With half of the world still going on about Eden Hazard’s move to Chelsea, it’s rather timely that Euro 2012 is almost upon us. It’s an extravaganza of a competition which will have Europe hooked and unlike the Eurovision Song Contest – it will actually mean something!
Despite having an injury-hit season, Anders Lindegaard probably featured more times for Manchester United than most fans would have believed he would have after David De Gea’s arrival.
Lindegaard featured 11 times behind the sticks last season and got a steady run in the team after De Gea’s error at home to Blackburn Rovers. Unfortunately at the end of January the keeper damaged ankle ligaments in training and was ruled out for United’s game at home against Stoke City.
Ben Amos was given his Premier League debut against Tony Pulis’ side with De Gea reclaiming the jersey for the remainder of the season as the Spaniard recovered to have a great second-half to the season as injury kept Lindegaard out.
After a disappointing end to a good season for the Dane whose only error came at the Etihad in January’s pulsating FA Cup third round match when he failed to hold onto a Sergio Aguero shot in the wet conditions, with the Argentine striker tapping home the ball on the rebound.
It was touch and go whether Lindegaard would make Martin Olsen’s Denmark 23-man squad for the Euros. He has made it and now with first-choice goalkeeper Thomas Sorsneson of Stoke City was dropped from the squad after picking up a back injury against Brazil on Saturday has a good chance of playing.
It will be a straight fight between United’s no.34 and ex-Charlton goalkeeper Stephan Andersen to be the Dane’s first-choice goalkeeper at the tournament. Andersen came on for the injured Sorenson against Brazil but if Lindegaard is selected and impresses against Australia on Saturday he may well get the nod.
Denmark were drawn in Group B with the Netherlands, Germany and Portugal. They will not be expected to advance out of the group into the quarter-finals however they finished ahead of Portugal qualifying to reach the finals as one of nine group winners and will want to put on a good showing and prove that they are at the Euros on merit.
The finals will be another learning curve for Lindegaard who will be a better player as a result of going to the tournament even if he only plays one game at best and will come back stronger eager to challenge De Gea again. He could make himself a national hero, after all Denmark have a knack of producing good goalkeepers don’t forget that.
By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87