Arsenal At The Euro’s: Group Stage Round-Up Of Ten Gunners

It’s been unpredictable, exciting and has thrown up more last minute goals than we could of ever wished for, so how have Arsenal done at Euro 2016 so far?

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The Gunners have ten players representing the club at this summer’s tournament in France, the second highest amount from a Premier League club, after Liverpool.

And following a thrilling start to the group stages from Olivier Giroud’s opening day goal, there’s been plenty to talk about with regards to how the boys are getting on.

We’ve filtered through each of the players featuring for their country and briefly analysed how their performances have affected progression into the knockout stages.

Olivier Giroud (France)

  • Minutes played: 167
  • Match-day 3 result: 0-0 draw with Switzerland
  • Goals in tournament: 1
  • Assists in tournament: 0
  • Next game: Republic of Ireland (Sunday 26th June, 2pm)

If you haven’t been able to catch any of Giroud in action so far this Euro’s, then don’t worry because it’s exactly what you’d expect, only he’s wearing a different coloured shirt than normal.

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The towering striker went into this tournament on the back of severe criticism from his own supporters, with the pressure of leading the line in the absence of Karim Benzema.

Giroud looked to silence his critics with an opening day header, but from then on the 29-year-old has struggled to look like the clinical forward capable of winning the hosts this tournament.

In their final game, it’s still debated whether Giroud was dropped or rested following the sublime impact from Antoinne Griezzmann in match-day two. Giroud now has a challenge on his hands to make it into the knockout stages from kick-off.

Laurent Koscielny (France)

  • Minutes played: 270
  • Match-day 3 result: 0-0 draw with Switzerland
  • Goals in tournament: 0
  • Clean sheets in tournament: 2
  • Next game: Republic of Ireland (Sunday 26th June, 2pm)

It’s really very difficult to write about Koscielny because the man has barely put a foot wrong in this tournament, as proven in conceding just one goal in three games.

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Mr. Reliable couldn’t do anything about the error Patrice Evra made to hand a penalty to Romania on match-day one, but from then on Koscielny has been nothing but brilliant.

His form and confidence will be needed against a plucky Ireland side who will bring the full force of their support with them to put the tournament favourites on edge.

Koscielny will be tested with the counter attack on Sunday afternoon, but with a strong defensive unit that includes former Gunner Bacary Sagna, you can already see him in the quarter finals.

Granit Xhaka (Switzerland)

  • Minutes played: 270
  • Match-day 3 result: 0-0 draw with France
  • Tournament MOTM Awards: 2
  • Clean sheets in tournament: 2
  • Next game: Poland (Saturday 25th June, 2pm)

You’re not a household name, you’ve just been signed by one of the most popular clubs in the country, how do you show them your £35million price tag is justified?

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Well, you go out at an international tournament and bag back-to-back MOTM performances to guide your side into a comfortable and historic knockout stage appearance.

It really has been a pleasure to watch Xhaka at this tournament, nobody has passed the ball more than the midfielder and he looks more than ready for life in the Premier League.

Xhaka has had an eventful tournament having already faced his brother in the Albania game, but the most interesting thing is his discipline, which many knocked, has been outstanding.

Aaron Ramsey (Wales)

  • Minutes played: 268
  • Match-day 3 result: 3-0 win over Russia
  • Tournament MOTM Awards: 1
  • Goals in tournament: 1
  • Assists in tournament: 2
  • Next game: Northern Ireland (Saturday 25th June, 5pm)

He’s had it all to do in this one with the hopes of a nation spread between his and Gareth Bale’s shoulders as Wales leading men when pulling on the red shirt.

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Despite a start to the tournament that saw him miss several chances and a lack of confidence, Ramsey capped an impressive performance to secure top spot in Group B.

Although he hasn’t been at the top of his game, he’s produced the goods at vital moments, providing the assist for the winner against Slovakia, and a goal to see out the Russia victory.

With a home nations tie in contention at the weekend, Ramsey has a great chance to move forward in this competition and make history for his country.

Jack Wilshere (England)

  • Minutes played: 69
  • Match-day 3 result: 0-0 draw with Slovakia
  • Assists in tournament: 0
  • Goals in tournament: 0
  • Next game: Iceland (Monday 27th June, 8pm)

He may have raced back to full fitness towards the end of this campaign, but it’s been a ropey showing from Wilshere so far with just one start in three games.

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The midfielder was brought on with 13 minutes to spare against Russia before England blew their chance of three points with a late equaliser looping over the head of Joe Hart.

He didn’t feature at all in the 2-1 win over Wales as Roy Hodgson threw all of his cards on the table by bringing on three strikers from the bench, a risky move that paid off.

Wilshere was handed a start in the final group stage game against Slovakia, but despite coming in for the rested Wayne Rooney he failed to get into the game and was slated on Twitter.

Mesut Ozil (Germany)

  • Minutes played: 270
  • Match-day 3 result: 1-0 win over Northern Ireland
  • Tournament MOTM Awards: 1
  • Assists in tournament: 2
  • Goals in tournament: 0
  • Next game: Slovakia (Sunday 26th June, 5pm)

Another tournament, another chance to assist some goals. Ozil has run the show so far for Germany and has hopefully proven to the critics that he’s capable of leading the line.

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Ozil was awarded man of the match during the 1-0 win over Northern Ireland, where fans went into meltdown over his stunning performance that saw him pick up a 98% pass completion rate.

He’s played every minute of the tournament so far and for a number 10 that’s quite rare, so let’s see how he holds up against Slovakia this weekend.

As always he’s been a pleasure to watch and what was notable during the Irish victory is his growing desire to get back and defend on the line to keep the World Cup winners ahead.

Petr Cech (Czech Republic)

  • Minutes played: 270
  • Match-day 3 result: 2-0 loss to Turkey
  • Clean sheets: 0
  • Next game: Eliminated from tournament (4th place, Group D)

Sadly it hasn’t been the tournament that Cech would have wanted, and a leaky defence has been exploited by almost each of these teams to send them home with just one point.

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Things started so well when it looked as if they were capable of holding off holders Spain before Sergio Ramos popped up in the final five minutes to knock home the winner from close range.

Ever since that moment Cech’s side have struggled to gain momentum, and the actions that happened off the pitch during the Croatia game was a dampener that summer up his group stage.

Thomas Rosicky (Czech Republic)

  • Minutes played: 180
  • Match-day 3 result: 2-0 loss to Turkey
  • Assists: 1
  • Goals: 0
  • Next game: Eliminated from tournament (4th place, Group D)

Having failed to get fit for the majority of Arsenal’s campaign, this tournament was the perfect way for Rosicky to cap off an impressive international career.

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Following his appearance on match-day one, the 35-year-old became the oldest and youngest player to ever feature for the Czech Republic, a remarkable achievement in itself.

But despite the celebrations, Group D was quick to blow out the candles on Rosicky’s cake and although things looked bright when he provided the assist to draw level with Croatia, things took a turn for the worse.

In true Rosicky style the midfielder picked up another injury to his thigh whilst running freely with the ball, ending his chances of playing in the final game against Turkey, and therefore missing out on a fitting goodbye to life in a Czech Republic jersey.

Wojciech Szczesny (Poland)

  • Minutes played: 90
  • Match-day 3 result: 1-0 win over Ukraine
  • Clean sheets: 1
  • Next game: Injured – Switzerland (Saturday 25th June, 2pm)

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Despite opening up the tournament with a shaky performance that saw him pick up a clean sheet against Northern Ireland, Szczesny’s tournament ended quickly.

The shot-stopper, who enjoyed a season on loan at Roma last year, picked up a serious injury to his thigh and is unlikely to feature for Poland again over the course of the tournament.

Hector Bellerin (Spain)

  • Minutes played: 0
  • Match-day 3 result: 2-1 loss to Croatia
  • Next game: Italy (Monday 27th June, 5pm)

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It hasn’t been a tournament for playing time but Bellerin will be happy to join up with a squad that are used to winning this trophy, having done it on the last two occasions.

As a last minute replacement for Dani Alves, the 21-year-old will be in a good state to link back up with the Gunners when visiting America in this summer’s pre-season tour of America.

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