Euro 2012: Group D Matchday 1 lookback

Well Shevchenko took all of my words, squashed them up with his beautiful movement, put them accurately on a spoon of victory and force-fed them to me whilst making me punch Olof Mellberg.

Ukraine made their home advantage really work yesterday. With a concise counter attacking game that saw more switches of play than a foosball, they put an unorganised Sweden team to the sword.

Both star men got themselves on the scoresheet and although the ‘krainians rode their luck a bit with a post hit and some blatant misses (Elmander is the reason you don’t play a player with a broken foot), you had to smile when you saw how much it meant to the players and fans to record their first independent victory in the European Championships. While I’m in the naive mood I’ll say that if they keep Shevvy fit, you never know…

Sweden need to sort the front and the back out like a drunken theater horse. The Zlatan was trying to do too much, dropping into the ‘frustrated Rooney’ zone frequently. The likes of Elmander (if he is fit to play next time) and Ola Toivenen need to produce more chances, while Rasmus Elm and Kim Kallstrom need to keep possession a bit better lest the Lyon midfielder break someone. Whilst Mellberg needs to take a glance down at his chin and stop letting an old Ukrainian lie on top of him.

All the beard rules were broken yesterday

In other news England locked horns with the French in a reasonably exciting match. I would have to say that the French were the better footballing side as they dominated possession when they wanted and were confident to play in front of our back eight and look for intricate ways through. Seriously I would back a blind child getting to the end of Hampton Court maze quicker than England could link up and make an attack. Maybe we should have brought Ashley Young on… Perhaps we lacked team unity…

Overall we did play well, all the while considering our opponents a bit too much. However I don’t think Oxlade-Chamberlain or Danny Welbeck did enough to stop Walcott and Carroll getting a shout against Sweden. James Milner meanwhile, not only needs a map to the goal but a very clear Usual Suspects style photo of his team mates to memorise. Jordan Henderson seemed a good fit to me, especially as the Duracell bunny that is Scott Parker seemed to be running on the same rubbish B&Q batteries that I use.

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