Christian Eriksen breathes life into Inter career with Derby Wonder strike

Tuesday’s Coppa Italia clash between Inter and Milan marked 363 days since Christian Eriksen left Tottenham Hotspur to join I Nerazzurri on a four-and-a-half-year contract.

It was a decision that didn’t make sense at the time, and almost a year later, those preconceptions have proven to be correct. Too much has happened in the past 12 months to really tell about every pitfall the Dane has encountered since settling in Italy, but enough water had passed under the bridge for us to safely assume that his experience at Inter had ended prematurely.

Christian Eriksen
Eriksen struggled in the past 12 months | Soccrates Images / Getty Images

In fact, these theories were all but confirmed by club CEO Beppe Marotta, who admitted they were ready to sell Eriksen, given his inability to fit into Antonio’s rigid 3-5-2 system. Tale.

Rumors circulated throughout January, linking the Dane with a stint at Leicester City, potential return to Spurs, or an even more shocking return to north London with bitter rivals Arsenal. And yet he remained in Italy.

It remains to be seen whether the financial implications of the coronavirus have deterred potential buyers from parting with their money this winter, or whether Inter owners simply put their foot down and forced Conte to put Eriksen on the team.

But somehow the attacking midfielder got a second chance at living in Italy.

Eriksen got a second chance to live with inter | MIGUEL MEDINA / Getty Images

His mini-rebirth began in the very competition he played in on Tuesday, albeit in the previous round against Fiorentina. Conte confirmed ahead of the game that Eriksen had learned to play as a regista, operating in a much deeper and orchestral role in his usual offensive midfielder position.

It was a clear lifeline for the Dane. Conte was never going to change his tactics just for the needs of a player, no matter how important or well paid. He was, however, willing to help Eriksen adjust to a new profession – a profession which is essential to the success of the Italian three-way midfielder.

In Marcelo Brozovic, the ex-Spurs star faces stiff competition to seize this long-term position, but for now he is able to learn from one of the best art teachers he has ever seen. money can buy. That said, her beginnings as a regista were quiet to say the least.

There were some encouraging signs that he could indeed become a deep natural playmaker within the two hours of action, but there were also clear warnings that he had a lot to learn and little time to do so.

Obviously, Eriksen had not impressed Conte by removing Brozovic from his midfield base, and he was left on the bench for Inter’s next two games, drawing AS Roma and the Udinese. And despite I Nerazzurri’s struggles in those encounters, he didn’t even make the starting lineup against Milan in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals.

The midfielder was forced to sit down and watch his teammates fail to deliver the fatal blow to their rivals, despite a male advantage for over half an hour. With two minutes left on the clock and the score delicately balanced at 1-1, Conte turned to what many would consider his last resort.

“Eriksen, you’re up.

Normally, a substitute in the 88th minute doesn’t have the chance to have enough time to make an impact, but an injury to referee Paolo Valeri meant the bancwarmer had 10 more minutes left to claim his position.

He only needed seven. Inter got a free kick off the edge of the box in the 97th minute, and Eriksen took responsibility for half a city. He stood over the ball, icy concentration freezing his eyes, then stood up and struck the softest of punches – something only the best can do.

Finally. After almost 12 months of grimacing, frowning, and annoyed sideways glances, a smile spread across Eriksen’s face. It was not just a smile of relief, but a smile of hope, that it could once again become a regular occurrence in his incredible career. It was an ambition his coach obviously shared as well.

Speaking after the dramatic victory, Conte confirmed that Tuesday’s hero will not be leaving the club in this transfer window, meaning whether he likes it or not, Eriksen will stay with I Nerazzurri at least until the end. of the season.

“Eriksen will stay here at Inter,” Conte explained. “He is not leaving because we are not signing any players, so we will not let him leave the club.

“I’m so happy with his goal.” You weren’t the only one, Antonio …

It was a goal that propelled Inter into the National Cup semi-finals, simultaneously deflating spirits across the city. Conte’s men are chasing Milan to the top of Serie A, and while the 2-1 victory has no impact on the league standings, it could provide pursuers with a psychological lift in this dramatic race.

At the heart of this potentially swinging derby was our man Eriksen. Whatever emotions fans felt for him before Tuesday night’s win, they will now be forever indebted to his magical right foot, and all too aware of what he can offer when given the chance to shine. .

It’s up to Conte to meet those demands and to incorporate the belief in his superstar that he can play his best football in a whole new position – or face the wrath of a fan base and owner who expect success from both their key people and the team as a whole.

Eriksen will be an Inter man for the foreseeable future – but only time will tell if this is due to desire out of necessity.

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