Squads are being announced, players are getting nervy and France is preparing for an onslaught of drunken tourists, which can only mean one thing… the 2016 European Championships are almost upon us.
After the long wait, qualifying and a season of ‘will he go?’ or ‘maybe he shouldn’t get on the plane’, we are about to begin another international tournament where the players we thought were good are still good. Quality will be in plentiful supply at this summer’s EUROs and we can be sure to see some absolutely belting fixtures between Europe’s best sides.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Paul Pogba will all be there, what’s not to like?
However, for every superstar, there is a flop. A player who deserves no chance at a big tournament, a player who really has crept on to the plane be fortune.
Kindly, we have brought you FIVE players who fall firmly into this category…
Cahill has been lucky to avoid the wrath of the media during this season. Chelsea’s failings have been down to Cahill just as much as any of the squad, yet he has, largely, escaped the blame.
While John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic had to take the jeers, Cahill has seen his reputation survive relatively unharmed and looks set to start for England this summer. Fortunate, yes, but he may well have got away with it because of England’s lack of depth in the position.
A deeply inconsistent performer, Sissoko splits himself between the breath-taking and the down right lazy.
Much-maligned for his role in Newcastle’s relegation this season, Sissoko has clearly remained in good favour with Didier Deschamps. Considering the exceptional quality that France have throughout their midfield options, Sissoko’s inclusion, after such a pathetic season with Newcastle, is as confusing as one would think possible.
A World Cup winner, European Champion and Champions League winner in the past, Pedro is no longer the player of old. Injuries have seen him struggle at Chelsea and his goal input at the Blues has been disappointing.
Whilst Spain have such depth, it makes little sense to see a player of Pedro’s class included, particularly when stars like Juan Mata are not going to be in France at all.
Wilshere is arguably England’s best central-midfielder. That alone, for some, is enough of an excuse to take him to France.
However, Wilshere’s Premier League minutes this season come in below 200 and he has seldom strung more than 10 games together throughout his career. With the inexperience of Dele Alli, Ross Barkley, Danny Drinkwater and Eric Dier in the England midfield, risking a place in the squad seems foolish. For all his ability, Wilshere is fortunate to make his way into a squad that has largely been picked on form.
For all of Manchester City’s defensive calamities, Eliaquim Mangala has still managed to get his name down in the France squad for this summer’s big tournament.
Whether Kurt Zouma may have made his way into the squad if he was fit, we do not know, but France’s extravagant centre-back options mean that picking a player as shot of confidence and low on form as Mangala is odd.