Thursday, 24 February 2022 | In Focus

The arrival of Christian Eriksen at Brentford has created interest across Denmark. A good example is an article which featured our own Contributing Editor, Greville Waterman.  
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There are two things to know to understand the overwhelming excitement over the Dane’s arrival.

First: Christian Eriksen is one giant star in England. After 7 seasons for the big club Tottenham he is known among all English football fans for hisgoal-scoring and elegant playing style.

Second: Brentford FC is one small football club in a small London district. The district ironically calls itself ‘a bus stop in Hounslow ’, which is one of London’s 32 municipalities. And the football club has spent over 100 years in lower English ranks.

Until now, when the club is up and running with its first season in the Premier League, and where a quarter of an hour before the start of the match against Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon Christian Eriksen is presented as a new player. There was something strangely touching over the presentation of the Dane.

First a short video was shown on a big screen about Christian Eriksen’s first week in the club. It was pretty boring, frankly speaking, for it was silentpictures of Christian Eriksen, who does various trivial things such as stepping out of a car, exercises in a gym, warms up on grass, walksinto a press conference and so on. But we know all the back story,and it was a touching moment for the 17,000 spectators at the sold-out stadium.

Just 8 months ago, he lay lifeless on the grass after a cardiac arrest, so just watching him do ordinary football stuff has an emotional effect on many. And in little Brentford. As the video is finally over, the stadium speaker takes in front of the player tunnel microphone and says:’Ladies and gentlemen, sometimes it happens something very special that unites us all.That’s how it is in football in general and such is it in particular in Brentford. please  welcome our latest signing back on the football field; Christian Eriksen!‘

Christian Eriksen walks out onto the field completely dressed in black with a red Brentford scarf around his neck. People rise exalted from their seats and shout and clap while the quiet Dane goes out to the centre circle and waves around to the stands. Christian Eriksen disappears into the player tunnel and sits up in the stand, from which he can see his team mates occupy the pitch.

In the stands below Christian Eriksen is 66 years old Greville Waterman.He has been a Brentford fan for over 50 years, has written several books about the club and is writing a new one about the current season. Greville Waterman uses a Yiddish word to describe Christian Eriksen’s arrival and reunification with London and the club’s Danish head coach, Thomas Frank, who trained Eriksen on the Danish U17 national team too many years ago.

“There is a Yiddish word: beshert. That means that is destined. I like that word; it describes what this is all about. Because of tragic circumstances Christian Eriksen needs to find a new home. One place where he could play at a high level.Surrounded by people who understand him, give support and care for him and his family.It’s London, Premier League,Brentford, Thomas Frank. It makes sense”.says Greville Waterman.

If all goes according to plan, Christian will come to play regularly in the world’s best league, he will shows his worth for national coach Kasper Hjulmand and will be selected for the World Cup in Qatar later this year.

So it was fate, Greville Waterman thinks, that sun, star and moon were in alignment so that a large star like Christian Eriksen might need a small club like Brentford. But don’t be mistaken- Brentford also needs Christian Eriksen. From his place in the stands Christian Eriksen could observe an unmemorable match where his teammates find it difficult to create chances.The match against Crystal Palace ended 0-0, but Brentford have lost the previous 6 matches.

“We are in a difficult situation, and Eriksen will be seen, perhaps not exactly as a messiah… after all, that would be too unreasonable pressure to put on him, but as one who can help turn things around. He creates chances, scores goals, takes set pieces. We need him. So Eriksen coming to Brentford is win-win. It is obvious why it is good for us. But it also makes so much sense for him.The match of Brentford and Eriksen is so logical, but I never believed it would come true.The football world has become so crazy I was sure something would come and mess it up. But it did not happen”.

Greville Waterman thinks of another reason why Christian Eriksen will fit into Brentford. The Dane’s mature, calm, non-assertive personality fits perfectly into the club culture.“The club has a no dickhead policy. There is only room for good people.However, that does not mean that one can not have strong personalities and tough people. But it is important for the club to hire people with a moral compass, people who do the right things. Eriksen seems like a well-rounded, intelligent type, so I’m sure on that he becomes a model for the young players”.

Our thanks to Nilas Heinskou and Politiken for permission to use the article.


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