jeudi 8 novembre 2018

Denmark National Team Lineups

The Danemark team regular customer of the Olympic podiums (silver medals in 1908, 1912 and 1960, bronze medal in '48) but it will not be the topic here. It was the time of the amateur players or more or less amateur like the most famous of them Middelboe who even played abroad, at Chelsea.
We can also think of Sophus Nielsen, the author of 10 goals against France in 1908 and who then played for SV Holstein Kiel, in Germany.

Several Dane players will become professional players in the 50s (In Italy, mostly but also in France for example) then a bit more in the next decade. In the 70's many players evolve abroad (mainly in Germany, Belgium and Holland, also in Switzerland and a bit in Spain) and in great teams like Henning Jensen at M'gladbach then at Real Madrid or Simonsen at M'gladbach then Barcelona in '79 until '82.
Since the 80's the British clubs welcome Dane players as well (Jesper Olsen at Man United in 1984-88 and of course Schmeichel in the 90s).
The Dane domestic football became more professional since 1991 and the creation of the Superliga. Some problems subsist between the professional players and their federation, the DBU, as recently when Denmark has sent an amateur team to play against Slovakia in an international friendly (in September 2018) due to conflicts about the contracts with the official equipment supplier.

Denmark competed for the first time in an international football tournament's qualifying phase in 1960 at the occasion of the very first European Nations Cup and has started to participate in the World Cup qualifiers only in 1966.

In 1964, after their wins over Albania (4-0, 0-1) and Luxembourg (3-3 away, 2-2 at home, 1-0 in Amsterdam), Denamrk reaches the Semi-finals of the Euro. Where they're beaten by the Soviet Union (0-3).

Euro 1964 : 4th place.

Denmark 1964

It is then very difficult for the Dane to qualify to any tournament. Until the arrival of an exceptional generation whose the team will be nicknamed the "Danish Dynamite". There was several very good players before, even excellent but it is here that the international story of the Danish national team truely begins. At the 8-team Euro '84 tournament in France.

Euro 1984 : Semi-finalists.

Denmark 1984
A bitter end for them against very tough Spaniards (Arconada will be punished for his violent acts in the Final). They knew a first blow since their very first match with the injury of Ballon d'Or '77 Simonsen, who had shown great things until Le Roux (not to mention his name) breaks his leg. That was before the half-time of a match that the Dane had very well started.
Note : in France v Denmark, Bergreen was at the marking of Platini (then was employed in a more offensive way for the rest of the competition, in accordance with what he was usually supposed to do). The libero was Olsen.

2 years later, it is now World Cup hour, in Mexico.

World Cup 1986 : 1st participation ever, Round of 16.

Denmark 1986

As against Spain, in the match that marks the end of the "Danish Dynamite" phenomenon. 
Arnesen was suspended due to a red card. He had started in every three games of the group stage but shown an irregular form and was limited physically due to his repetitive injuries of which he was the subject since early in his career. His "replacement", Bergreen - who had started  against Scotland in a 3-5-2 and against Uruguay "instead of" J.Olsen - acted as an inside-right who could drift on the right occasionaly when J.Olsen took the inside right's channel, like against Spain.
As for the "defensive midfielders", they moved on the width of course and Lerby could even go forward, like on the left flank, but he did not do it that much against Spain as they had already much to do in terms of compensating for the midfielders who couldn't really defend, like J. Olsen mainly (Laudrup was the second striker, sort of inside left who could drift on the left wing).
Rasmussen has played the two first matches in the goals and Høgh the two last.
Mølby came in against Scotland then Uruguay and started against West Germany in the groups. He came in at the 71st minute against Spain to reinforce the central midfield (instead of J. Olsen) but it was a bit too late and Spain added two goals to the scoresheet (including a second from the penalty spot).
Wing-back Sivebæk only appeared twice : from the bench in the first match against Scotland and as a starter against West Germany, in the third group stage's game.

Denmark would know its hour of glory 6 years later with a different way of playing and without M. Laudrup.

Euro 1992 : Champions.

Denmark 1992
As in the Final, that they won.
Denmark was qualified for the tourney after the disqualification of Yugoslavia, for the reason that we know.

It is 6 years later again that the Dane obtain their best result ever at the World Cup, for their second participation ever. This time (and for the last time) with the two Laudrup brothers in the team.

World Cup 1998 : Quarter-finalists.

Denmark 1998

The same starting-11 as against Nigeria then Brazil in the k-o stages. Sand each time replaced Møller around the hour of play.
B. Laudrup turned around Møller as one says. Schjønberg  was the starter at the right back position in the group stage and only reappeared against Brazil, from the bench, for Helveg.
Tøfting made his 2 first World Cup appearances against France in the groups and against Brazil from the bench, for Allan Nielsen, at the start of the second half of the game.

World Cup 2002 : Round of 16.

Denmark 2002

Niclas Jensen progressively took the spot of ageing Heintze on the left flank of the defense.
Bøgelund replaced Helveg since the 7th min. in the R16 against England (right after the goal scored by Ferdinand) and Claus Jensen replaced Tøfting (at the 58th).
Christian Poulsen and Martin Jørgensen were the most used amongst the complementary players of the squad, during the group stage.

Euro 2004 : Quarter-finalists.

Denmark 2004

Kasper Bøgelund took the spot of Niclas Jensen on the left flank of the defense at half-time of the last group stage match against Sweden.
Grønkjær definitively took the spot of D. Rommedhal on the right wing since the match with Sweden after he had replaced him already since the 23rd minute in the second match against Bulgaria. Rommedhal came in for Jørgensen against Sweden then replaced Grønkjær, still from the bench, against Czech Republic in the R16 for the last quarter of hour.
Sand was missing the Round of 16 through injury so one supplementary midfielder was added. This "new midfielder" was either Poulsen, second match as a starter, after the one with Italy at the beginning of the tournament and who replaced the usual starter Daniel Jensen at the 66th against Sweden, or either Claus Jensen, who came in from the bench in the two first group stage's games. Yes more instead of the latter, who was an attacking midfielder and who was subbed off against the Czech team moreover (for a striker to come in).
The 11 presented is simply the one that was beaten by Czech Republic in the round of 16 by 3-0 (same score as against England two years earlier). Tomasson was the centre forward while he played behind Sand in the group stage.

Denmark was present but could not go through the groups at the World Cup 2010 (3 losses) and at the Euro 2012 (in spite of an inaugural win over The Netherlands and 2 goals of Bendtner against Portugal).

World Cup 2018 : Round of 16. 

Denmark 2018
As against Croatia in the Round of 16 (beaten in a pso). Please note however that :  Knudsen only played in this round of 16 match. Stryger Larsen was the left back during the whole group stage just like Christensen paired with Kjær in central defense in those three games as well. He was moved at the defensive midfielder position for the game against Croatia whilst his replacement at the back, Mathias Jørgensen, had replaced him at the end of the very first match against Peru and had played the full time at midfield in the tird match against France.
Schöne replaced A. Christensen at half-time in this round of 16 match.
Cornelius started against Croatia and was replaced with Claus Jørgensen at the 66th minute. There was an alternance between them since the beginning of the competition. None of them two has scored any goals. The young striker of Ajax, Dolberg, only appeared once from the bench (in the last group stage match against France). Sisto was a bit ahead of Braithwaite in the rotation of the three wingers until the round of 16 where he came in only in extra-time, for no positive consequences.
Another player who came in against Croatia was the mysterious Krohn-Dehli, for his only appearance in the tournament. He was noticed at the Euro 2012 with two goals (first round exit) but he has never reproduced his individual exploits of that time since.

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