With the first round of fixtures in Euro 2012 complete I attempt to pick out five players who have had a bit of a nightmare so far.
Whilst there have been some good individual performances in the first round of fixtures at Euro 2012, for me the best performances have been team performances. However, there have been a fair few horror shows from individuals. To point them out for a cheap laugh would be petty. So here we go:
Wojciech Scezney (Poland)
Concede a weak goal? Check. Give away a penalty? Check. Get sent off? Check. Poor old Scezney managed to achieve the holy trinity of goalkeeping in the space of 17 minutes. It may well be his last involvement in the competition, but at least he can say he went out with a bang.
Aleksandr Kerzhakov (Russia)
To set a record in your opening game of a Euros is the stuff of dreams. To set the record for most shots off target in a single game, not so much. 7 (seven) times he got into a goal scoring opportunity and seven times he missed the goal. And these weren't unlucky misses that skimmed the post, these were shanks, slices and mis-hits which often finished closer to the corner flag. Ok, yes, he was getting in the right positions and helping build attacks, but SEVEN shots off target?!
Václav Kadlec (Czech Republic)
There was one main reason Kerzhakov got so many chances, and that was this man Kadlec. You may not have heard his name too often in the Czech's game against Russia for one very good reason- he was never in position. Russians found themselves in acres of space on their right so often that I began to wonder if the Czechs were even playing a left back.
Arjen Robben (Netherlands)
One of those players who has been made to look worse because of how good he can be. In the first half against Denmark he found himself in brilliant positions on at least three separate occasions, but chose the wrong option each time- shooting when he should have passed, passing when he should have shot. In the second half things only got worse as he came in from the right to shoot with his left foot time after time. And time after time, the ball blazed over the bar. All in all, he had 6 shots in the match, all of which were off target. If it wasn't for Kerzhakov's virtuoso performance, that would be a record.
Shay Given (Ireland)
This may be a bit harsh, but I just loved the comical own goal. Just the fact that he saw the ball come back off the post towards his head, with time only to think "bollocks" and realise he could do nothing about it. Plus he was at fault for the first goal however much you try to justify him being wrong-footed/unsighted.
So there we have my five. Make sure you lump a lot of money on the strikers now I've anti-jinxed them.