Arsenal's Wojciech Szczesny And The Worst XI Of The Euro 2012 Group Stages

A collection of the worse players and the biggest let downs of the Euro 2012 group stages.
Avatar:
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
63
A collection of the worse players and the biggest let downs of the Euro 2012 group stages.

404

Admittedly this could be the entire Dutch squad, but that seems harsh so there's a couple of other names being thrown into the hat. Some of these are high profile flops, others no one expected to be good and they weren't, some made silly mistakes and then there's Arsenal's Wojciech Szczesny.

We're playing the international football standard 4-2-3-1 in this imaginary lineup of chancers, flops and fools.

Goalkeeper – Wojciech Szczęsny - Poland

He saw a red in what should have been straight forward win over a hapless Greece, and now the hosts are out. It's not entirely his fault, but you can't help but wonder if he hadn't been suspended for the following group games. Poland might have even been able to go out in a blaze of glory against Germans in the quarter finals.

Left Back – Jetro Willems – Netherlands

He's only young and there's some potential there, but, my word, the Dutch defence were a shambles. Picking an eighteen year old as your first choice left back in a group where he has to face down world class players like Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo and, well, Nicklas Bendtner (I'm getting a lot of mileage out of this joke) is just mean.

Centre Back - Sokratis Papastathopoulos

Another clown from the frankly quite silly opening game. Having lost his partner at centre back to injury he decided it was probably best to go check on him and got sent off. This actually turned out for the best for Greece though, who were a far better side once they went down to ten men, and their makeshift back four actually saw them through to the quarter finals. If they beat Germans they also get a bailout from the Euro (another tired old joke, I know).

Centre Back – Richard Dunne – Ireland

Ireland's entire plan for the tournament was to be hard to beat, this plan clearly failed when they conceded within the opening minutes of their first two matches. Dunne hardly had a spectacular tournament, and along with the rest of the Irish team was completely overrun by all opposition.

The existence of Glen Johnson as Premier League footballer confuses me

Right Back – Glen Johnson – England

It's only meant to be a short couple of sentences justifying my decision but this could turn into a rant. The existence of Glen Johnson as Premier League footballer confuses me and his continued appearance in an England shirt infuriates me. In Micah Richards, Kyle Walker, Chris Smalling and even Phil Jones we have better right backs, yet this hopeless tool is still first choice. Johnson's shakiness means that we have to play the distinctly average Milner to defend him, rather than the more attacking Walcott or Oxlade Chamberlain. It's an old cliché that a team is only as good as it's weakest link, and Johnson will almost definitely cost us versus the Italians.

Midfield – Mark van Bommel – Netherlands

Van Bommel retired from International football today, with some saying it's about time and others bemoaning the loss of a great player. Either way it seemed inevitable after this car crash of a tournament for the Dutch. Being son in law to the coach didn't help van Bommel who was dropped in place of Rafael van der Vaart, not that it made any difference to the Oranje's fate.

Midfield – Nigel De Jong – Netherlands

Another Dutch player, De Jong isn't as pacey as he used to be and was hardly the efficient, if dirty tackler we had all come to love in South Africa. The problem with the Netherlands seemed to be that both De Jong and van Bommel were doing the same job, badly. When they were supposed to be protecting the back four they were really just leaving them wide open, and they did not managed to support the forward players either. An unsuccessful trip.

Whether it's stropping when he's been substituted and walking the long way off the pitch or just general moodiness in the dressing room, Robben was not a happy chappy at this tournament and he brought the rest of the team down with him.

Right Wing – Arjen Robben – Netherlands

It's safe to say the Dutch didn't have a vintage tournament. Their team of talented individuals never gelled the way they did in the 2010 World Cup, and no one gets on with people less than Arjen Robben. Whether it's stropping when he's been substituted and walking the long way off the pitch or just general moodiness in the dressing room, Robben was not a happy chappy at this tournament and he brought the rest of the team down with him.

Attacking Midfielder – Florent Malouda – France

One of the few players to survive Laurent Blanc's youth revolution in the French squad but he wasn't impressive enough against England to warrant a starting spot in either of France's other two games. Blanc clearly trusted the Chelsea man to bring maturity and experience to a young squad, as well as an attacking drive, he delivered neither.

Striker – Robin van Persie - Netherlands

He forgot his scoring boots, or perhaps the hype was too much. After the season he'd had at Arsenal, few could have imagined van Persie having quite such a Torres of a time in this tournament. In terms of expectation by far the biggest flop. Arsenal fans will be hoping he can put it all behind him and get his head straight in time for the start of next season.

Left Wing – Ashley Young - England

Luckily for Ashley, apart from the anonymous James Milner, the only other competition he has for his place is Stewart Downing, which means he's fairly safe. This safety has lead to complacency and while the rest of the England team is pulling together, Young is playing for himself. It doesn't help that he dives at the slightest of touches, that would be nearly forgiveable if he was scoring or assisting goals, but so far he hasn't delivered. I really hope he steps up his game versus Italy, because if he doesn't and we get through, there's every possibility that Downing might start a game.

Other stories you might like:

Should Arsenal's Walcott Replace Manchester United's Young For England?

An Arsenal Fan Explains Why Walcott Shouldn't Start For England

Chelsea's McEachran, Arsenal's Toral: The 5 Loanees That Charlton Should Sign

Click here for more Football and Sport stories

Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Twitter

Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Facebook