Thomas Gravesen intervenes in Denmark squad row after Matt O’Riley omission

Matt O’Riley was left out of the Danish squad for the upcoming Euro 2024, much to the dismay of the Danish fans and many former players including Thomas Gravesen…

Matt has been influential in Celtic’s double winning season, scoring 18 goals and providing 16 assists, becoming a more complete midfielder under the guidance of Brendan Rodgers.

His form has been that impressive that the likes of Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan have been credited with an interest in the former Fulham and MK Dons player. There has also been reports of interest in the Celtic midfielder from multiple Premier League clubs.

But it hasn’t impressed Danish boss Kasper Hjulmand who omitted O’Riley from his 26 man squad for the Euros, shortly after having a dig about the standard of Scottish football.

Denmark’s head coach Kasper Hjulmand (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP via Getty Images)

Hjulmand explained his decision, and it’s one that should be respected. He’s the man in charge after all and the Dane’s have a vast of quality to choose from, so it wouldn’t have been an easy decision. It’s his job on the line and after failing miserably at the World Cup he has stuck by the old guard who are now a few years older from Qatar where they were shown to be past their best.

Matt O’Riley is the future for the Denmark side, but Kasper Hjulmand has opted for the past. That seldom works in football but we’ll see over the coming few weeks if he has indeed made the correct call.

Judging by the storm on social media the Danish supporters reckon that Matt O’Riley should be included and so too do numerous former pros such as Thomas Gravesen.

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Thomas Gravesen tangles with Kaka of AC Milan during the UEFA Champions League Round 16 first leg match between Celtic and AC Milan at Celtic Park on 20 February, 2007. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

“Hjulmand has selected the players he trusts, and then we are back to the same song as we usually do – he does not see the Superliga and the players who play at home,” the former Celtic midfielder said, as reported by Scottish Sun.  “He has again selected players who are not in shape, do not have rhythm and do not play on a daily basis.

“There are players I would much rather see in the national team than some of the players who have been injured or haven’t played at all. We have a player who has helped win the championship in Scotland and we have a player who has dominated the [Danish] Super League.

READ THIS…Video: Danish pundit slams Matt O’Riley Euros omission

“I am of course talking about Matt O’Riley and Nicolai Vallys. Why aren’t they there? The two deserved a chance, but Kasper Hjulmand won’t give it to them. Many of the players who are abroad are sitting on the bench. They don’t play football. They are not in shape.

“Is [Christian Eriksen] at 80 percent? Or is he at 70 percent? Or 50? Or 20? We have no idea, because he doesn’t play, and that’s a problem. Christian Eriksen at top level is an exceptional player, but where is he at the moment?”

One things for sure, Matt O’Riley will have plenty of chances to show his class at the top level of International football in the not too distant future and that could well be under the next manager after Hjulmand. He’s still got time on his side and there will be many more opportunities to go to a major tournament with the Danes.

Just an Ordinary Bhoy

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An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.

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