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Euro 2016: every Red rated

July 9, 2016 Tags: International, Opinion 17 comments
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So Euro 2016 is over, with Portugal beating France 1-0 in Sunday night’s final. It was the longest European Championships ever, and sometimes felt like it. In keeping with the tournament the final offered less than it should have; Euro 2016 has been a mixed bag when it comes to quality. Seldom has the tournament set the pulses racing, though at least it was rarely predictable. Not least the final. The exception: England bombed out early, ’twas ever thus, although the Welsh made the semi-final in spectacular style. And what of the Manchester United players (current, former and future) that missed a summer on the beaches of Ayia Napa? There were, on balance, more flops than successes…

Despite enjoying a spectacular season for United Anthony Martial featured little on Les Bleus journey to the final. Martial made a low-key 20-minute cameo in France’s opening Group A game, then started the second against Albania only to be dragged off at half-time. Criminally, Didier Deschamps only brought the youngster on with 10 minutes to play in the final. Just 69 minutes played, no goals, no assists and just three shots at goal. There’ll be much more to come from the youngster in the coming season. 2/10

Still, Martial featured more than Morgan Schneiderlin, who is one of five Frenchmen to not play in the tournament. Schneiderlin began as France’s fourth-choice central midfielder after a poor first season at Old Trafford. Indeed, Schneiderlin only made the squad due to Lassana Diara’s late injury. n/a

Former and perhaps soon-to-be Red Paul Pogba was quiet for most of the tournament, including the final. That said he was superb in France’s semi-final win over Germany, and much better overall than some pundits in France might have the public believe – especially given Deschamps reluctance to let Pogba loose in more attacking areas. 7/10

Elsewhere, Patrice Evra enjoyed what is likely to be his final international tournament, featuring and performing well in all seven of France’s games. Evra may be 35, and long the subject of derision from the French terraces, but emerged, in spectacular style, as France’s leader this summer. Evra won his 80th and (probably) final cap in Sunday’s final. How is he is still missed at Old Trafford. 7/10

Patrice Evra

In Group B Wayne Rooney’s England made it to the knock-out stages, but only just. Rooney performed well against Russia and Wales from a central midfield role, although the praise is relative – the Scouser was truly dreadful as England crashed out to Iceland in the round of 16. Rooney’s first-touch-failures against Iceland become an internet meme, prompting José Mourinho to promise that the former Evertonian will “never be an eight or a six” under the Portuguese coach. The pity in that is that Rooney will start the new season at 10 – a position in which he has also regularly failed. 5/10

Chris Smalling started all four of England’s games, and was probably one of Roy Hodgson’s better performers. The defender enjoyed a superb start to last season, only for his form to drop off after the New Year. Although solid in France, the defender’s performances mirrored those his last few months at Old Trafford – reliable, but with moments of self-doubt. Smalling will start the new season alongside new signing Eric Bailly. 6/10

Up front England bombed in France, scoring just four in four games against largely mediocre opposition. It was particularly strange that Marcus Rashford was afforded so little time on the pitch. In two outings – against Wales and Iceland – Rashford enjoyed 21 minutes of action, but showed to question why Hodgson refused to draw on perhaps his most explosive talent. n/a

Group C finished as expected, with Germany and Poland heading through in first and second place, but Northern Ireland’s win over Ukraine was enough to take Johnny Evans’ team through to the last 16. The former Red enjoyed a superb tournament, not only as part of a collective that performed well in all four matches, but with a strong set of individual performances.

In the same team Paddy McNair was on the losing side as Northern Ireland went down 1-0 to Poland having started the match in a bizarre role on the right side of a midfield three. He made just one further appearance in the tournament – as a very late substitute in Norn Iron’s 2-0 victory over Ukraine. 1/10

Bastian Schweinsteiger appeared in five of the Germans’ six games in France, albeit as a substitute in all bar one. The 31-year-old scored with the crispest of half-volleys against Ukraine, although rarely had much of an impact on the tournament overall. He even missed in Germany’s shoot-out victory over Italy in the quarter-final. Schweinsteiger’s experience was held important to the national team, and he looked in far better physical shape than for much of his début season with United, but it is hard to foresee the veteran enjoying much game-time in Mourinho’s high-intensity team. 4/10

Bastian Schweinsteiger

Group D featured Spain’s David de Gea. The 25-year-old was the subject of much debate prior to the tournament, with some pundits still hankering for Iker Casillas’ retention as Spain’s number one stopper. It made little sense given the relative form of the two players over the past three years. Yet, de Gea enjoyed a mixed tournament, making a string of spectacular saves as the last man protecting a mediocre Spanish defence, but also seemingly at fault as Ivan Perisic scored a late winner for Croatia in the group stages. de Gea was then unable to do more than push Eder’s free kick into the path of Giorgio Chiellini as Italy opened the scoring the round of 16 clash. 6/10

Matteo Darmian and Marouane Fellaini met as Italy pulled off a surprise to beat a much-fancied Belgium side in the opening match of Group E. Neither enjoyed a strong tournament though. Damian played just 129 minutes, making three substitute appearances and one start for the Azzuri, including an hour against Belgium, and 30 minutes in Italy’s defeat to Ireland. A summer to forget. 4/10

Fellaini was also a disappointing performer in a underwhelming Belgium side. The Red Devils boast individual talent on par with most sides in the tournament, but Marc Wilmots has been unable to fashion a side equal to the sum of its parts for the second tournament in succession. Fellaini’s inability to contribute defensively, in possession or in attack stood out, although the midfielder did fashion a number of chances against Italy, with knock-downs from late, direct balls. Still, no goals scored, no assists made, two yellow cards gained tells a story. Par for the course. 5/10

Marouane Fellaini

On the other side of the group, former Red John O’Shea kept new recruit Zlatan Ibrahimovic quiet for most of the 90 as Republic of Ireland drew with Sweden in Paris. Zlatan skipped around the 35-year-old defender to create Sweden’s second-half equaliser – it was the Swede’s best moment of the summer. O’Shea suffered a humiliating time as Belgium thrashed Ireland in the second group game, with the former Red featuring only as a substitute in Ireland’s round of 16 defeat to France. 4/10

Former United youth teamer Robbie Brady also featured in the tournament, scoring twice as one of the Republic’s better attacking players. 7/10 Meanwhile, Zlatan suffered an ignominious end to an outstanding international career. No goals, one shot on target, and an early end to the tournament. There should be much better times ahead. 4/10

Then there was Group F – home to eventual champions Portugal, the most unlikely winners of a major tournament since Greece at Euro 2004. Former United wingers Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani featured throughout as Portugal sneaked out of a mediocre group, edged past an off-key Croatia, and beat Poland on penalties. At no point did the Seleção raise its game above the average. That changed little in the semi-final against Wales, where a professional, if unspectacular performance was enough to see off the Welsh.

Cristiano Ronaldo

The final? Well, it went absolutely to script for the Portuguese save for Ronaldo’s early injury. His Euro 2004 ended in tears too – this time they were of joy. In the lead up to the final Ronaldo took, on average, 7.5 shots-per-game in scoring three goals. The narrative was that he suffered a poor tournament, but he played the perfect game for a limited squad. 7/10 Nani also scored three and was superb in a central role for most of Sunday’s final. 7/10

Bravo a Seleção. Tchau and au revoir!

17 comments

subterranean steve - July 10, 2016 Reply

I reckon Roy Hodgson’s bedtime reading on the night before the Iceland game must have been the Louis van Gaal book of match tactics. England’s performance was about as insipid as is possible. It was dreadful. Marcus Rashford’s energetic four minute cameo at the end shamed every other England player on the pitch.

Putting Rashford aside, I cannot say I was particularly enthused by the Euros performance of any of United’s current crop.

Surprisingly, I was impressed by the efforts of Rojo and Valencia in the Copa America. Roja was most effective as an attacking wingback (though it didn’t do him any harm having Messi playing inside of him).Thought his red card in the final was ridiculous. Valencia showed a level of energy and attack-mindedness rarely seen from him at O.T. these days.

MrMann - July 10, 2016 Reply

The euros has been a let down for me. Finish 3rd in the group and get to the final?????

I have a theory on Rooney, this comes from the press conference and MUTV interview given by out new manager. A few points I found very interesting

1. Rooney will not play in midfield. Thank god for that a
2. Rooney is a number 10 or 9 and a half. This is widely believed to be his worst position. Due to that elephant like touch.
3. Zlatan and Rashford are my strikers. No place for Rooney then.
4. I want my 4 players bringing in early then I can breath. But the market remains open. If a player wants to leave as he is not getting game time he can.
5. Any one can make a beautiful pass with no pressure. I can make a beautiful pass with no pressure. Is this in reference to the scouse Hollywood cross field pass.
Is this Jose being as ruthless and we would expect and desire? Is this a clouded way of saying Wayne your time is up? You are not playing in midfield. you are not the focal point of our attack and the position that is there for you is the one we all know you can not play. And if you are not happy here is the door.
Is our new manager going to do us all a favor on the pre season tour and say things in China, such as. It’s nice here Wayne do you like it? You love money Wayne don’t you? Look even lads from Liverpool can use chop sticks? And by the way Wayne. We did not buy you a return ticket.
Come on Jose succeed where other have failed.

Opti - July 11, 2016 Reply

I hope this is the correct reading of JM’s comments… Rooney in China would be best signing of United’s nascent season.

Redzebs - July 10, 2016 Reply

You forgot to give Jonny Evans a score, you also forgot his brother and Norwood as ex reds off the top of my head

Ed - July 12, 2016 Reply

So I did, though neither C Evans or Norwood played for the 1st team. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Redzebs - July 12, 2016 Reply

And Brady’s 4 minute cameo gets him in? 😜 I’m giving Evans an 8/10

NazManUnited - July 10, 2016 Reply

Perfect Timing!

NazManUnited - July 10, 2016 Reply

You just brought me back down with a crash 😂

NazManUnited - July 10, 2016 Reply

The Hedgehog & the Cow! Useless

NazManUnited - July 10, 2016 Reply

If Mourinho has sense he will part company with Rooney

Mike - July 11, 2016 Reply

@MRMANN. I hope you are right. If Mou rids us of Rooney this season then the club will have made a definite first step toward getting back on our feet and breaking free from the outdated model

Pint vulger - July 11, 2016 Reply

What would be the point of getting rid of Rooney ( apart from his obscene salary) how much would we get for him now? 30 mill? Hes good enough for a squad ,if he knuckles down.
As for the rating of Pogba 7/10 ??? Scored a decent header and showed some half decent touches and passes,100 million never ,never ,never.He was anonymous both in the semi and the final ,he was a promising player ,who we never missed ( until now) who choose to leave ,it would be a huge mistake and embarrassing to spend anything near the figures quoted to chase him,Jose look elsewhere. Btw 6/10.

Opti - July 11, 2016 Reply

1. Bring balance to the manager-vs-player power dynamics in the dressing room, which did NOT help Moyes or LvG and was critical part of Fergie’s management style. Rooney is a VERY influential player in the dressing room and has NOT been a positive influence in my (limited) eyes: Rooney is refusing to understand that salary does not merit starting 11!
2. Reduce wage bill by significant margins
3. Avoid awkward issue of where to put a $300K player who is not the club’s best in ANY position, which hinders youth development and overall team balance in attack. Goes back to point 1.
4. Rooney is not getting any better, so no loss in dropping him for a younger more hungry player who can push others forward.

Mrmann - July 12, 2016 Reply

@Pint vulger Reasons why Rooney should not be a squad player. Unnecessary media attention on a high profile player sitting on the bench. The Rooney media machine going in to over drive and undermining the club, manager and other players.

They are the only reasons I can think of for Rooney starting games, to avoid the above situations. I don’t see any reasons based on football. He is a player in serious decline. Mainly because he has not looked after him self. Stand Rooney and Ronaldo side by side. One is an athlete. The other a football player.

Moyes and Woodwood created a bad situation giving him such a long contract. Love him or hate him Rooney is a big big problem.

As for Pogba, I dont see it. I have spoken to Juventus supporters and they don’t see it. Pogba is a very good midfielder. Who can get better. But for over 100 million you want greatness, the finished product.

From what I read I don’t think Pogba has the mental strength for such a transfer. Look at the facts. He will become the most expensive player in the world. In the worlds most demanding league. For arguably the worlds most high profile club.

But then you have the narrative of him being the player that walked away for free. And came back for over 100 million. The British press arguably the most ruthless in the world would have a field day. The pressure on a young player like Pogba would be huge. I would not wish that on any one.

If we have 100 million in the bank, please Jose spend wise. We are on the eve of what will be the most competitive premier league season ever.

pint vulger - July 12, 2016 Reply

I just dont get that Rooneys form has dropped that much he is not even considered to be good enough for an average squad.Of course hes influential hes been at the club for donkeys and hes about to break the clubs scoring record (and I saw most of Charltons games from 65 ish onwards,and as far as i,m concerned he was in the top 3 of utd all timers) so Rooneys bad form ,even though it annoys me greatly too, is exaggerated,extremely frustrating yes.
In summary I believe the new manager will get the best out of him if he doesnt perform he will be off quick sticks.
If hes rub a dub with Mata ,Lindegard ,Herrera Schneiderlin or the German sat next to him and were 1 down its a no brianer who comes on .

james - July 14, 2016 Reply

euro 2016 was the best ever tournament in euro history.people stop complaining because Portugal won and they finished 3 in their group and never won matches in 90 minutes.its ridicious to say we go back to 16 teams format. infact the teams should be inreased to 32.

james - July 14, 2016 Reply

i hope iceland ,portugal and wales qualified for world cup 2018.i will hope to see them upseting so called ” the big teams”

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