Euro 2012: Who Makes Your ‘Team Of Round Two’?

Chris Wright

16th, June 2012

26 Comments

By Chris Wright

Once again, they’ve flown by in the wink of a dead dog’s eye, but England’s gutsy/flukey win over Sweden last night bought the second phase of Euro 2012 group games to a close.

As we did with the first round, here’s our select XI from the second batch of eight games…

GK – Stipe Pletikosa (Croatia): Included solely for his heroic double save against Italy, denying Claudio Marchisio not once but twice by flinging himself into the Italian midfielder’s path. The save of the tournament so far? We’re struggling to think of a better one.

RB – Theo Gebre Selassie (Czech Rep): Provided wide support on the overlap all game long against Greece, galloping up and down the flank without a) breaking a sweat and, b) forgetting his duties at the back. A dynamic, eye-catching display. Not bad for a man who almost quit football entirely in 2006 to study for a civil law degree.

CB – Glen Johnson (England): Cheating, yes, but Johnson more than warrants a spot for his flurry of ‘last ditchers’ against Sweden. As unpossibru as it may sound, Johnson was just about England’s best defender on the night.

LB – Philipp Lahm (Germany): One of the most criminally underrated players of the past ten years or so, Lahm did a flawless job of shutting down Arjen Robben before the Dutchman blew a gasket and mimsied from the pitch in a strop.

MF – Andrea Pirlo (Italy): A diamond amid a pile of cubic zirconia in the current Italy side, Pirlo was at his stately, ball-pinging best against Croatia – clipping home a delightful free-kick into the bargain; the first goal to be scored direct from a set-piece at a European Championship since 2004.

MF – Xavi (Spain): Set a new record for passes completed during a game at a European Championships, pinging 136 0f the beauties around (completing 127) to eclipse Ronald Koeman’s fairly long-standing record (115 vs Denmark in 1992).

MF – Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany): Schweini’s deft approach play and splendid ball retention was the difference between Germany dominating the game against Holland and Germany winning the game against Holland.

MF – Theo Walcott (England): For his game-changing, calf-ricketing 30-minute cameo against Sweden. Showed just what an decisive asset he can be when he gets his act together.

FW – Mario Gomez (Germany): His 22 seconds’ worth of possession at Euro 2012 have yielded 3 goals. We take it all back. Gomez’s second goal against the Dutch was almost worthy of inclusion on it’s own.

FW – Nicklas Bendtner (Denmark): The pants were… well, pants but Bendts’ headed couplet at Euro 2012 means he’s has now plundered six goals in last five five games against Portugal. Unlikely as it may seem, Arsenal’s lolloping outbound target man is the joint-top scorer at Euro 2012.

FW – Fernando Torres (Spain): Ended his two-year wait for a competitive international goal with a big, bad brace against Ireland – taking just three-and-a-half minutes to burn break his duck.

Fancy a crack yourself? Feel free to leave your ‘Team of Round Two’ below the line…

You have already read 10 premium articles for free today
Access immediately the premium content with Multipass

Or come back tomorrow

Posted in Euro 2012, Featured, Opinion, Photos, Top 10s & lists

Share this article: Email

26 Comments

  1. Daniel B says:

    Bendtner is such a peasant…

  2. Anonymous says:

    Bendtner? :(
    just swap him for Cabaye?

  3. NNNNN says:

    No inclusion of Blaszczykowski? What a crime.

    penis.

  4. West End Blues says:

    How does Johnson make this team? He scored an OG and he completely lost Mellberg for Sweeden’s second. Surely that undoes anything good he managed.

  5. Sherif says:

    You have 12 players..

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sherif’s right, moreover Bendtner has two goals to his name so far as far as I know, and there are players with three scored. I’d probably swap one of the CBs with Hummels, who was outstanding again (probably would kick out Agger, rock solid – yes, still Denmark had three goals put past them with him in the side). If I were to also include Blaszczykowski, I’d probably put him instead of Schweinsteiger – either way, one would be in the ‘Team of round two’ and the other on the bench of said team.

  7. Meldeath says:

    Sherif’s right, moreover Bendtner has two goals to his name so far as far as I know, and there are players with three scored. I’d probably swap one of the CBs with Hummels, who was outstanding again (probably would kick out Agger, rock solid – yes, still Denmark had three goals put past them with him in the side). If I were to also include Blaszczykowski, I’d probably put him instead of Schweinsteiger – either way, one would be in the ‘Team of round two’ and the other on the bench of said team.

  8. Paul says:

    Johnson!!?? Really? not only was he solely responsible for Sweden’s opener (mainly because he played Mellberg onside and then tucked it away himself, unfortunately i may add) but i thought his marking in the box was terrible. Had Mellberg not scored the second goal the man he was marking would have surely scored as Johnson was the wrong side of him. Your right he made some good challenges but there is a level of inconsistency with Johnson. He’s like Ashley Cole without a real knowledge of the defensive game.

  9. daz says:

    geln johnson? are you high, pretty much out of position the entire game, hence the last ditch tackles, plus melborgs goals

  10. Glen says:

    Johnson was at fault for both of Sweden’s goals

  11. Calski says:

    Where is Cabaye? He dictated the midfield in both of Frances games.

  12. Anonymous says:

    dont wanna join on the pedantic bandwagen… but glen at CB?

  13. ? says:

    In what universe is lahm underrated

  14. Chris says:

    Good to see Selassie there. He was non-stop brilliant. Not so sure about Xavi. A genius if he’s in the midst of other one-touchers and surely one of the best footballing brains ever but without Iniesta, Busquets, etc. and their pretty triangles I’m not convinced he’d be as effective. Not saying put him with Stoke on a rainy Tuesday but maybe I kind of am?
    And I’ll take Bendtner as the 12th man, replace him with the Ireland fans.

  15. Craig says:

    Johnson’s ‘last ditchers’ were mostly because he ballsed up in the first place. Very average and should be no where near the England team. Lescott was a lot better on the night and against France too.

  16. Maboo says:

    As a Norwegian, it hurts me to say this. But i really think Olof Mellberg should have had a place on this list. He was the only one in the Swedish defence that did anything at all, and on top of that, he scored two goals.

  17. Guff says:

    Johnson & Agger??? Johnson were poor and scored an own goal. Agger were in a defense that let in 3 goals.

  18. Fat Nakago says:

    Mario Mandžukić and Alan Dzagoev should be worth a mention.

  19. SCUN says:

    This looks like the Top XII of round two.

  20. Bibble says:

    That’s 12. You’re rubbish.

  21. David Macbeth says:

    Interesting that you put Glen Johnson in the team in the wrong position because the wrong position is where he spends most of his time while trying to defend. Worst England right back since Warren Barton!!!!

  22. Mr Sensible says:

    Glen Johnson???

    He completely fucked up Sweden’s first goal, kept Melberg onside then messed up his clearance. Did some ok bits but if you’re majorly at fault for 1 of the goals then you can’t say he had a good performance let alone being in the best XI. Plus both games we have been exposed on our right side too often.

  23. Khan says:

    Twelve players? Really?

  24. Ali says:

    I like the whole squad except for Johnson and Bendtner and instead i think Mellberg and Cabaye

  25. Nuno says:

    I’m one of the biggest fans of Xavi, but I think Iniesta did a better game than him. Better ball control and the Irish never knew how to stop him (well, they couldn’t stop anybody in that game really, but still, Iniesta showed some amazing ball control).
    Also, Mellberg over Johnson, clearly. No need to “cheat”, CB, the guy scores two goals, and Johnson screwed up big time in the first goal, caught napping.

Leave a Reply