Euro 2016: A Look at Eder’s Unlikely yet Career-Defining Performance in the Final

To put it simply, Eder was an unlikely matchwinner. The striker’s international record spoke to that as Portugal went into the Euro 2016 final against France, given that he had only scored three goals, all of which came in non-competitive fixtures, over 28 appearances. That’s probably why so little was expected of him when he […]

Extraordinary Andrea Barzagli the Unsung Hero of Italy’s Remarkable Euro Campaign

Although Andrea Barzagli barely received mention for his impeccable performance in Italy’s monumental 2-0 triumph against Spain, there could be no denying how integral the Juventus defender was in the stirring triumph. On a historic night at the Stade de France, where the Azzurri took down La Roja for the first time in a competitive […]

A Look at Toni Kroos’ Ability to Dominate from Deep at Euro 2016

At Euro 2016, a lot of teams have come into games with a defence-first mentality. They’ve tried to sit back, eliminate the pockets in front of their goalkeeper and, when the opportunity has presented itself, attack largely in transition. Some of the more favoured teams, when tasked with breaking down such deep defensive structures, have […]

Euro 2016: Graziano Pelle Stars in Italy’s 2-0 Win over Spain

Graziano Pelle had a fascinating game against Spain. He started the Euro 2016 Round of 16 encounter with a seventh-minute shot, and finished it off with another attempt on goal in the 91st minute. Both of those were pretty impressive, too. The first, a headed effort from a set-piece, drew a brilliant save from Spanish […]

EURO 2016: Croatia Highlight the Pros and the Cons of Pressing against Spain

When most national teams come up against Spain, the modern masters of a high-possession game, they drop off. They swiftly move into absorb-and-counter mode, largely as a means through which to avoid being sliced open through the central midfield zone. The hope is then that they can create something on the counter when Spain eventually […]

EURO 2016: Nolito Shows His Quality For La Furia Roja

Spain produced a truly remarkable performance in their second game at Euro 2016, a 3-0 win over Turkey, and it marked a return to something approaching their best. Led by the incredible Andrés Iniesta, they played an easy and attractive possession game, something highlighted by their third goal of the night, a 22-pass masterpiece punctuated […]

Euro 2016: Granit Xhaka’s Reputation Continues to Mushroom in France

At Euro 2016, Granit Xhaka’s reputation continues to mushroom. His excellent displays at Borussia Mönchengladbach made him more widely known to the footballing world, his move to Arsenal brought him to the forefront of it and, with two man of the match performances for Switzerland in his first two games in France, he is now a […]

Why Dimitri Payet Can Be France’s Technical Leader at Euro 2016

Dimitri Payet again stole the headlines on Monday night, this time with a last-minute winner to lift France to a dramatic 3-2 victory over Cameroon. Given the way he has cemented his reputation as a free-kick specialist since moving to West Ham, perhaps it shouldn’t come as any great surprise that his moment in the […]

Questions Surrounding Jack Wilshere Should Relate To Position, Not Selection

So Roy Hodgson has finally named his 23-man squad for Euro 2016. Andros Townsend, Fabian Delph and Danny Drinkwater all missed out, meaning that one player whose position was highly debated, Jack Wilshere, made the cut. The Arsenal man’s inclusion has been particularly controversial when viewed within the context of Drinkwater’s exclusion, and that’s probably […]

Portugal Press their Way to Success against Serbia

Going into the final game of their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, Portugal had already secured top spot in Group I. As a consequence, coach Fernando Santos viewed the clash, against Serbia, as little more than a chance to test the depth of his squad. He swapped out seven members of the side who featured in […]