Beesotted’s Jim Levack shares his thoughts on the news that Christian Eriksen has officially signed for Manchester United today.
So that’s that then. It’s official. Arguably the greatest footballer ever to don a Brentford shirt has left to join a new, apparently more exciting project… in rain-sodden Manchester.
Strip the emotion most Bees fans will inevitably feel out if it, and it’s not hard to see why he’s gone. Let’s be honest, we’d have probably done the same as players, but not as fans. Never as fans.
He says the chance to play for Erik Ten Hag and “be part of United’s new era in the red shirt of United will be an amazing feeling”.
His family, happy in west London, will be secure forever but will presumably have to relocate to the north west as Eriksen bids to wrest the shirt from the embarrassment of serially underperforming talent at Old Trafford.
My gut says that as he moves further into the three-year contract, the prodigious talent we saw every week at the Brentford Community Stadium will increasingly be restricted to time as an impact sub. A shame that.
The blow of not playing will no doubt be assuaged by a multi-million pound signing on fee from a club desperate not to sink any further into a toxic abyss. That and a hefty weekly pay check.
Brentford will – in fact have – moved on already. It was like a fleeting affair with a partner well out of our league. The danger was always that a better looking option would come along. As the song goes ‘when you’re in love with a beautiful woman… ”.
For context having watched Eriksen close-up in the mixed zone, he had that aura about him that gifted people often exude. I’ve interviewed Muhammad Ali and Thatcher and love or loathe them, both had something special.
Eriksen was the same. He was one of the squad but at the same time had an aloofness that said ‘I know I’m bloody good but I’m not arrogant. I just know it’. That ‘swag’ in his make-up probably informed his final decision.
In his footballer’s bubble he will have weighed up the options, looked at his partner and two children and thought ‘know what? I’ve got to put them first’. Three years of United for a lifetime’s security.
Like many I do feel cheated because I genuinely thought – if you can think with your heart – that he’d do the decent thing, keep enjoying his football, repay our leap of faith in him and give us until January.
How naïve we were. Kevin O’Connor aside, there’s little loyalty in football, but Brentford will stick to the model and hopefully turn the Red Devils – Eriksen and all – over before the fickle United faithless turn on him. As they inevitably will.
Like jilted partners determined to be less vulnerable and foolish next time, we’ll await a statement about his time with us as he pens the inevitable ‘can’t wait to get started’ message to the Stretford End.
If he doesn’t explain how his initial quest to stay in London and play Champions League morphed into joining a current basket case of a club I’ll be disappointed, but will read between the lines. And then yes, move on.
Thanks for the memories Christian. Oh, and despite what the sycophantic clickbait media suggest, we’d have stayed up without you anyway.