And welcome to coverage of Brentford vs Tottenham when Christian Eriksen comes up against his old club and manager. Eriksen has been magnificent for Brentford and now clubs who were too timid to do what Brentford did and offer him the opportunity to resume his career are reportedly preparing ‘to swoop’ in the summer, somewhat parasitically. Should he leave – and one could be sympathetic both if he did and he didn’t – it would be hard not to agree with the verdict of Les McQueen on the music industry following his experiences with Crème Brûlée.
Antonio Conte was full of praise for Eriksen in his pre-match press conference. “Honestly, no one knew the possibility of Christian coming back to football. It was a surprise for everybody,” the Tottenham manager said.
“I think in this respect, Brentford was very good to understand the situation and to go into the situation, and to sign Christian. I’m really surprised but I’m not the only person surprised to see him playing in this way.
“I don’t want to remember what happened to him because it makes me very sad. But to see him now playing at this level is incredible. It’s amazing. I’m very happy for him. For sure, he had always great joy in playing football. But if before he was enjoying it 100 per cent, now it’s 200 per cent.
“Because to go from a situation where you can’t play football for the rest of your life, to playing football again, I think that makes you happy and makes you enjoy this sport, and your passion, much more.
“I wish for him and his family the best. They deserve it and it will be a great joy to see him on the pitch, playing and doing what he likes to do.”
Any road … Tottenham need to win to regain fourth place on goal difference after Arsenal’s victory over Manchester United earlier today. A win for Brentford, whose five victories in their past six games have banished all fears of relegation, would have them vying for a top-half finish.
Sergi Canos, Mathias Jorgensen and Frank Onyeka are long-term absentees for Brentford who also have a doubt hanging over Ethan Pinnock after he had to come off during the victory over Watford. Tottenham are missing three first-team squad players – Matt Doherty, Japhet Tanganga and Oliver Skipp.