Christian Eriksen is amazing. But you’re not allowed to say it publicly! While I’m in no way taking credit for the sentiment, numerous people at Carty-Free, including commenters, have been quick to downplay Eriksen’s accomplishments with Tottenham Hotspur and Denmark for a few months now, in the hopes that he continues to fly under the radar of big (rich) clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, and PSG.
But it’s getting harder and harder to do that, especially after Eriksen basically put Denmark on his back this week, scoring a hat trick en route to a World Cup-clinching 4-1 win over Ireland. That led to the predictable stupid media reports, including one that claimed that Tottenham issued a “hands-off warning” to Barcelona for Eriksen’s services.
In today’s press conference ahead of the North London Derby, Mauricio Pochettino took things a step forward, jokingly calling Eriksen “average” in order to deflect attention away from his star midfielder.
#thfc Pochettino on Eriksen: "When you see the goals [for Denmark], unbelievable. But I don’t want to publicise him too much. You know what happens. The manager puts him in the focus for other clubs. I don’t want to say he’s a fantastic player. Ok, he’s an average player.”— Ben Pearce (@BenPearceSpurs) November 16, 2017
You can almost see Pochettino grinning in front of the microphones as he says this. Bang average, indeed!
In all honesty, I’m surprised it’s taken this long for Eriksen to get his due. He’s been quietly (and at times, not so quietly) outstanding, both this season and last, but until recently even some segments of Tottenham fandom have not fully appreciated his game and what he brings to Spurs.
But other clubs are starting to take notice now, with our friends at Barca Blaugranes wondering if Eriksen might not be a better choice for Barcelona than Philippe Coutinho. (Answer: yes, but shhhhhhhhh).
Eriksen has publicly, and recently reaffirmed his commitment and happiness at Spurs, and it doesn’t seem likely that Daniel Levy would consider a sale at this time, with Eriksen under contract until 2022. However, Christian is the runaway star for Denmark and he’s set to show off his abilities this summer on the world’s biggest football stage. An outstanding World Cup will no doubt draw even more attention to himself and his game, and then Spurs will face even more pressure from the powers of club football.