for improvement. The Dutch club offered the perfect education and opportunity to play for a young man serious about developing as a No10.

What Ajax did do, for the first time in all his formative football years, is bring him down the ladder instead of pushing him up. Eriksen initially moved from under-19 to under-17 football because Ajax wanted him to focus first on learning the language and settling in. “Within three or four months he spoke perfect Dutch, and it’s a similar culture, but the thing you need to adapt fastest is to play well. Then people accept you,” notes De Boer. Before long Eriksen was ready to rise again.

De Boer had no qualms about recommending him for first-team duty and a debut aged 17. “I was training the under-19s and could directly say to the manager: ‘You can take Christian already. He might have more to come physically but he is mentally ready.'”

During his five years at Ajax he blossomed, and when the time came for another stepping stone he again chose carefully. At Tottenham under André Villas-Boas he has the chance to play, the trust of the coach and the freedom to dictate games at the tender age of 21. “His team-mates have to adapt to him now,” says De Boer. “He is only going to get better. I hope for the best for him.”

Already he is the centrepiece for the Danish national team. Replicating his best form for his country remains a challenge, and the expectations that surround the most important talent since Michael Laudrup are intense. “It will be interesting to follow him because we do not yet know his mental strength,” muses Schmeichel. “There is a huge pressure on him and I hope he can handle it.”

Pedersen has no doubts: “It won’t be hard to cope with because he is just a natural, nice kid. The person is the strongest part of him. He is not drinking, not driving fast in his car. There will be bumps, but first of all remember he just loves the game.”

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