Eriksen recalls time at Tottenham
Christian Eriksen has likened joining the Premier League to being in a "ping-pong machine" as he prepares to tackle former club Tottenham.
Speaking during his recent appearance on the UTD Podcast, the midfielder admitted it was an eye-opener to come to Spurs from Ajax, but he proved his class during his stint at Thursday night's opponents between 2013 and 2020.
As a player regularly linked with a move to Old Trafford, he would instead play against us for the north Londoners, scoring in a 2-1 away win at the Theatre of Dreams in early 2014 and converting a first-minute strike at Wembley in a 2-0 league triumph for the capital club in 2018.
"I don't know if I was a bargain," he said. "It was different. Just like going into a ping-pong machine, like a basketball game, continuously up and down. The intensity. Technically, I wasn't surprised. I train and see players' quality be the same as in Holland, technically. But you go into a game and wow, the intensity is completely different.
"If you lose the ball, it ends up there. If you lose it there, it ends up there. One rhythm, just up and down. It was a bit of a shock to get used to in the beginning.
"Under Andre Villa-Boas, I was in and out of the team at the time. I think also the club and the team was on and off. Against the top six, we lost a lot of games but, apart from that, we did okay. Then he left and Tim Sherwood took over at the end of that season and then Poch [Mauricio Pochettino] came in.
"I think, obviously, I had Poch for a lot longer than the other managers and I think what we did and what we created with him, the team we had was incredible. So, learning wise, I did learn from Poch. You'd have the ball less in training than before but have the ball a lot more in the games. With him, there was a lot of tough training, a lot of running, which is important for the physical part. We were a young side so, for us, it was the perfect mix and, just in the game, to play free."
Eriksen was aware of the constant speculation about admiring glances being cast from United in his direction, but was fully focused on representing Spurs at the time.
"I think I really enjoyed my time there," he explained. "We did have a very, very good team. And, every time, I'd be like no, I'm not going to leave for another team in the Premier League. I felt good at Spurs. You could see the opportunities for the future. Yeah, speaking [about it] is one thing but going for it is something else.
"I couldn't see myself [elsewhere in England] so it was also why, when I left Spurs, I didn't have the mindset of staying in the Premier League, when I wanted to leave. I didn't plan on coming back but then, two years later, I was back and you never know what is going to happen in football."
Thankfully, via Internazionale and Brentford, Christian is now wearing the red of United and will be aiming to sink his former employers in the 20:15 BST kick-off.