Denmark friendly brings back memories for Anderton
05 March 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Almost 20 years to the day since making his England debut against Denmark, Spurs legend Darren Anderton has backed the Three Lions to shine against the same opposition.
Roy Hodgson’s men take on the Danes this evening at Wembley as they step up their preparations for this summer’s World Cup finals in Brazil.
But it was ex-Spurs chief Terry Venables who was in charge for a similar friendly on March 9, 1994 – a game that saw Darren handed his first international cap.
Recalling his England bow, former midfielder Darren spoke of the ‘unbelievable’ moment he discovered he’d be starting against Denmark – and then predicted an England win under the Arch tonight
“I didn’t know I’d be starting when I went in on the Sunday night – all I wanted was just to get on the pitch and get a cap,” explained the 42-year-old, who scored 48 goals in 358 appearances for us between 1992 and 2004.
“When I was told I was starting I couldn’t believe it. What a great feeling! It caused many emotions for me, the biggest being a bit of nervousness.
“It was obviously very nerve-wracking ahead of the game and when you’re in that position there’s lots of thoughts that go through your mind – are you good enough; how’s it going to go? But it was a great feeling to be named in the side.
“The actual game itself was a good game to be involved in, being Terry’s first game as well. There had been a lot of negativity over the previous two or three years so it was seen as a new era and it was great to be part of it.”
David Platt’s 16th minute goal gave England a 1-0 win on that occasion and, with his modern-day counterparts preparing to face the Danes this evening, Darren believes the stage is set for some of today’s rising stars to stake their claim for a place on the plane to Brazil in the summer.
“England should come through it, but it’s always very difficult in this sort of game as there could be a lot of substitutions that might interrupt the flow of the game,” said the Southampton-born star, who played for England at Euro ’96 and the 1998 World Cup in France.
“Of course, it’s an opportunity for everyone who’s able to play to impress the manager in order to go and perform at the World Cup.”
Darren has also been keeping a close eye on Andros Townsend, who has been named in the Three Lions’ squad again after his tremendous performances in the latter months of 2013.
And despite the injury problems the 22-year-old has endured in the intervening time, Darren believes the fast-paced winger has a bright future both here at Spurs and on the international stage.
“Andros has been unlucky with his injury,” Darren added. “It seems like Roy Hodgson likes him and the advantage that he’s got is that he has performed well for England when he’s played before, so that will be something that I’m sure Roy Hodgson will remember.”