Euro 2012: My Flops of the Tournament XI

The dust has settled, and a fantastic European Championships has come to its climax. Poland and Ukraine have been excellent hosts, putting on an excellent spectacle as the whole of Europe took notice. 

Spain became fitting winners and showed the world exactly why they are considered to be up there with the great Brazil teams of the 1970s. This tournament saw some fantastic individual performances; take a bow Cristiano Ronaldo, and some amazing team performance, Italy to name but one. 

The team of the tournament was hotly contested affair, with an excess of choices in most positions, but it’s on the other side of things that we look, which eleven players had a stinker? 

Which eleven players came into this tournament with an intact reputation, only to see it obliterated in their own personal failure and in that of there nation at Euro 2012. Well let’s see who makes it into my Euro 2012 Flop XI (and no Holland fans, it’s not the entire Dutch team!!)

Well we have to start at the back, and with the Goalkeeper. It really is a toss up between two men, both who came to Poland and Ukraine with excellent reputations built in the Barclays Premier League. 

In the Republic of Ireland’s three group games, legendary shot stopper Shay Given didn’t have the best of times, he had a tournament to forget, beaten easily four times by a rampant Spanish side, but more importantly beaten easily three times by the Croatians. 

But his place in the side was snatched by the disastrous performance of Poland’s number one Wojciech Szczesny.

Taken from Football Online World

The Arsenal goalkeeper was sent off, conceding a silly penalty and costing his side a vital victory, which would have aided them in their ultimately failed quest in reaching the quarter finals. Szczesny was never to be seen at Euro 2012 again.

At right back, a position that saw new stars born, but a position that saw two men really struggle. John O’Shea, naturally a centre back. He struggled defensively and never really got going in an attacking role. He was given a hard time. But he was by no means the worst right back at the tournament. 

That distinction goes to Holland and Ajax right back Gregory Van Der Wiel. Here is a player that lacked interest and quality.

Taken from Ole Ole

This was a player with a bright reputation a one of the more up and coming defenders in Europe, whilst his reputation is in by no means tatters, players like Joao Perreria, Glen Johnson and Theodor Gebre Sellasie have come out with a much higher stock than Van Der Wiel, who has a botch on his resume.

The left back spot goes to quite possibly the worst player at Euro 2012, a man who can be credited with being at fault for 90% of his teams goals conceded, even though not a player of the highest calibre, up steps Stephen Ward of the Republic of Ireland to take this spot.

Taken from Eurosport

Ward was completely out of depth, not only against Spain and Italy, but also against Croatia. This stage maybe one too far for Ward, who also endured a horrendous campaign with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League.

At centre pack we have a pairing that came into this tournament with high hopes of establishing themselves as excellent international defenders but left with question marks all over there international future. 

The first of these is Phillipe Mexes of France, a player who has forever had potential but never realised it. He was considered the French weak link and he was exposed against Sweden.

Taken from Yahoo Sports

His bookings in the group games meant he missed the defeat against Spain, just as well or we could have talking about something ten times worse! 

But what about Mexes’ defensive partner? None other that Everton’s player of the year Johnny Heitinga, to say he had a bad tournament is an understatement. Denmark picked out a moment of weakness, Germany completely destroyed him and Cristiano Ronaldo finished him off!

Taken from Zimbio

Enough said about poor Mr Heitinga. Players to just escape? Joris Mathijsen of Holland just misses the cut, as he missed Holland’s disastrous defeat against Denmark through injury.

So that brings us to the midfield, a position that saw new stars made, sensational stars established and old stars rekindle their flame, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case for everyone.

On the right side of midfield, there have been some poor performers, Franck Ribery of France comes to mind, James Milner of England is a definite contender for the spot, for his lack of quality, Ibrahim Affelay on any other given day would make this spot his own given his truly terrible performances.

But this spot is reserved for a man, who you want feel sorry for but cannot, due to his antics, Champions League disappointment with Bayern Munich was bad enough but this was the icing on the cake. 

Arjen Robben had a poor tournament, tried to run the Dutch show on his own, but dramatically failed, no quality or end product from a man once considered (only a matter of months ago) as world class. Surely this ends that debate!

Taken from The Guardian

On the left of midfield we see our first English inclusion in the Euro 2012 Flop XI. Possibly a player expected to be on the other side of spectrum in the Euro 2012 Team of the Tournament, Ashley Young never showed any of the qualities that made him England’s best player going into the tournament. 

Taken from The Guardian

He lacked a goal threat, and did not trouble any full backs. A truly awful showing from a usually excellent player.

The central midfield position, quite simply we saw some majestic performances from some of world’s best talent; even Wesley Sneijder had an excellent performance in an awful Dutch side. 

It was one of his team mates that rightfully has earned his place in this shameful XI, Mark Van Bommel, Dutch captain, probably after this set of performances he has kicked his final ball at this level.

Taken from Yahoo Sports

It was only after he was substituted against Germany that we saw some sort of lift in the Dutch team, and he was not to be seen again in the tournament.

Van Bommel’s partner is a more attacking threat so to speak, he has become somewhat of a mercurial flop in the eyes of Arsenal fans, and yes, you guessed it. Andrey Arshavin earns his place after going from Russia’s golden boy to public enemy number one. Best way to describe Arshavin? Wasteful, unfit, petulant, a man whose career has well and truly hit a brick wall.

Taken from

Strikers are a thing of the past if your Spanish, sorry Fernando. Euro 2012 saw some of the world strikers assemble and the likes of Mario Gomez, Mario Balotelli and Cristiano Ronaldo did not disappoint.

But one man did, unfortunately for Robin Van Persie, he did not receive anywhere near the heights he had set out too. His miss-kick against Denmark summed up his tournament; yes he got a well taken goal, but missed chances that one would think he would be burying for Arsenal.

Taken from Zimbio

His strike partner is seen as the reason Russia flied home early, Aleksander Kerzhakov had 15 shots, more than anybody else at the group stage and registered zero goals, not even hitting the target once, maybe should he have bagged just one of these, Russia would have progressed further!

Taken from Football 365

Other players that did not do themselves any favours include Wayne Rooney of England, lucky enough he only flopped in 2 games rather than 4, Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who despite all Robin Van Persie’s failings could not get onto the Holland team sheet.

So there you have it, Euro 2012 has been amazing, but the aforementioned XI did not at all cover themselves in any glory whatsoever, and so have become the European Championships 2012 Flop XI!


Van Der Wiel Heitinga Mexes Ward

Van Bommel

Robben Young

Van Persie Kerzhakov

SUBS: Given, O’Shea, Mathijsen, Ribery, Afellay, Milner, Rooney

Written by Hemang Karia
Follow me on Twitter @hemang14

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