Today, we should have been talking about England’s performance against Denmark last night, so how about a Danish related XI instead?
Goalkeeper: Peter Schmeichel
No question about Schmeichel’s inclusion in this team; he’s the man who saved Manchester United’s bacon countless times in the nineties. He may feel like he left United too early, but not many players go out winning a treble and captaining the side to Champions League victory in their last game for a club. Winner of Euro 92 with Denmark, but as it’s April Fools’ Day, let’s remember how Nicky Butt once used a kettle to scorch Schmeichel’s…area. Bantz. Luckily for Kasper, he’d already been born by the time of that incident.
20 – Peter Schmeichel became the first goalkeeper to record 20 clean sheets in a Premier League season, a total that wouldn’t be broken until 2004-05 by Petr Cech (24). Wall. #OptaPLSeasons pic.twitter.com/CV7OD4026b
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 25, 2020
Right-back: Thomas Helveg
Helveg was in the veteran stage of his career when he joined newly promoted Norwich City in 2004. He had just played for his country in the Euros that summer and joined after a successful ten-year spell in Italy, playing for both Milan clubs and Udinese. Helveg won over a century of caps for his country and took part in five major international tournaments. A bit sh*t at Norwich, mind.
Centre-half: Martin Laursen
Just like the undercapped England XI, this Danish side is going to have a great, yet injury-prone, centre-half partnership. The former AC Milan player was forced to retire at just 31, but what a difference a young and fit Martin Laursen would make to Aston Villa’s defence now. He only made 84 Premier League appearances for Villa, but counts his days in England as the best of his career.
Happy birthday to the legend that is Martin Laursen! 🎉
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) July 26, 2018
Centre-half: Daniel Agger
Like Laursen, Agger had to retire in his early thirties because of injury and remains a cult figure with his old English club. The heavily tattooed Agger took Liverpool to his heart and the Anfield faithful loved his commitment to their cause. Of course, it helped that he had the ability to bring the ball out of defence and strike the odd thunderb***ard every so often.
Left-back: Niclas Jensen
An inexpensive full-back at Manchester City? Times were different in the early noughties. Jensen was part of the City side promoted (times really were different) to the Premier League in 2002, going on to play for a Denmark side that lost out to England in the second round of the World Cup that summer. He left City at the end of the following season, the club’s last at Maine Road, but later returned to England to play for Fulham.
Right wing: Dennis Rommedahl
The Premier League never saw the best of Dennis Rommedahl, with Charlton fans questioning the former PSV star’s work ethic and ability to stay on his feet. However, with the national team, the rapid Rommedahl enjoyed a superb career, winning a mightily impressive 126 caps. After leaving Charlton he returned to the Netherlands with Ajax and developed a fine understanding with a young Luis Suarez.
Central midfield: Christian Eriksen
Although it didn’t end well for Christian Eriksen at Spurs, he will surely go down as a contender for their greatest midfield player of the Premier League era. Eriksen scored 51 goals and registered 62 assists in the league as he helped establish the north London club as regular top four contenders. For Denmark, he will undoubtedly reach a century of caps before his 30th birthday and remains his country’s greatest hope heading into Euro 2021.
Central midfield: Thomas Gravesen
With the technical talents of Rommedahl and Eriksen in the side, this Danish team will need some protection. Step forward Phil Mitchell look-a-like Thomas Gravesen (Bald Premier League XI anyone?). Of course, Gravesen had more about him than a simple destroyer, he even sent Xavi the wrong way once whilst playing for Real Madrid, but he is best remembered as a fearsome tackler and general at the heart of midfield. The man nicknamed ‘mad dog’ spent five years as a fan-favourite at Everton before moving to Madrid.
Big respect to all the lads shaving their hair off in appreciation of the greatest central midfield partnership in Premier League history. pic.twitter.com/Gg5CZuW1gi
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) March 26, 2020
Left wing: Jesper Gronkjaer
The man who convinced Roman Abramovich to buy Chelsea, Gronkjaer’s winning goal against Liverpool in May 2003 secured the Russian’s investment and gave Chelsea a berth in the following season’s Champions League at the expense of the Merseysiders. Gronkjaer only lasted one more season at the club before moving to Birmingham City, but his place in Chelsea’s history is assured. As another April Fools’ Day treat, Gronkjaer once suffered the indignity of Gravesen and Stig Tofting stuffing ice down his pants. Top bantz.
Striker: Jon Dahl Tomasson
It didn’t work out well for Tomasson at Newcastle United; he lasted only one season before moving on to successful spells at Feyenoord and AC Milan. However, a record of over 50 goals for his national team makes him the greatest Danish goalscorer of the modern era. Perhaps the move to England came too early in his career and he certainly wasn’t helped by the expectations forced upon him after Alan Shearer’s injury at the start of the 1997/98 season.
Striker: Brian Laudrup
Apologies to Nicklas Bendtner, who didn’t quite turn out to be as good as Nicklas Bendtner believed. Brian Laudrup’s time at Chelsea was disappointingly short, but what a player he proved himself to be for Denmark as part of their victorious Euro 1992 squad. He became famous on these shores as a key player in Walter Smith’s talented Rangers side of the nineties, alongside the likes of Paul Gascoigne, Ally McCoist and Premier League golden oldie Richard Gough. Of course, Laudrup was on the receiving end of a Gazza prank, with the famous Geordie stealing his clothes out of the dressing-room. Top top bantz.
James Wiles – whose Instagram has a whole load more XIs