Christian Eriksen

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Pochettino ‘didn’t enjoy’ break as Spurs look to re-focus

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Tottenham Hotspur’s difficult start to the season had a fitting international break. Harry Kane and Troy Parrott delivered fine international performances and some injured players were able to heal up, but the club also lost big signing Giovani Lo Celso for some time.

[ MORE: Messi on Neymar situation ]

Manager Mauricio Pochettino, himself admittedly unsettled in August, sees the opportunity presented by the break. The club can regain solid footing and mount its Top Four challenge.

It will have to do it without Lo Celso, and both Davinson Sanchez and Juan Foyth remain out. Pochettino will be waiting on Tanguy Ndombele, Ryan Sessegnon, Eric Dier, and Kyle Walker-Peters ahead of Palace.

It hasn’t been a laugh riot around Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. From Sky Sports:

“I didn’t enjoy too much. We were preparing lots of things, we were working. We reviewed many things and we have been planning and talking. It is a strange period. It was about re-focusing again on the competition and make a plan for the team.”

Spurs lost to Newcastle, drew Man City away and Arsenal at home. They labored to find a comeback win against Aston VIlla, but were clearly the better side.

Re-organizing means taking care of business, and Spurs will be favored in every match this month. Crystal Palace visits Saturday before a Wednesday trip to stingy Olympiacos in the UEFA Champions League.

Then come trips to Leicester City (PL) and Colchester United (League Cup) before Saints come to town.

It’s all a build-up to Bayern Munich on Oct. 1.

The good news is that the club no longer has transfer uncertainty, which should help both Pochettino and want-away Christian Eriksen. He’s not going anywhere for at least four months.

“It is so important to re-focus,” Pochettino said. “This is the squad that we are going to have until January, when the rumors will appear again.The most important now is the collective. We must put aside the individual situations and be all together again.”

Euro 2020 qualifiers: Italy and Spain stay perfect, Eriksen shines for Denmark

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Christian Eriksen‘s future at Tottenham Hotspur may be in serious doubt, but his future with Denmark has never been more secure. The 27-year-old again proved vital for his country as he assisted the opener and scored a brace from the spot in a 6-0 storming of Gibraltar.

His assist came just six minutes into the match on a cross from deep down the right flank, sending it in for a finish off the head of Robert Skov. Eriksen then scored his first penalty past the half-hour mark to put Denmark 2-0 up on the road, and again stepped up to the spot for a second in the 50th minute. Thomas Delaney bagged Denmark’s fourth, Christian Gytkjaer added the fifth, and the Lech Poznan striker picked up his brace with 12 minutes to go.

Like Eriksen, Teemu Pukki remained white hot as Finland secured a massive 1-0 win at home over Greece, pushing them to second in Group J on 12 points. The goal, Pukki’s fourth of the qualifiers, came from the penalty spot in the 52nd minute after Dimitrios Kourbelis fouled Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara. The tally marks Pukki’s sixth goal in his last five matches for club and country, already on top of the Premier League goal chart with five.

Italy, meanwhile, moved to five wins through five matches atop Group J with a 3-1 win over Armenia. Andrea Belotti bagged a brace while Roma midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini added the third in Yerevan. The victory came in comeback fashion as FC Sochi striker Alexander Karapetian opened the scoring 11 minutes in for the hosts on an impressive counter-attack, but he was sent off just before halftime for a second yellow card and Italy preserved its perfect record.

Sergio Ramos scored from the spot to help give Spain a slim 2-1 road victory over Romania. Spain put eight shots on frame in the first half to Romania’s one, but could only record the one penalty goal. A second would eventually be coming, and it did just two minutes after the break as Paco Alcacer finished off a wonderful team goal that featured an assist from Jordi Alba on a wonderful far-post run that caught the Romanian defense out of sorts and played Alcacer onside. On-loan Brighton striker Florin Andone pulled Romania one back with a half-hour to go but they couldn’t get past a bunkered-in Spain reduced to 10 men for the final 11 minutes after Real Sociedad defender Diego Llorente was sent off.

Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof was one of three goalscorers as Sweden hammered the Faroe Islands 4-0 on the road. All four goals came in the first half as the visitors coasted to build a three-point gap for a qualifying position behind Spain in Group F.

Newcastle defender Fabian Schar seemed to have given Switzerland a deserved 1-0 victory on the road at the Republic of Ireland, but a late 85th minute equalizer saw the scoreline level. The Magpies center-back marauded forward through the middle and contributed the finish to a wonderful bit of one-touch attacking with 15 minutes to go. Switzerland deserved to go in front despite the lack of Xherdan Shaqiri who made himself unavailable for selection as he fights for a place in the Liverpool squad. The home side would peg Switzerland back, however, as David McGoldrick delivered a header five minutes from time to share the spoils, moments after Glenn Whelan struck the bar.

Bosnia & Herzegovina poured it on late to top Lichtenstein 5-0. The hosts held 68% possession and popped off 28 shots to Lichtenstein’s eight, but could only muster an 11th minute effort from Amer Gojak for the majority of the match. It was 1-0 until the final 10 minutes when they poured four more on, with Edin Dzeko, Haris Duljevic, and Edin Visca all finding the back of the net plus a second for Gojak. The three points were vital as they pushed Bosnia & Herzegovina up to third in Group J, with a five point gap between them and second-placed Finland.

Norway topped Malta 2-0 at home as Bournemouth’s Josh King scored from the spot. 21-year-old Genk midfielder opened the scoring past the half-hour mark, and King delivered his penalty in first-half stoppage time as the home side cruised in Oslo. They jumped into third in Group F, but still sit two points back of Sweden.

Israel drew 1-1 with Macedonia at home, a disappointing result that sees their second-place spot in Group G suddenly in peril, with third-placed Austria and fourth-placed Slovenia now within striking distance as they both take the field tomorrow.

Eriksen wishes he could force transfer ‘like in Football Manager’

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Christian Eriksen believes he has seen and done everything there is for him to see and do at Tottenham Hotspur, and he’s making no attempt to hide that belief.

[ MORE: FIFA unveils logo for 2022 World Cup in Qatar ]

The Danish midfielder revealed on Tuesday that he wishes he could have forced through his transfer away from Tottenham “like you can do in the Football Manager [computer game].”

Of course, it’s not quite that easy, and doesn’t Eriksen know it? Is he frustrated by that fact? No doubt about it. Does he regret openly admitting he wants a new challenge at this point in his career? Not one bit — quotes from the Guardian:

“I wish I could decide myself, like you can do in the Football Manager, but I can’t do that, sadly. I don’t think it was wrong [to say that it was time for a new challenge]. But this is football, and you never know what happens in football. A lot of things play a part.”

“I think that most English clubs would like the window to close at the same time as the other countries. It is a [difficult] situation for a coach when he doesn’t know which players he will have at his disposal. I would have liked to play all games, but you have to ask my coach [why I didn’t].”

While Eriksen is clearly perturbed at not moving to (presumably) Real Madrid, he insists that it won’t affect his focus on, and efforts for, Spurs this season.

“It is not a problem for me to empty my head [and get away from the rumors]. I don’t read a lot of what is written. I have been doing this for many years now and there have been a lot of rumors.”

Mauricio Pochettino has revealed his own frustrations at multiple points already this season, lamenting the fact that he is in charge of an unsettled squad. While he won’t be over-the-moon happy with Eriksen’s comments going public, it won’t have been a new revelation in his mind.

If Eriksen can rally himself and deliver another stellar season for Spurs, there will almost certainly be plenty of options for him when his contract expires in June, should he still wish to leave at that time.

Arsenal erases 2-goal deficit in thrilling derby

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang‘s late goal helped Arsenal complete a two-goal comeback in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur in the first North London Derby of the season.

[ MORE: Three Four things we learned ]

Sunday’s match at the Emirates Stadium had a bit of everything: reckless tackles, creative playmaking, tremendous saves, and smashed finishes.

Alexandre Lacazette also scored for Arsenal, whose assists came from Nicolas Pepe and Matteo Guendouzi.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen had Spurs goals, with Tottenham heading into the international break with five points. That’s ninth in the Premier League, two behind fifth place Arsenal.


Three big stats (and three things we learned)

    1. Thirteen — Both goalkeepers were very, very good despite the three goals conceded, and Bernd Leno registered seven saves in defeat. Several of the saves, maybe more than half, were of the show-stopping variety.
    2. Sixty-seven — The amount of minutes Arsenal had Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, and Alexandre Lacazette on the bench before the scorer subbed out of the match for Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
    3. Ten — Spurs’ star striker is now the all-time leading scorer in NLD history after his first half penalty gave him 10 goals against the Gunners, and he just missed a second with a rocket off the post near the hour mark.

Man of the Match: Leno.


Aubameyang and Sead Kolasinac teamed up to give Nicolas Pepe the first chance of the match, the Ivorian curling wide from 18 yards.

Eriksen rewarded Mauricio Pochettino when he raced to the back post to pop a rebound into the gaping frame. Harry Kane won a header at midfield and Heung-Min Son did well to produce the play past a sleepy David Luiz. Erik Lamela hit the shot that wound up on Eriksen’s path via Bernd Leno’s save.

Kolasniac then fell down before he could hit a quality cross in the 13th minutes. Nerves were plenty.

Leno then made an insane save on Son’s 18th minute rip to keep the deficit to one.

Son earned a penalty off an insane challenge by Granit Xhaka in the 38th minute, sending Kane to the spot. That’s almost always meant a goal, and it did again.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Hugo Lloris made a pair of fine saves that were overshadowed by Lacazette breaking through the Spurs back line.

He was aided by a sensational bit of creativity from Nicolas Pepe, whose outside of the boot masterpiece allowed Lacazette to blast past Lloris.

Both sides had their chances in a more even second half, and Kane smashed the post in the 59th minute.

Arsenal got its equalizer when Matteo Guendouzi, who put in a spirited shift, sent a swirling cross into the mixer for Aubameyang to redirect past Lloris.

WATCH: Spurs take shock derby lead through Eriksen

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Christian Eriksen has rewarded Mauricio Pochettino for a start one day before the transfer window closes in Europe, smashing a rebound goal to put Tottenham Hotspur ahead early in the North London Derby.

[ STREAM: Arsenal-Spurs LIVE ]

Long-linked with a move away from London, Eriksen has been one of Spurs’ better performers when called upon this season.

He got a rare start on Sunday, and delivered the goods inside of 10 minutes.

Harry Kane won a header, Heung-Min Son cooked David Luiz, and Eriksen did the rest.

Really, David, WYD?