I thought I’d do a little round up each week of how our Reds faired in their Euro 2012 games, let me know your opinions in the comments section below.
Daniel Agger: Captained Denmark to a difficult and well fought win against the Dutch, himself and Simon Kjaer were tall, strong and brave against a on it’s day devastating Dutch quartet of Robben, Sneijder, Afellay and Van Persie. He was the player that we know and love against the Netherlands, he put himself on the line time and time again and even showed glimpses of exactly why we love him. He’d put in a strong challenge on the edge of his own box then rather than hoofing it 50 yards forward he took it out another 20 and played an incisive pass to set up an attack, class. He earned himself a Man of the Match award in the eyes on many which was well deserved. His Danish team now sit top of Group B alphabetically and a result again Portugal will stand them in extremely strong stead for qualification out of this tournaments cutely named, ‘Group of Death’.
Glen Johnson: When I saw Glen Johnson on the England team sheet I was shocked that he was able to cope with playing after a scathing racist attack from his team mate Daniel Pacheco. (YES of course that sentence is sarcastic and I’d like to think that the Daily Star’s headline this past week was equally so) On with his performance against the French, I thought he did exactly what was expected, I’d defy any international right back to keep Frank Ribery ‘quiet’ for a full 90 minutes but with the help of James Milner I thought they minimised his impact expertly. Johnson was a constant option on the right and covered excellently once or twice which shouldn’t and hasn’t gone unnoticed with many England fans. There has been question marks over Johnsons ability as a right back defensively since he joined Liverpool, his effectiveness going forward has often unfairly over shadowed how solid he can be defensively and I think 3 lions fans got a glimpse of how reliable he can be. He gave a typical 7/10 performance and hopefully England will get more of the same.
Steven Gerrard: Captain Mavel himself played Captain fantastic against France and wasn’t it great to see? Despite not having his favourite partner Frank Lampard next to him he was great. Although he wasn’t devastating in attack instead he played the kind of role I’d love to see him play under Brendan Rodgers in the coming seasons. Sitting in doing a job alongside a more combative midfielder while still possessing the ability to play cutting edge passes to our forward men, and of course popping up to score a screamer every now and then. His contribution was simple and effective throughout, the highlight of course was the freekick assist on to the head of a salmon like Joleon Lescott, curve, precision and talent shone through with the delivery that makes him indispensable to England. He did look jaded towards the end of the game, but then again so did 75% of the England team at around 80 minutes, hopefully he recovers well and captains England to a win against Zlatans Swedish blonde army.
Sadly Andy Carroll didn’t get the nod ahead of Danny Welbeck while Stewart Downing, Martin Kelly and Pepe Reina had to settle for 90 minutes on the bench, while Jordan Henderson replaced a leggy Scott Parker for the last 10 minutes, he didn’t put a foot wrong and continued to contain the French through to full time.
So that’s my Euro 2012 performances by Liverpool players in round 1 of group games complete. I think I need a catchier title than that. Let me know who out of the 3 starters you though performed the best.
Ben Carr @DoctorBenjy