Eriksen class becomes key for Brentford

By Tom Prentki at Brentford Community Stadium



Daily Telegraph

Total Football

The Christian Eriksen charm offensive is in full swing at Brentford. Now that there is no doubt which division they will be playing in next season, all at the west London club are pouring love on to the great Dane, who again showed flashes of brilliance as Thomas Frank’s side eased to victory over Southampton. Frank described his performance as “only average” by Eriksen’s standards, but “average” for the former Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan midfielder is a level above what many in the Premier League can offer when playing at their top level. It is true, certainly, that the 30-year-old attempted things that did not come off, but the fact that he had the vision to try is what makes him such a valuable commodity. Other things did work. There was a 50-yard half-volleyed pass that bamboozled Southampton left-back Romain Perraud and set Ivan Toney away. Almost all inside the stadium rose to applaud that. There were the set-pieces, a constant threat to Southampton and the route of Brentford’s first goal, which came following a corner. There was the movement. Neither Ralph Hasenhuttl’s double pivot of Ibrahima Diallo and James WardProwse nor the central defenders were able to track Eriksen as he loitered menacingly between the penalty area and central midfield. The fact that he is playing at all is a monumental triumph of recovery for a player who, in his own words, “died for five minutes” after suffering a cardiac arrest playing for Denmark against Finland last summer. Brentford is an excellent fit for Eriksen. He knows Frank from when they were coach and player with Denmark Under-17s. “I’ve seen him grow from a young boy into one of the world’s best players,” Frank said when he signed in January. The structure of the team is also set up for Eriksen to flourish. Christian Norgaard and Mathias Jensen get through so much work in midfield that defending is not a priority. “He came in and we started to win games,” said Pontus Jansson, who scored Brentford’s first on Saturday before Yoane Wissa and Kristoffer Ajer added further goals. “He is a world-class player and it was a massive boost. The fans want Christian to stay – and we all want him to stay.”