First to kick off at the Euros were The FP and Koscielny. Both had fine games with OG scoring the opening goal of the tournament, a classic centre forward’s headed goal. Given the pressure under which Giroud plays in France he must have left the pitch highly satisfied. Koscielny played as he does for Arsenal, with calm efficiency.
Aaron Ramsey: I like his hair colour – it makes him very easy to identify. Ramsey had a strange game. Started in the number 10 role playing high up the pitch yet as the game progressed moved deeper and deeper. In the second half he was in his Arsenal position which is all over the place.
It would be an exaggeration to say Ramsey dominated the game but he was influential. Next up England where he will hopefully kick lumps out of TotEngland.
Granit Xhaka: Our first view of him as an Arsenal player. I suggested his play was similar to Elneny insomuch as he can break up play but also move forward to assist the attack and predicted a season on the bench for Coquelin. LB’s wrote “To me he looks like a straight swap for Arteta: plays deep, accurate passing, will link the defence with the attack as well as Arteta at his best, expected a tad more defensively and for that I can see slightly more of a time share with Coquelin.”
We shall see.
Wilshire: England kicked off without Jack! It was clear to see how much they improved when he came on. The media are raving about the quality of the England performance – I have no idea why apart from trying to keep interest in the team and tournament. How many chances did they create for the “lethal” Harry Kane? How could Hodgson keep a poor Sterling on the pitch with Vardy on the bench? Against a poor Russia team a draw was Spursy.
Szczesny. Clean sheet, made a couple of fine saves. Didn’t have much to do in a game totally dominated by Poland but what he had to do he did with aplomb.
Ozil: Mesut was fairly anonymous but created a last minute goal for Schweini. As always the oil in the German attack, he rarely gave up the ball and unusually played the whole game.
So…. our boys result so far. Played 6 W5 D1 L0.
Cech, Rosicky, Bellerin all play today (if selected).
Argentina vs Switzerland. If the Swiss pick Ponderous and Djourou as their central defenders this could get very nasty. Given the outstanding attacking talent of Argentina they should stroll this game but I thought that of Germany! The Argies haven’t hit their straps as yet but they have such a superb side they surely must at some stage in the competition.
The Swiss rarely beat Argentina but with Drmic and Shaqiri they have a glimmer of a chance. This is likely to be Ottmar Hitzfeld’s last game – fine manager, good haircut.
Belgium vs USA: I think this is a very interesting game. Belgium have individual skill in abundance but have yet to display real teamwork whereas USA,USA,USA are the opposite – no-one stands out but they work for each other like billy-ho (bet you haven’t seen that expression for sometime!).
Dempsey’s face is getting re-arranged as the tournament progresses, black eyes, wobbly nose, staring eyes. USA have a hippy in midfield which I like – it is easy to imagine having a toke at half-time instead of an orange slice. The USA fans have been great with Klinsmann finally finding a way to introduce football (not effing soccer) to the Yanks, even Obama is watching!
On paper this should be a Belgium win. The introduction of Fellaini has given them a focus and Hazard is improving. It was horrible to see Vermælen hobbling out – what an awful season he has suffered – and with Kompany struggling for fitness there could be defensive problems.
Goalscoring has been a problem for both teams, could be tight.