Thomas Gravesen – A very differesnt brand of Danish Dynamite!
Featuring the likes of Michael Laudrup and Preben Elkjær, the Danish team at the 1986 World Cup with jet-heeled strikers and elegant midfielders played such a dynamic and explosive game that they were lauded as the Danish Dynamite. Some years later, Thomas Gravesen would earn a similar appellation, but for an entirely different reason. Continue reading →
The little big man and the big little man – Preben Elkjær and Michael Laudrup.
The ‘big man, little man’ combination is a common thread among successful striking partnerships. There’s the ‘big man,’ full of muscular hustle and bustle, aggression and a determination to dominate defenders. Then there’s the ‘little man’. He’s the smooth as silk, extravagantly skilled and elegant technician, whose ability bewitches opponents and fans alike. It’s a fairly apt description of Preben Elkjær and Michael Laudrup, Denmark’s iconic striking partnership of the mid to late 1980s when Danish Dynamite exploded into international football. Like so much about the pairing though, there’s even an iconoclastic element to the ‘big man, little man’ description. In this case, Elkjær, the ‘big man’ stood at 5’ 11”, whilst his ‘little man’ partner was 6’ 1” tall, although he hardly ever headed the ball. It’s not the only non-traditional aspect of a partnership that had so many contrasts – both on and off the field – but, particularly in the World Cup of 1986, for a brief time, took on the mantle as the most dynamic pair of strikers in world football. Continue reading →
The birth and passing of the eloquent and rich, but all-too-short, story of the Danish Dynamite team were both delivered at the feet of Jesper Olsen. In a qualifier for the European Championships of 1984, Denmark were playing an England team managed by the late Sir Bobby Robson for the first time. Olsen’s stunning last minute equaliser declared to the world that, here was something special. Here was a team that would pick up the baton left by the ‘totaal voetbal’ of the Dutch 1970’s vintage, and run with it, tinting the orange flame with the explosive pace and dribbling skills of red and white dynamite. Continue reading →