Euro Gunner Watch: A Peripheral Ox Makes no Impact against France
This promised to be one of the spectacles to watch in the tournament but I must say that I wasn’t too impressed with the overall play. The individual performances of some players stood out though.
I quoted a few days ago that Les Bleus are my team for this tourney but despite the fact that they were playing against the nation that houses my favorite club, I was still rooting for them.
Laurent Blanc started with Hugo Lloris in goal and a backline that was composed of Debuchy, Mexes, Rami and Monsieur Tuck-in.
Despite having the best of seasons, Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny hasn’t been able to break into the first team. However, his boss had something to say about it:
“We’ve got two big players in central defence and I hope they play very well tomorrow, Koscielny has had a very good season with Arsenal but, as you know, you need experience at centre-back and players that work together in terms of instinct.”
Adil Rami and Phillippe Mexes are essential pieces in the French jigsaw puzzle, so Kos the Boss has to bide his time and hope for the best.
The French midfield was still short of the brilliance and quality of Yann M’Vila, so Alou Diarra came in his stead. He was supported by Yohan Cabaye and $amir Na$ri. Franck Ribery, Florent Malouda and Karim Karim complete the front three.
England on the other hand, has assembled a squad with no high expectations placed on them. Injuries and some “selections” have taken their toll on the Three Lions but Woy Hodgson still had to select 11 soldiers for the Battle against France.
The impressive Joe Hart was the custodian between the sticks and he was protected by Glen Johnson, that scarred chap, the ex-girlfriend shagger and Ca$hley Cuntly Cole.
Steven Gerrard and Scotty Parker manned the middle of the park while James Milner and our Ox provided wit on the flanks. Ashley Young played in the hole behind Danny Welbeck.
England had the first clear-cut chance at goal but James Milner made a glorious mess of things after evading Lloris to hit his effort wide with a goal gaping at him. Yohan Cabaye stung Hart’s hands with a shot that had a lot of bounce on it.
The deadlock was broken when Joleon Lescott got on the end of an inch-perfect cross from Steven G. It was a very strong header and Lloris had no chance in Hell to save it from such a close range.
Alou Diarra also attempted a header reminiscent of the header made by Lescott but Hart was on hand to make a magnificent reflex save. Diarra used his frame well to have a second bite at the cherry but he nodded his effort wide this time.
Despite Hart’s goalkeeping heriocs, Ribery flicked the ball for Na$ri and the maestro fired a sleek shot that beat Hart on his near post.
The second half wasn’t thrilling but there were a few glimpses of attacking football here and there. Benzema executed a neat one-two with Na$ri but his well-struck shot was saved by Hart.
On the other end, Johnson made a mazy run but he killed an unfortunate bird with his shot afterwards. At least, he didn’t create a new planet like Sergio Ramos.
After a somewhat disappointing outing on the left wing, the Ox was replaced by that midget, Jermaine Defoe. To add to Arsenal’s woes, Theo Walcott replaced Welbeck with minutes to spare.
So much for today’s Euro Gunner Watch.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain gets a rating of 6.0 for his ineffectual performance. Maybe he might have been better off the bench.
Theo Walcott, of course, gets no rating.
Elsewhere, an Andriy Shevchenko inspired win for Ukraine against Sweden has spiced things up in the group.
That’s today’s bit.
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