How many Irish players are on the worst XI of Euro 2012? A lot
With the group stages now over a raft of team of the tournaments have appeared. The Guardian produced a worst team of the Euros as well and Irish players featured heavily.
There are some things we have learnt at these Euros. Like it or not, Spain are playing a different game to everyone else. Germany have an incredible production line of talent coming through and Andrei Arshavin is still not quite as good as you think he is.
The other lesson we learned, a very painful lesson at that, was that Ireland’s team was not quite good enough and that has now been ruthlessly exposed in a worst XI of Euro 2012 produced by The Guardian.
On their website you can enter your own player ratings after every game. The Guardian then average out the scores to produce their player ratings. They utilised this to produce a team of the tournament so far and you won’t be surprised to hear that players like Manuel Neuer (with a 7.47 rating), Mats Hummels (7.93) and Andres Iniesta (7.67) are in the best XI.
But they also decided to select a worst-rated XI and this is where Ireland come in. Giovanni Trapattoni contributes seven players to this team of shame. Shay Given, Sean St Ledger, Richard Dunne, Stephen Ward, Glenn Whelan, Aiden McGeady and Robbie Keane all make the one team you don’t want to be on. Ward, with an average rating of just 4.00, is the lowest ranked player in the entire tournament.
The other four players on the list are all Dutch, with Gregory van der Wiel, Arjen Robben, Nigel de Jong and Robin van Persie completing the worst XI players, by position, in Polkraine, according to Guardian readers anyway.
Is it too harsh? Yes, especially on some of the Irish players, but the newspaper claims they used over 250,000 ratings to compile these teams so rightly or wrongly, these scores reflect accurately the view of their readers.
By the way, the highest rated Irish player for the tournament was Keith Andrews, with a lofty 5.1.
The full gory details are available here.