John Jensen a similar situation with Denmark to Mike Bassett: England Manager when Benson and Hedges were called up

6 Sep

John Jensen admitted he had to ask who his players were at what position they played in ahead of Denmark’s loss to Slovakia.

Jensen answered his nation’s call when it was revealed first team stars were staying because of a dispute over commercial image rights between the Danish Football Association and the players’ union (Spillerne).

It meant Futsal players and amateur footballers represented Denmark instead.

“I had to start from scratch and ask each player his name and which position he plays on the field,” Jensen told a news conference. It reminded talkSPORT.com of a scene in Mike Bassett: England Manager.

In the 2001 film, Bassett, played by Ricky Tomlinson, writes his squad list down on the back of a cigarette packet leading to unexpected call-ups for lower league players Ron Benson and Tony Hedges.

Arsenal cult hero John Jensen had to ask who his Denmark players were and what position they played in for Slovakia game

6 Sep

Denmark’s temporary manager, John Jensen, revealed he didn’t even know who his players were ahead of the farcical UEFA Nations League game against Slovakia.

Arsenal cult hero Jensen, who won Euro ’92 with Denmark, answered his country’s call to manage a side containing unknown lower league and Futsal players.

“I had to start from scratch and ask each player his name and which position he plays on the field,” Jensen told a news conference when he arrived in Slovakia.

Denmark lost 3-0 and face Wales on Sunday.

Jensen scored once in his Arsenal career and has since become a cult hero

The farcical situation that led to players such as Christian Eriksen and Kasper Schmeichel staying away came about as a result of a dispute over commercial image rights between the Danish Football Association and the players’ union (Spillerne).

Afterwards Jensen said: “We got 24 heroes who were called in about 48 hours ago and play in a very, very low division compared to the opponent Slovakia who has world-class players.

“I’m proud, I’m shocked that these players that were on the pitch and also the players that didn’t come on the pitch.

“The friendship and what they did tonight is absolutely amazing and I will never forget this defeat. This is the best defeat in my career.”

Due to the quality of opposition, Slovakia’s FA even reduced the price of entry to €1.

Jensen joined the Gunners in 1992 after his European Championship exploits, but his inability to find the net soon made him a hero. When he did finally score, in December 1994, t-shirts were made by supporters, with ‘I saw John Jensen score’ emblazoned across the front.