I remember looking up to the skies above Wembley and shaking my head in pure astonishment. It felt surreal; like I was experiencing some hallucinogenic high but that I’d wake up at any moment.
And so, after six and a half years, the door closes on Christian Eriksen’s Spurs career. He arrived as one of the magnificent seven, using the world record transfer fee we recouped for Gareth Bale. A prodigious talent, who was well known in scouting circles but, for some reason that is even more mystifying in hindsight, no one seemed to want to take a punt on him. Until, that is, Franco Baldini was tasked with spending the money we were set to receive for our flying Welshman.
£11 million handed to Ajax and incredibly well spent, unlike the majority of our other purchases that summer. In fact, one of our best ever purchases, certainly in the Premier League era.
The Dane became the heartbeat of the team during the Pochettino years. When he purred, we did. And we hit heights that some of us had never experienced before.
Hopefully Giovani Lo Celso can now help to fill the void left behind, just as Eriksen did when Bale left. A new hero always emerges.
Perhaps our perception of what we’ve lost is diminished by Eriksen’s dip in form over the past year. Just like when Dembele left this time last year, albeit in slightly different circumstances, we haven’t lost the peak version. He was lost some time ago.
But despite recriminations from sections of our fanbase over his sub-par performances over the past 12 months, I will always remember Christian Eriksen fondly.
I’ll remember him scoring the winner at Old Trafford on New Year’s Day 2014.
I’ll remember him scoring the late winner at the Etihad in early 2016 and, in the aftermath, I actually started to believe for the first time.
I’ll remember his creativity – laying on two assists for Dele Alli in a 2-0 home win against Chelsea in 2017.
I’ll remember his long rangers – the swerving 25 yard dipper bamboozling Willy Caballero in Chelsea’s goal to equalise on the stroke of half time and kickstart a 3-1 away win. Our first at Stamford Bridge in 28 years.
I’ll remember his work rate. Top of the running stats every match, he was perpetual motion. Not that everyone always noticed it. And, unlike the rest of them, he never seemed to get injured – a precious commodity, especially given that he was rarely rested. We couldn’t afford to rest him because he was unique in our squad and so integral to the way we played.
I’ll remember his incredible vision – the impossible pass to Dele in the 2017 FA Cup semi final that wasn’t even on but that levelled the tie at 2-2.
And I’ll remember him wrapping up a, quite frankly, mind blowing win against the European Champions, Real Madrid. As he put us 3-0 up, in what was perhaps our most impressive win under Poch, I remember looking up to the skies above Wembley and shaking my head in pure astonishment. It felt surreal; like I was experiencing some hallucinogenic high but that I’d wake up at any moment.
That’s the way I’ll remember Christian Eriksen. A Spurs legend. He gave the majority of his career to us – signed aged 21 and departed a couple of weeks shy of his 28th birthday.
Thank you “maestro”. If Pochettino created an orchestra, then you were the conductor. And we made beautiful, sexy music the like of which I’d never before heard coming from the confines of N17 (and Wembley).