While we at WhoScored love to praise those who have wowed us statistically, we don't like to overlook those who have under-performed either, and here we will highlight our 10 top flops of Euro 2012 thus far.
The likes of Wayne Rooney miss out as we focus on players to have started at least 3 games in the tournament, and we start with a couple of Premier League keepers who looked far from secure this summer.
Chelsea's Petr Cech was praised for a performance which helped keep Portugal at bay for much of the first quarter-final, but in reality made just 4 saves in the match, of which only a couple really stretched him. The experienced stopper made perhaps the gaffe of the tournament when spilling the ball straight to the feet of Greece's Gekas and only one keeper has been beaten more often this summer, which brings us on nicely to our next under-achiever.
Aston Villa and Ireland keeper Shay Given entered the tournament with a couple of niggling injuries, and in all honesty it showed as the normally resolute Ireland shipped 9 goals in the group stages. Although the Irishman made the most saves in the group stages (17) and only fewer than Joe Hart overall thus far, a number of the goals he conceded would have been avoidable were he on top form, and concentration levels seemed a real issue for the former City-man.
We have only chosen one defender among our top 10 here, though the man in questioned was tipped to shine this summer, with a number of big name clubs watching on closely. However, for Gregory van der Wiel it was to be a disappointing fortnight’s work, as for the entire Dutch squad, though the Ajax right-back was particularly quiet. His pass accuracy of 83.6% was way down on most of his teammates, while an average of one interception per game was matched by the likes of van Persie and Robben. In an attacking sense he offered little, completing just 2 dribbles and 1 cross over 3 underwhelming displays.
Arguably the two most defensive outfielders in our list other than van der Wiel were ineffective England wingers James Milner and Ashley Young. Both offered extremely little going forward, with the latter in particular tipped as key to England's success in the absence of the equally uninspiring Rooney. Milner's pass accuracy of 78% was very poor by his standards, while Ashley Young's was even worse (74.5%), misplacing the joint-most passes in his own half up to the quarter-final stages, with 13.
In a more attacking sense, both Young and Milner created just 2 chances for teammates all tournament, with both also averaging less than 1 successful dribble per game (0.8). In terms of their threat from wide areas, Milner completed just 2 of 17 cross attempts (12%), while Young fared even worse, with just 1 of 13 reaching its intended target (8%). Compare this accuracy to Steven Gerrard's 33% and it's clear to see just how ineffective they were.
In terms of midfielders playing from central areas it is fair to say that Denmark's apparent creator-in-chief was rather subdued in an admittedly tough group to make your mark. Nevertheless, much was expected of the young Ajax playmaker and he failed to shine despite a spirited effort from the Danes to escape the group of death. The 20-year-old could only muster 2 key passes and offered next to nothing in a defensive sense, with 1 tackle and no interceptions in three games.
The only player that we have listed here to have made it as far as the semi-finals is Germany's Thomas Muller. While the Bayern man hasn't been awful, he has been a shadow of the youngster who went to South Africa and shocked the world to pick up the Golden Boot. His pass accuracy of 80.7% is only better than Gomez of outfielders to start 3 or more times, while just 4 key passes and 1 successful dribble are disappointing figures in an impressive side.
Headlining a trio of strikers to make our top 10, many people had Robin van Persie down as their tip for top scorer at the tournament after a prolific season with Arsenal. However, the Dutchman wasted a number of great opportunities, with his tally of 4 big chances missed still representing the most in the tournament. He did manage to net once, though ironically perhaps with the hardest effort of his 15 shots at the tournament as Holland headed for an early exit.
Another man who many felt would be contesting for the Golden Boot was Karim Benzema, who left at the quarter-final stages with the unwanted accolade of having the most shots at Euro 2012 (19) without registering a single goal. Although he did register 2 assists from 6 key passes, linking up well with the midfield, he was criticised for a tendency to drop too deep, leaving France lacking a spearhead to their attack as new Arsenal signing Olivier Giroud watched on from the bench.
Rounding off our top 10, Russia's Alexander Kerzhakov was most wasteful in a game in which his teammates flourished, in an eventual 4-1 opening day victory over the Czech Republic. The Zenit forward was given the nod over Pavlyuchenko and Pogrebnyak in every game prior to Russia's shock departure, and tried to repay Advocaat's faith by getting his shot away whenever possible. Unfortunately for Kerzhakov none of his 14 efforts hit the target, let alone found the net, and his profligacy in front of goal proved costly.