Denmark aren't playing very well at the moment, and failed to score in their last-minute loss to Portugal on Tuesday. Their manager, Morten Olsen, decided to single out Christian Eriksen for his poor performance. Here are the quotes, via the Mirror.
"It is a brutal world, otherwise you have to play at another level. It is not Ajax any more, this is not development. After so many matches he could pick up the ball and help to control the game. He has not been able to. Therefore, we blame him. He must stand up to the criticism, and he does too."
Wow, that's direct. He just flat out said he blames Eriksen for the team's poor performance. That doesn't happen very often.
There are a couple of different things that we could read into this. The cynical one is that Olsen is 65, has been in this job since 2000, and doesn't care who he pisses off. He's not getting fired and he doesn't have to worry about his next job, so he's just speaking his mind because he can. Hopefully that's not true.
More likely is that Olsen, experienced as he is, knows what Eriksen can and can't handle. He knows what will and will not motivate him. And he's decided that the best way to motivate Eriksen to get better is to flat out say that he sucks, and that he needs to play better.
I'm going to take the optimistic view. Eriksen will be so motivated to prove Olsen wrong that he becomes the best player in the Premier League this season and guides Tottenham Hotspur to the Champions League. Does that work for everyone?