The Danish World Cup in 2010 came to a sudden end with the surprise defeat to Japan. After the Cameroon win, everyone thought we would go on to nhe next round, but Japan proved stronger, and the Danes less well-organized than I thought. Denmark was far from the only european team to dissapoint (think of France, Italy, England and Serbia), but that is a small comfort for the fans and for the players, especially those who have now played their last World Cup.
Allready Martin Jørgensen and Jesper Grønkjær has said they do not wish to continue, and speculation is rife concerning captain Jon Dahl Tomasson although he says he wants to go on another two years. That brings me to the obvious question, who will pick up the mantle, and be the new stars of the Danish national team?
But before I offer my guess for a new 23-man squad for the 2014 Euro campaign, I would like to make a few points on the World Cup, because there is much to think about.
First of, the overall quality has been mediocre, but worse even is the willingness to go forward. Very few team has played genuine attacking football, with even the Dutch and Brazil looking quite conservative. Chile has been hailed as the execption, and I think that is fair, even if they did not go far. The best footbaling experience this summer though has been the unexpected speed, creativity and enthusiasm of the young German team. They have managed to combine that strict defensive organization with classy offensive football, coming trough newfound playmaker and starman Mesut Özil.
Two other points I have to make is that of the refereeing standard and the abscence of video in regards to descisions on goalscoring and other paramount moments in the matches.
In to many of the matches I have seen, the referees has been poor and obstructing the game with a very high number of cards (four yellow cards in every match and a red in every fourth match).
I does not help the referees that FIFA seems convinced that fair play and using video material does not go hand in hand. I am all for football as a fast sport with the referee making descisions concerning free-kicks and alike on-field without any other authority. But whan it comes to goals that were disallowed either by offside or an assisteant referee that did not see the ball cross the line (there has been grim examples of both in this World Cup), it takes out the element of fair play, when the wrong descision a being made. Here, the use of video, only by the request of the referee, would help make fottball a more fair sport.
Anyway, a my final salute and as the new hope of the nation, here is my would-be 23-man squad for the road to Euro 2014:
Goalkeepers: Thomas Sørensen, Stephan Andersen, Mikkel Andersen/Kasper Schmeichel
Defenders: Lars Jacobsen, Simon Kjær, Daniel Agger, Mikael Jakobsen (reserves) Sune Kiilerich, Mathias "Zanka" Jørgensen, Michael Lumb
Midfielders: Jakob Poulsen, Christian Poulsen, Thomas Kahlenberg, Christian Eriksen (reserves) Emil Lyng, Leon Andreasen, William Kvist, Mads Albæk/Mike Jensen, Thomas Enevoldsen
Strikers: Nicklas Bendtner, Nicki Bille Nielsen (reserves) Nikola Saric, Søren Larsen/Martin Bernburg
others: Daniel Wass, Andreas Bjelland, Nikolaj Boilesen, Niki Zimling, Jonas Borring, Lasse Schøne, Nikolaj Jørgensen, Bashkim Kadrii, Peter Løvenkrands, Morten "Duncan" Rasmussen