Today, say “Det” to Denmark (That’s “Hello” in Danish), and to help us understand the team what better way to do it than through an interview with that legendary sports commentator: Hamlet! Prince of Denmark!
BMacK: Hamlet, you’re a legend in your own land, a prince, a scholar, a man for all seasons, and a former striker for Silkeborg IF whose winning goal against Brondby keeper Laertes won your team the Danish Cup. Welcome to the Montanan Hooligan’s World Cup Center
HPoD: “Why look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me! You would play upon me; you would seem to know my stops; you would pluck out the heart of my mystery; you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass”
BMacK: I’m sorry Hamlet, I thought I was giving you an adequate introduction, I-uhh...
HPoD: “Go, Go you question with a wicked tongue”
BMacK: Well...uh, okay, I guess the first real question is what lessons should we take from the Danish qualifying campaign. They finished at the top of their group and picked up a spot over traditional powers Sweden and Portugal with big wins in Lisbon and Solna. By all accounts that was embarrassing for the Portugese.
HPoD: “Their defeat does by their own insinuation grow./Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes/Between the pass and fell incensed points/Of mighty opposites.”
BMacK: Are you saying that Portugal is base and vile Hamlet?
HPoD: “I should have fatted all the region kites/With this slave’s offal. Bloody bawdy villain!/Remorseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless villain!”
BMacK: Ooookay...well, let’s shift gears and talk about Morten Olsen, manager of the Danish national team and the longest tenured coach in the World Cup. He has been instrumental in building up the team and they’re even called Olsen’s Gang in the press. Hamlet, what is Olsen like
HPoD: “The king doth wake to-night and takes his rouse,/Keeps wassail, and the swagg’ring uprising reels,/And, as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down, the kettledrum and trumpet thus bray out”
BMacK: Really? I have a hard time believing that Olsen’s a hell raiser, but you’re the Prince. So I’ll buy it. Can you describe the Danish style of play?
HPoD: “The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king!”
BMacK: What the hell does that mean?
HPoD: “Denmark’s a prison...in which there are many confines, wards and dungeons, Denmark being one o’ th’ worst”
BMacK: Oh you must be talking about the recent shift in Denmark’s play from a more aggressive, 4-3-3 (4 defenders, 3 midfielders, 3-strikers) to a more defensive styled 4-4-2, or even 4-5-1.
HPoD: “Sir, I lack advancement”
BMacK: I don’t know about that Hamlet, sure they’re aging, but you have John Dahl Thomasson and Dennis Rommedahl up top. They both have some skills. and seem to be nurturing younger players like the up and coming Arsenal 21 year old Niklas Bendter. But alright then, thinking about the defense, who do you think is the star of the team?
HPoD: “Angels and ministers of grace defend us!”
BMacK: So you’re a fan of Daniel “Angel” Agger (of Liverpool) and Michael “Minster of Grace” Gravgaard (of Nantes)?
HPoD: “These tedious fools”
BMacK: Sorry, it’s just a little hard to follow with you talking all crazy.
HPoD: “I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.”
BMacK: Oh, well since you put it that way...do you have anything else to say about the stars Hammy?
HPoD: “There be players that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly, that...have so strutted and bellowed that I have thought some of Nature’s journeymen had made men, and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.”
BMacK: Agreed, Christiano Ronaldo’s a tool. Okay, Hamlet, on to the draw, Denmark drew a tough group with the Dutch, the Japanese and Cameroon, what do you make of many claims that Danish Dynamite may not get through the first round at this cup?
HPoD: “Slanders, sir; for the satirical rogue says here that old men have grey birds; that their faces are wrinkled; their eyes purging thick amber and plum tree gum; and that they have plentiful lack of wit.”
BMacK: I agree, they aren’t the sexiest team, but the Danish are a great sleeper team.
HPoD: “To sleep, perchance to dream”
BMacK: Beautifully put Hammy, a close game against the Dutch could give them a mountain of confidence in the last matches against talented but inconsistent Japan and Cameroon, that can get them into the second round, and an over confident Italian squad may be ripe for the pickings sending the Danes to the quarterfinals.
HPoD: “Why, right! You are in the right!/And so, without more circumstance at all,/I hold it fit that we shake hands and part;/You, as your business and desires shall point you,/For every man hath business and desire,/Such as it is; and for my own poor part, Look you, I’ll go pray”
BMacK: While Hamlet prays for the best case scenario, I’ll sign off. For MacKenzie Low Budget Sports and the Montana Hooligan World Cup Center, I’m Ben MacKenzie.