Denmark’s Christiam Eriksen is an exceptional player, but Ireland should be focusing on themselves primarily ahead of Saturday’s huge World Cup qualification play-off first leg.
That is according to the man who may well be tasked with keeping tabs on the Spurs maestro this weekend, Harry Arter.
Eriksen is a key component to the wonderful run of form that Tottenham find themselves in at the moment, flying high in both the Premier League and Champions League. The Dane is the playmaker for both club and country and his skills have seen him lauded as one of the most gifted creative players in Europe for the past few seasons. Along with his vision, silky passing and top level finishing, Eriksen is proven to be lethal from set pieces.
Arter’s international career with to date Ireland has been patchy, it is fair to say.
However, Ireland’s epic win in the recent crunch group clash with Wales appears to have been a watershed moment for the Bournemouth midfielder in green. Arter put in a stellar performance and his dummy to assist the James McClean winning goal will live long in the memory of the followers of Martin O’Neill’s side.
With stand-in captain David Meyler suspended for the first leg in Copenhagen, Arter will again be called upon to step up for the cause in the middle of the park on Saturday evening.
Asked at Wednesday’s press conference on the prospect of squaring off against the highly regarded Eriksen, Arter had this to say (Quotes via The42):
“I don’t think you can focus on just one player.
“He is an unbelievable player — a world-class player — he deserves all the credit he gets in the Premier League and international-wise.
“We’re going to have to stop him from trying to do what he does, but it is important not to just concentrate on him.
“To concentrate on ourselves is probably the most important thing and then try to take care of them.”
So, there you have it. While there is certainly a high degree of respect for the threat posed by Eriksen ahead of the two clashes with Denmark which lie between the Boys In Green and Russia 2018, there is a knowledge within the camp that it would be foolish to focus all their attention on just one opposition player, rather than ensuring their own ship is in order in the first place.