Date Opponent Result Venue Match Type
26.04.2000 Sweden 0-1 Copenhagen, Denmark Friendly
29.03.2000 Portugal 1-2 Leiria, Portugal Friendly
17.11.1999 Israel 3-0 Copenhagen, Denmark ECQ (Playoff)
13.11.1999 Israel 5-0 Tel Aviv, Israel ECQ (Playoff)
10.10.1999 Iran 0-0 Copenhagen, Denmark Friendly
08.09.1999 Italy 3-2 Napoli, Italy ECQ
04.09.1999 Switzerland 2-1 Copenhagen, Denmark ECQ
18.08.1999 Holland 0-0 Copenhagen, Denmark Friendly
09.06.1999 Wales 2-0 Liverpool, England ECQ
05.06.1999 Belarussia 1-0 Copenhagen, Denmark ECQ
ECQ = European Championship Qualification

Denmark are currently going through the Down part of an up-and-down
period, with the hope being that Up will start with the European
Championships. The last two friendlies have been against Sweden and
Portugal, both lost with one goal. In Leiria, Portugal, Denmark played
20 minutes of the best attacking soccer you are ever likely to see.
Unfortunately, that was followed by 70 minutes of rubbish that saw
Portugal not only equalize Jon Dahl Tomassons early goal, but score the
winner after Figo walked straight through Thomas Helveg and Jes
Hoegh and lifted the ball over Peter Schmeichel.

The match against Sweden was another story entirely. It was explained
as an experiment, playing several people out of position. It was an
experiment that clearly failed. While only losing 0-1, Denmark played
some of the worst football yet seen. Even Bo Johansson, the Danish
coach, admitted that the only positive to come out of the match against
Sweden was that Denmark had played 20 quality minutes in the match
against Portugal. These matches, though, came 4 months after the
EC-Qualification playoff that saw Denmark trounce Israel 8-0 over two
legs, winning 5-0 in Tel Aviv and 3-0 in Copenhagen, with the same
formation and mostly the same squad.

So, 5-0 and 3-0 wins, followed by 1-2 and 0-1 losses. Are Denmark too
unstable to sustain the level of play showed in Israel throughout the
European Championships? Are the friendly matches an indication of a
down period that will extend far into the European Championships? Do
Denmark merely suck? Well, lets look back on the results leading up
to the 98 World Cup.
Date Opponent Result Venue Competition
05.06.1998 Cameroon 1-2 Copenhagen, Denmark Friendly
28.05.1998 Sweden 0-3 Malmö, Sweden Friendly
22.04.1998 Norway 0-2 Copenhagen, Denmark Friendly
25.03.1998 Scotland 1-0 Glasgow, Scotland Friendly
Four games, three losses, one win, only 2 goals scored, 7 goals scored
against them. Yet Denmark still made it to the quarter-finals, beating
Nigeria 4-1 along the way and only narrowly going out 2-3 to Brazil.
While the two friendlies against Portugal and Sweden were both losses
with little redeeming qualities shown, writing off Denmark because of
that could prove to be a mistake.

Date Opponent Result Venue Competition
24.06.1998 France 1-2 Lyon, France World Cup
09.11.1996 France 1-0 Copenhagen, Denmark Friendly
17.06.1992 France 2-1 Malmö, Sweden Euro Ch'ship
12.06.1984 France 0-1 Paris, France Euro Ch'ship
07.09.1983 France 3-1 Copenhagen, Denmark Friendly
The last five matches against France seems to point towards one thing.
While Denmark have lost 1-2 and 0-1 to them, both losses came in
France. Outside of France, Denmark won 3-1, 2-1 and 1-0. With
Denmark being a definite underdog coming in to a match against the
reigning World champions, the question here seems not so much to
be "Can Denmark win?" but "Can France win outside their home
country?", and Denmark would have it no other way, thriving on the
same underdog role they played when they beat France 2-1 in the
92 European Championships.
Date Opponent Result Venue Competition
18.08.1999 Holland 0-0 Copenhagen, Denmark Friendly
22.06.1992 Holland 2-2 Göteborg, Sweden Euro Ch'ship
06.09.1989 Holland 2-2 Amsterdam, Holland Friendly
14.03.1984 Holland 0-6 Amsterdam, Holland Friendly
04.10.1967 Holland 3-2 Copenhagen, Denmark EC-Qualification
Five matches, 3 draws, one win each. Last time the two met, a friendly
in Copenhagen, it was an entertaing back-and-forth match with both
sides being cheated out of a penalty and playing very much like equals.
In Euro 2000, Holland will have the added benefit of a rapid home
crowd, making this another uphill struggle for Denmark, even though
Jesper Groenkjaer of Ajax would love to put one over the Dutch side
on "his" pitch, Amsterdam Arena.
Date Opponent Result Venue Competition
19.08.1998 Czech Republic 0-1 Prag, Czech Republic Friendly
One match, one loss. Not much to go by here. Take Czechoslovakia,
though, and...
Date Opponent Result Venue Competition
01.06.1988 Czechoslovakia 0-1 Copenhagen, Denmark Friendly
03.06.1987 Czechoslovakia 1-1 Copenhagen, Denmark ECQ
12.11.1986 Czechoslovakia 0-0 Bratislava, Czechoslo ECQ
16.05.1984 Czechoslovakia 0-1 Prag, Czechoslovakia Friendly
ECQ = European Championship Qualification

Adding this to the one Czech match and it's 5 matches, 3 losses and 2
ties. Even with that record, Denmark v. Czech Republic still looks to be
the most even match Denmark has in Group D.


Jan Heintze
Born: August 17th, 1963
Position: Left back
Currently playing for: PSV Eindhoven (Holland)

This hard working left back, who will turn 37 in August, plays with the
pace and stamina of a 23 year old. Heintze is both the oldest player on
the Danish team and the one it will be hardest to replace, should he
ever choose to retire. Having played in both the Dutch Erstedivision
(twice with PSV Eindhoven) and the German Bundesliga (with
Uerdingen and Leverkusen), Heintze brings an air of stability to the left
hand side, both with his clean tackling (only 2 yellow cards in 61
games for Denmark) and head for the game, but also with his many
runs up the left flank. Think of him as a Roberto Carlos without the goal
scoring touch, but with the ability to defend and the common sense to
not try bicycle kicks in his own area.

Martin Joergensen
Born: October 6th, 1975
Position: Right midfield
Currently playing for: Udinese (Italy)

Martin Joergensen, who got his international breakthrough in the '98
World Cup, is an attack-minded midfielder, who is versatile enough to
play both right and left midfield, as well as in attack. Playing with
the two Laudrup brothers in the '98 World Cup got him the nickname of
"Mini-Laudrup", but with both Laudrups now retired from international
competition, Denmarks offensive play relies on a Martin Joergensen in
top form. Starting in Danish OB Odense, it did not take long for
Joergensen to turn some heads and be brought to Udinese, where
former OB Odense player Thomas Helveg was playing at the time.
In these past couple of seasons, Joergensen has earned himself a first
team spot, both in Udinese and for Denmark. His dribbling skills and
pace make him a dangerous threat to any team, but he some times
has a tendency to hold on to a ball for too long. An on-form Joergensen
could prove a nasty surprise to many a team in Euro 2000.

Jon Dahl Tomasson
Born: August 29th, 1976
Position: Supporting attacker
Currently playing for: Feyenoord (Holland)

This 1996 Dutch Eresdivision Talent Of The Year has finally made a real
impact on the Danish national team. After starting in second division
Danish club Koege, he was picked up by Heerenveen at the age of
only 18. Two seasons after joining Heerenveen and with his contract
soon expiring, Jon Dahl was the most sought after Danish free agent
that year. It finally fell for Newcastle to get the talents signature and
soon after Jon Dahl was on the national team for the first time. Both
bombed. Arriving at Newcastle just as Alan Shearer suffered a
long-term injury, Jon Dahl was thrown into the unfamiliar position of
target man and fared poorly. His lack of confidence carried over to his
international matches, where he played twice, scored no goals and had
some miserable misses, including one missed from only a couple of
inches in front of the goal. Things were not looking too good for the
player once dubbed the "Attacking future of Denmark". In the summer
of 1998, though, everything changed. Jon Dahl moved back to Holland,
this time to Feyenoord, with which he won the Eresdivision and played
well enough to warrant a comeback to the national team. After a
slightly rocky start, Tomasson found his groove, playing just behind
Ebbe Sand, and scored 7 goals in the last 5 EC-Qualification matches.
Alongside Schalke 04's Ebbe Sand, Jon Dahl Tomasson is who
Denmark look at to bang them in this summer.


A Denmark with everything working for it plays a very attack minded
pressing game. The two central midfielders do a lot of running, the two
wings are always poised to run for or with the ball and the defense is
standing very high on the pitch, pressuring the opposing teams
attackers. The attack is of one center forward situated high on the
pitch but with freedom to run where he wants, and one situated lower
on the pitch, midways between the attacker and the midfield, who is
free to make forward runs into the box. The high positioning of the
defense and the pressing style used, makes counter attacks particularly
dangerous, as the attacks are often stopped high on the pitch and the
ball brought forward quickly, usually by either of the wings.


Denmark plays a variation of the 4-4-2, more of a 4-4-1-1.
Jan Heintze at left back, and Jes Hoegh and Rene Henriksen in
center are certain of starting. The right back position is going back
and forth between Thomas Helveg and Soeren Colding. Unfortunately,
Helveg is best in the midfield and Colding is often on a totally different
page from the rest of the team, a page with lots of high balls into
nowhere. Earlier in the season, Ole Tobiasen of Ajax held that position
and would today as well had he not been seriously injured, effectively
ending his season and if he's not careful, his career.

The central midfield is a bit more open. Allan Nielsen had a certain
first team spot earlier the season, but lack of playing time at
Tottenham saw him drop out in favour of Brian Steen Nielsen. At the
same time, an injury to Soeren Colding saw Thomas Helveg moved
down to right back, leaving an opening in midfield, an opening that Stig
Toefting capitalised on, firmly entrenching himself in midfield. Now,
with Colding back and Allan Nielsen getting regular playing time in
Wolverhampton, the competition in center is fiercer than ever. Totally
unlike the wings, in fact, which sees Jesper Groenkjaer in the left and
Martin Joergensen in the right sure of starting every match.
Experiments with Michael Schjoenberg in left and Bjarne Goldbaek in
right have not born fruit, and in Schjoenbergs case, almost killed the

In attack, both Ebbe Sand and Jon Dahl Tomasson have to play very
badly to slip out of the starting position. Even with fierce competition
from Miklos Molnar, Mikkel Beck and Soeren Andersen, and perhaps
from Danish Superliga top scorer Peter Lassen, the Sand/Tomasson
team have been working very well. Molnar, Beck and Andersen, and
perhaps Lassen, are all capable of playing the Joker role, though,
being thrown in the last half hour to run the tired defenders ragged.

Denmarks starting 4-4-1-1 will probably look something like this:
Groenkjaer B. S. Nielsen Toefting Joergensen
Heintze Hoegh Henriksen Helveg

The coach: Swede Bo "Bosse" Johansson has taken Denmark to the
World Cup quarter finals and now to the European Championships by
having faith in his players and not letting age be a factor. Despite their
young ages, both Jesper Groenkjaer and Martin Joergensen are first
team regulars. Despite a disasterous backpass in the match in
Copenhagen against Italy, Jesper Groenkjaer was given several other
chances. Despite the lack of first team playing time in Chelsea, Jes
Hoegh is still a regular in the central defence. Having a coach that
trusts his players so, leaves the players free to play the best their can,
instead of playing with the fewest possible mistakes out of fear of losing
their place on the team.

The fans: Always ready to share a beer with fans of any country, always
ready to cheer on the Danish side, always ready to belt out the Danish
national anthem, the Danish Roligans, which translates roughly into
Easygans, are the perennial 12th man of the Danish side. Adding to the
friendly atmosphere outside the stadium and shouting support for their
side inside the stadium, the Danish fans have given the Danish side an
incredible energy boost time and time again.

The underdog role: Being penned as the weakest side in Group D(eath)
fits Denmark just fine. With no serious expectations placed on them,
they are free to just play soccer, against a team that has been told
repeatedly that they "ought to be able to beat Denmark". Denmark would
like nothing better than to once again play the lead in a fairy tale
story, one as might be penned by H. C. Andersen, of an underdog team
winning it all in the end.


The coach: As good it is for a coach to have trust in his players, it
can be taken too far, and has. Jes Hoegh has played only 3 first team
games for Chelsea so far in 2000, and while he does train with some of
the best players in the world, with the hectic schedule in England, the
first team players do not take the training that seriously. Hoeghs lack
of match fitness was apparent in the friendly match against Portugal,
where Luis Figo scored the winning goal after getting past Hoegh with
little trouble. Despite this, Johansson refused to substitute Hoegh for
Verona's Martin Laursen. He ended up substituting midfield work horse
Stig Toefting and moving Hoegh up to a midfield place he has shown
little flair for, to let Martin Laursen play central defense. The same
scenario took place during the game against Sweden, again despite a
lacklustre performance from Hoegh. Another player who has benefitted
from trust taken way too far has been Kansas City attacker Miklos
Molnar. Despite not having played for then club Sevilla for 5 months,
Molnar was still chosen for the Portugal match ahead of Danish Superliga
topscorer Peter Lassen. Former national player Soeren Andersen of OB,
and lately Mikkel Beck now of AaB, have also been selected ahead of
never-capped Lassen, despite playing in the same league and having
scored fewer goals than the Silkeborg striker. Other odd decisions from
Bo Johansson have been his unwillingness to select Superliga players for
the national team, even for test matches, and his decision to write off
HSV's Thomas Gravesen as too psychologially unstable to play for the
national team based on one incident.

Lack of offensive minded backup players: Jesper Groenkjaer is good
enough to be a regular feature on the Ajax left wing. Martin Joergensen
is playing so well for Udinese that he has been mentioned as a possible
signing for Real Madrid. But what if either of those are injured? Bosse
Johansson have experimented with Michael Schjoenberg (Kaiserslautern)
in left midfield and Bjarne Goldbaek (Fulham) in right midfield. Both
experiments have failed, the Schjoenberg one spectacularly so. The only
other offensive minded midfield player that seems in the picture is
decidedly out-of-favour Sunderland player, Carsten Fredgaard and
Bolton's Claus Jensen. An injury to either Jesper Groenkjaer or Martin
Joergensen would be a massive blow to Denmark's Euro 2000 hopes.

The official song: Take a bad comedy group, making jokes that can only
be called jokes because of the laugh track. Take away the one member
that might actually be funny, with plenty of training and a new supply
of jokes. Add plenty of crudeness, bad music, and name the group after a
bad nickname for a rectum. Does it sound like the sort of group you
would want to make the official Euro 2000 song for your national team?
No? Well, the Danish football association thinks it does. For some

David Tiemroth