You would have been mistaken to think that you were sitting in a living room somewhere in England this week, picking up the Danish newspapers or turning on the sports news. The two big stories this week have been the whole sorry mess at Anfield plus the failure of England to beat the “minnows” of Montenegro, a result that one paper compared to Faroe Islands beating Austria back in September 1990. In fact the Faroe Islands also featured heavily as part of the Kingdom of Denmark they are seen in the same light as us English see Northern Ireland, the team that they earnt a 1-1 draw with.
Despite the national team’s 2-0 against Cyprus in a half full Parken, the press focused more on the injury problems that the positive result. Daniel Agger lasted just 30 minutes before “kicking a pole and falling down” – as you can see my Danish isn’t quite yet perfect, although I do love my literal translation of events from the 20th minute which appear to say that Leon Jenssen completed a “jerk” on the verge of the penalty area. Interesting! Still a win is a win at this stage in the qualifying competition.
“Jeg synes, at vi gik ind med dét, som vi havde aftalt. Vi viste fra star ten, hvem vi var, og hvad vi ville. Vi fik vores publikum med, og vi fik dem presset i bund, og jeg tror, at Anders Lindegaard har rene handsker på,” Said coach Morten Olsen straight after the game which basically translated to ““We played as we had agreed to. We showed from the start who we were and what we wanted. We got our audience and we got them pressed down and I think that Donald Lindegaard had clean gloves on, ”
So six points from three games for the national team is an ok start, although Norway have surprised everyone in the group so far by winning all three games. With Portugal also in the group a second place finish is probably all Olsen can hope for with his new squad.
Also this week we saw the final play offs for the Under 21 Championship which will be hosted by the Danes next June. England’s draw with Romania took them through along with Switzerland, Belarus, Iceland, Czech Republic (who with the best qualifying record became top seeds), Spain and Ukraine for the tournament which will be held in Arhus, Viborg, Herning and Aalborg.
Superliga action returns tomorrow with FCK currently holding a 10 point lead which even with their recent standards is a big lead. They host 3rd place OB from Odense in the weekends biggest game. Odense have developed over the past few years into the nearest long term challenger to FCK with a mix of home grown players and imports such as Eniskillen’s own Roy Carroll, last season voted Denmark’s best goalkeeper. Second place FC Midtjylland (a record breaking 6 consecutive consonants) travel to Randers for the live Monday night game.
Despite sitting in 5th place, so far this has been a season to forget for Brondby IF. Dumped out of the cup by a village team who play without any floodlights, and humiliated on and off the pitch in last months Copenhagen derby, they travel a few miles north of the capital to FC Nordsjaelland who are sitting in 6th place.
But despite all of the domestic action, it will be events unfolding at Goodison Park that will take centre stage on Sunday, and undoubtably dominate the media on Monday morning.