Arsenal at the Euros - How did they fare?

With the Euros culminating in a Portugal victory at the weekend, how did the Arsenal players involved do over the whole tournament?

Arsenal at the Euros - How did they fare?
Giroud and Koscielny console Ozil after Germany lost to France. | Photo Source: Getty Images.

If 2016 is the year of the underdog, then this summers European Championships summed that up. It was a pretty dire tournament for the most part; teams were scared to attack, and the quality of play, barring a few moments of individual brilliance was quite poor. 

Iceland overcame England, lets say no more about that, but Portugal ran out overall victors to win their first major tournament. If it was a competition of surprises, then Portugal being the eventual champions was without doubt the biggest. If you backed Cristiano Ronaldo and co before the tournament began then fair play, but away from the heat of the major talking points, Arsenal's stars had a very good tournament. 

Ramsey revelation

Wales' run to the semi-finals of the Euros was quite incredible. With a sense of togetherness and belief, they showed that anything could be achieved. However at the heart of the team and arguably their best player at the tournament was Aaron Ramsey. He unfortunately missed the semi with Portugal though through suspension, and it was clear that they missed the midfielder's ball retention and composure. 

Ramsey's performances for Arsenal last season were distinctly average but he was a man reborn in France this summer and was deservedly named in the team of the tournament. Within the Welsh side he was allowed greater freedom, and alongside Gareth Bale looked as though he loved being a big fish in a small pond. 

Ramsey was his teams prime creator, something that was evident as he topped the assists pile along with Eden Hazard, with a brilliant tally of four in five games. He also scored in Wales 3-0 win over Russia as they topped the group.

French heartbreak

For Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud, their tournament as host nation ended in heartbreak, losing in the final at the Stade de France. However both of their campaigns were excellent, and alongside Ramsey were up there as two of the most valuable players during the tournament. 

Koscielny was ever present in the French defence, alongside Adil Rami and then Samuel Umtiti for the latter stages of the competition. The Gunners centre half has been up there as one of the best defenders in the Premier League in recent years and he certainly lived up to that billing at the Euros.

He recovered an impressive 44 balls, put in six blocks and made as many clearances, 31, as Pepe who was the stand-out defender in France. 

As for Giroud he had a brilliant tournament, and showed Arsenal fans perhaps just how valuable he is to a side. He was booed by French fans coming into the tournament but was arguably one of the home nations most important players. He scored the opening goal of the tournament against Romania before netting twice against Iceland in the quarter-finals. 

The big centre-forward meanwhile picked up two assists, displaying just how well he linked up with player of the tournament, Antoine Griezmann was. If ever Arsenal fans needed to be shown that Giroud wasn't the problem, then the Euros was a perfect example. His link-up play at the Gunners has never been the issue, but provided the theory that all he needs is someone that he can play alongside with. 

Ozil as good as ever

Despite missing a penalty against Slovakia and then hitting one against the post in the shoot-out win over Italy, Mesut Ozil was still at his ever fluent best throughout the Championships despite playing slightly wider than he does with Arsenal.

The 'king of the assists' only managed one throughout the tournament but his play-making and ability to pick a pass was still excellent. His one assist came in Germany's opening game against Ukraine, as he played a perfect ball into Bastian Schweinsteiger who tapped home for the Germans second of the night. Ozil meanwhile scored a vitally important goal against Italy in the quarter-finals, arriving late in the penalty area to find the net and put his team in front. 

He was second only to Hazard in the amount of solo runs made into the attacking third, 32, and was also second to Toni Kroos in the amount of deliveries played into a key area, 48, ahead of the likes of Hazard and Paul Pogba. The German also had an impressive 91% pass completion rate. 

Jerome Boateng and Kroos both made UEFA's Team of the Tournament, but it was Ozil that won Germany's player of the tournament award, voted for by fans. 

Mesut Ozil's Germany reached the semi-finals. | Photo Source: Getty Images.
Mesut Ozil's Germany reached the semi-finals. | Photo Source: Getty Images.

Xhaka outstanding

One of the most intriguing players Arsenal fans had their eye on was new boy Granit Xhaka who was brilliant for Switzerland before they were knocked out by Poland in the last 16. 

Signed for a hefty fee from German outfit Borussia Monchengladbach, Xhaka has already shown Gunners fans why Arsene Wenger brought him to the club. It's safe to say he'll be arriving off the back of a great tournament, even if he did miss a penalty in their shoot-out defeat to the Poles. 

However despite that crucial miss he was one of Switzerland's stand-out players, winning man of the match in two of their group games, and also completing the fifth most passes in the whole tournament, ahead of Andres Iniesta. He's certainly a player to get excited in North London next season then. 

The best of the rest

For the likes of Jack Wilshere, there was limited game time as he only started once, and like the rest of the England side in France was pretty average. The good news though is that he remained fit and should be ready to go come next season. Meanwhile Hector Bellerin's maiden international tournament didn't see him get any minutes despite making his debut in the warm-up games.

As for the goalkeepers Petr Cech had a decent tournament but failed to keep a clean-sheet as Czech Republic didn't make it out of a tough group including Spain, Croatia and Turkey. Wojciech Szczesny, who looks as though he'll be leaving Arsenal for good this summer picked up an injury, and therefore only played in Poland's first game before being replaced by former Gunners Lukasz Fabianski

Despite a number of Arsenal players heavily impressing throughout Euro 2016, the bad thing for the club is that due to their international commitments Ramsey, Koscielny, Giroud and Ozil are all set to miss the opening weekend of the campaign, as they look to sufficiently recover.