EURO 2016 Letdown XI & Panini cheapskates

 

England v Wales - Group B: UEFA Euro 2016
Courtesy of Getty Images. Joe you melt.

Euro 2016 has given us the Icelandic thunderclap (look forward to mediocre recreations at virtually every stadium come September), Shaqiri’s edge of the box scissor kick and now Will Grigg’s on fire indefinitely.

Lest we forget the under-achievers, flops and all round shoddiness that’s taken place over the last few weeks, have a look at the letdown team of the tournament.

To accompany the less than ideal performances are some drawings that fit the same description. If you want to see the whole collection of these unique and quirky portraits, head to @CheapPanini who draw knock off panini stickers in their very successful bid to raise money for Cancer Research UK and Macintyre Charities, currently at £4000 of donations and counting.

Goalkeepers:

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Some of the keen-eyed readers may have already picked up on my disdain for Joe Hart. Nothing wrong with him as a person, apart from his wrists which act more like overcooked noodles rather than properly functioning set. 4 out of 5 shots at his goal went in (group stages), including a 35-yard free kick and a tame shot against Iceland to seal the Euro exit.

De Gea kept clean sheets against Turkey and Cech Republic, but the weak parry leading to Chiellini netting and a sloppy near post goal against Perisic puts him in the mix. Granted he’s not even on Joes level when it comes to cocking-up. On the whole, the goalkeepers have done a fine job throughout, having the lowest goals per match (2.12) since England 96.

Defenders:

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Dragovic personified Austria’s disappointing campaign in France. The downward spiral of 65′ min red card in the first game resulting in a loss to Hungary, only to come back against Iceland, where his penalty miss cost the game and cemented his place in this team.

Ukraine defenders have the second most clean sheets in qualifying (6) so they’d be the last team you’d expect to concede 5 goals in 3 games. Dynamo Kyiv CB Khacheridi played all 3 games and in all of them failed to defend any crosses, resulting in Mustafi and McAuley netting. Who can blame him when you’re suffering from insomnia, by the looks of it anyway.

Vermaelen is worth a mention here, while not having any ‘shockers’ due to his overall poor but unnoticed work at the back. The Belgian committed the most fouls of any CB (8) and received 2 yellow cards despite only playing 4 matches.

Turkey’s downfall was in their defence, as in they had players in CB who you wouldn’t deem defenders in the strictest sense of the word. Topal would be one of those. The Fenerbahce midfielder (CM/CDM) filled in the CB role and the inexperience was, well, evident. Something is going very wrong when your defensive clearance puts the opposition striker one-on-one with your own goalkeeper.

Smolnikov (the one with the massive neck) was part of the Russian defence, conceding 6 goals and the 2nd worst goal difference (-4) only outdone by Ukraine (who played 1 extra game). Always looking 2nd favourite to every ball even with his blistering pace, he was responsible for Russia’s poor defensive performance in their short run in Euro 2016.

Midfielders:

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 16.29.11

One defender and now two midfielders; Ukraine are having a shocker. The main source of goals rested on the shoulders of attacking duo of Yarmalenko and Konoplyanka. Ukraine failed to score a single goal at EURO 2016. The two 26-year-olds posed a very little threat despite 14.33 attempts on goal per game (43 in total).

Turkey joins Ukraine with their own midfield duo making the list. Hakan Calhanoglu has been on top form for Bayern Leverkusen at CAM, but only managed 41 passes in 180 minutes. Unable to replicate his la Liga form, Arda Turan was so poor that his own fans started booing him against Spain.

Much like England, Sterling was devoid of creativity. He wasn’t the only one to blame; the petition to send him back to England didn’t help either but it sums up his efforts quite well: ‘Let’s face it we’re all sick of seeing this guy mince down the wing and fail to deliver a half decent ball into the box’.

Strikers:

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Lewandowski netted 30 times in Bundesliga last season. He scored 13 goals in qualifying. In EURO 2016 he scored only once, registering 0 shots on target in the group stages.

A similar story fits Zlatan (8 goals in qualifiers) and Muller (9 goals in qualifiers). Both superstars ended their tournament with 0 goals and 1 assist. As for the big Swede, he’s now retired from international football. Muller the self-proclaimed ‘space investigator’ created 19 opportunities for himself, 7 on target, but the record still stands at 0 goals in EURO competitions for the Bayern Munich man.

Anyone who doesn’t watch the premier league will be wondering how Harry Kane won the golden boot. We witnessed 1st hand his specialist set pieces, inability to finish, pass a football, or even use general motor skills at points. What happened? His face says it all.

Worst XI of EURO 2016:

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 18.21.27

Thoughts?

Agree or disagree?

Feel free to comment below!

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