Denmark face the Czech Republic tonight in an international friendly, and do so with a very depleted squad. Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen got back to goalscoring form in the victory against Kazakhstan, but is one of a number of players to withdraw over injury issues.
It didn’t go down very well, with one Danish pundit describing the national team situation as a ‘joke’.
It’s been assumed that not all of the players involved are injured, and have been sent back to their clubs for a rest, with suggestions the clubs have put pressure on Denmark manager Åge Hareide.
Speaking to the Danish media, and quoted by Ekstra Bladet, Hareide explained that’s simply not the case, there’s genuine issues, and he hasn’t spoken to Mauricio Pochettino or anyone else at Spurs.
“And I have not been pressured by FCK or Tottenham over players, I have not spoken to Tottenham, I spoke with Ståle (Ståle Solbakken, FCK manager), but that was about the care of his players who have problems. It is important to move on. I curse the fact that the press suddenly can write what it wants. Now I’ve said it so everyone will understand it. And none of our players who are down have objected to play this game. All will play for Denmark.”
Ekstra Bladet themselves don’t doubt Hareide is right and Tottenham haven’t contacted them, but they point out that wouldn’t stop pressure being put on the player. Spurs and other clubs may well have reminded their Danish players that it’s better to be fully fit than risking injury in a friendly.