Living in a material world

Eriksen celebrates after giving Spurs the lead against Southampton at the weekend; credits Getty Images

What does Madonna and her hit song Material Girl have to do with football?

I was driving in the car when it came on the radio, have a listen, and the line about experience just struck a chord with me.

It is so relevant nowadays with British players seeing less and less game time at the highest level.

The paths different players choose and the effect this can have on their development is fascinating.

After watching Christian Eriksen score and play so well for Spurs against Southampton at the weekend, I was reminded of his career path and one of his contemporaries, Josh McEachran now of Brentford.

I already knew about Eriksen before I read a brilliant interview with him  in 2012.

In it, he talks of how he looked around Chelsea as a 14-year-old but found the closed nature of the training ground and environment almost too suffocating, in comparison to what he had experienced in his homeland Denmark.

He chose Ajax for various reasons, an easier route to the first team being one, whilst Chelsea already had a similar player in-house, Josh McEachran, therefore their interest was not as strong as that from Ajax.

The rest is history.

That history in 2012 had already consisted of 131 games for Ajax, whilst McEachran had started just one in the Premier League for Chelsea.

Not long after this interview, Eriksen moved to Tottenham Hotspur in 2013 for £11.5m after amassing over 160 appearances, whilst McEachran had made just over 20 for Chelsea before leaving for Championship side Brentford in 2015.

In the build up to Brentford’s game against Chelsea in The FA Cup Fourth Round tie at Stamford Bridge in January, McEachran was interviewed in the Telegraph and was in bullish mood ahead of the match  However, he was replaced after 78 minutes as Brentford were beaten 4-0.

Making comparisons between players is difficult, however, in terms of game time, I feel Eriksen’s amount of games had given him a vast wealth of experiences.

McEachran in contrast was left to beg and borrow for matches which left him penniless in game time, by comparison.

In monetary terms, both players have probably accumulated similar sums and are extremely wealthy, although for Eriksen, as Madonna put so succinctly; ‘Experience has made me rich and now they’re after me.’

Now, they are all after Eriksen.