Euro 2012: The Disappointing XI

   on June 20 2012 6:54 PM
Euro 2012: The Disappointing XI

Here's a look at 11 players who didn't quite play to their expectations:

GK: Shay Given (Ireland) - In some ways it's unfair to pick any Ireland player as 'disappointing' as they aren't very good in the first place and not much was expected of them, but Given's been a Premier League goalkeeper for 15 years and still plays for a decent club in Aston Villa. He's just not been at the races in any of Ireland's three games, making a series of mistakes. The own goal was unlucky, but his generally play has been terrible.

LB: Jethro Willems (Holland) - OK, he's young, but for the first two games he had two defensive midfielders in front of him, and his distribution was particularly awful, even if he couldn't live with some of the talented wingers attacking him.

DC: Richard Dunne (Ireland) - In this tournament, the big man was a parody of himself. Running through treacle chasing some of the nippy forwards on show.

DC: Jonny Heitinga (Holland) - Terrible. It's known that the Dutch can't defend, but he was bad even considering this, and was dropped for the third game.

RB: John O'Shea (Ireland) - His humiliation was complete when despite having a fistful of Balotelli's shirt, he could only watch in horror as Super Mario smashed an overhead kick in for Ireland's ninth goal conceded of the tournament.

MF: Christian Eriksen (Dennmark) - Tipped as one of the break-out stars of the tournament, but looked a long way off the pace.  Disappointing.

MF: Mark Van Bommel (Holland) - Despite playing as one of two defensive midfielders, completely failed to control the Dutch midfield, was about 10 metres off Schweinsteiger for each of his assists in the Germany game, and was dropped for Holland's final collapse against the Danes.

MF: Ashley Young (England) - I'm not quite sure what has happened, as he was playing OK in the friendlies, but Young has absolutely failed to make any impression at all on the tournament so far and is clearly not good enough to play in a quasi-10 role. Should be put back in his place, on the wing, and told to distribute the ball more often.

FW: Milan Baros (Czech Republic) - The Czechs might be through to the quarterfinals against the odds, but good gracious he's awful. I find it amazing that they haven't found a better striker since he won the Golden Boot at Euro 2004.

FW: Robin Van Persie (Holland) - It's a toss-up whether to put RVP or Klass Jan Huntelaar in here, as RVP did score one goal and the definition of 'disappointing' certainly covers the much-hyped Huntelaar only getting one start and not even looking like was anywhere near troubling the goal. But in the end, RVP just finished as top scorer in England and looked so far off the pace that he just gets the nod. Particularly in their opening game against Dennmark, Holland just didn't take their chances.

FW: Aleksandr Kerzhakov (Russia) - I lost count of how many chances he had and missed. In many ways, slightly unfair as his build up play was pretty good, but Russia are out of the tournament because of missed chances in an easy group when they should have qualified so realistically he has to be here.