Thomas Frank never doubted Christian Eriksen would return to elite level at Brentford

The Denmark midfielder scored his first Brentford goal in Saturday’s stunning win at Chelsea

Nick Purewal
Sunday 03 April 2022 16:49
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<p>Christian Eriksen celebrates scoring his first Brentford goal</p>

Christian Eriksen celebrates scoring his first Brentford goal

Thomas Frank has insisted he never doubted Christian Eriksen’s return to football’s elite when the Denmark playmaker joined Brentford.

Eriksen notched an emotional first Bees goal in Saturday’s remarkable 4-1 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge to put Brentford on the verge of top-flight safety.

Eriksen has himself admitted he “died for five minutes” on the pitch in Denmark action at Euro 2020, which renders his subsequent return to full health enough of a blessing even before considering his resurgent career.

The 30-year-old has delighted the footballing world in starring for Brentford and returning for Denmark thanks to an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD).

That cardiac technology has afforded Eriksen a return to his playmaking pomp, and Bees boss Frank has had no need to hide his pride.

Asked if he had been surprised by Eriksen’s form, Frank replied: “Honestly, I hope you all know 90 per cent of the time I speak I do my very best to speak the truth.

“From the beginning I thought, ‘okay everything’s been checked in his entire body’.

“He didn’t have an injury like an ACL, so I was actually not in doubt on him.

“Because his foundations physically were quite good.

“I never knew how quick it would be to get to this level, but it’s impressive and we’re just pleased and so proud.

“You can always give it to Christian and he will find a solution. It was an important goal from him, that maybe finished off the match for us.

“He might not have a big, outward personality like Ivan (Toney), but he’s a big presence on the ball and with the way he presents himself overall.”

Christian Eriksen joined the Bees in February (Steven Paston/PA)

While Brentford’s third win in four games pushed them within touching distance of Premier League safety, Chelsea surrendered a run of six straight wins in all competitions.

Toni Rudiger’s thumping long-range strike handed Chelsea the lead, only for Thomas Tuchel’s men to slip into a muddle and their heaviest defeat of the campaign.

Vitaly Janelt fired a brace, with Eriksen and Yoane Wissa also on target in a rout.

On the very same weekend last season, Chelsea lost 5-2 at home to West Brom but hit back straight away to storm to their Champions League triumph.

The Blues host Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final in west London on Wednesday, with boss Thomas Tuchel determined his side will respond without delay.

Tuchel insisted his selection for Brentford had not taken Real into account at all.

“We selected the team because we thought it was the best team against Brentford,” said Tuchel. “There was not half an eye or one per cent on Real Madrid. This was our fault and we have to analyse it quickly.”

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