Liverpool FC: Rating Liverpool Players in Euro 2012, So Far
The first round of group games are now complete for all the teams competing for Euro 2012.
The Reds have many players in various squads out in Ukraine and Poland, including many who are captaining their nations, in particular Steven Gerrard and Daniel Agger for England and Denmark, respectively.
The following is a rating of those Liverpool players that have made an appearance in the tournament so far.
Daniel Agger: Netherlands vs. Denmark
Daniel Agger captained Denmark to the first upset of Euro 2012.
Holland, as one of the firm favorites for the tournament, were expected to ease past Denmark.
With a team of lesser quality, on paper at least, the Danes were not supposed to provide too much resistance to a Dutch team brimming with top-class players in just about every position.
However, Denmark came to the match obviously not having read the script and strangled the Dutch and ultimately came away with a deserved and famous victory.
Agger captained and played the full 90 minutes and did so with composed assurance.
There were some slightly testing moments early on, but the Reds centre-back played through and grew in stature as the encounter proceeded.
With constant shouts of encouragement and instruction, he marshaled his defense against Robin van Persie and company.
Timely interception, commanding headers and solid tackles were the hallmarks of the Danish captain's performance against arguably one of the most potent attacks, on paper, in the tournament.
8/10: Solid and commanding display, combining power and finesse from Agger.
Glen Johnson: France vs. England
Glen Johnson started England's opening round encounter against France in his accustomed right-back slot.
Not too much was seen of Johnson's attacking threat, and with James Milner working hard ahead of him in the right midfield position, England were looking to nullify the obvious threat of Frank Ribery.
At times, the tricky French winger did get past Johnson, but Ribery never made the Liverpool right-back look foolish.
Johnson's defending was on the whole fairly solid, and Ribery most certainly would have left the pitch knowing that he had not had Johnson in his back pocket.
On the rare occasion that Johnson ventured forward, he could rely on Milner covering him. But it appeared that the Liverpool man was under strict instruction that defending was the priority in this game.
England's defensive tactics meant that manager Roy Hodgson rarely unleashed the fullbacks, and the Liverpool man did not get much chance to shows his talents further up the pitch.
All in all, an adequate display from Johnson, much like England's on the night. But much more is expected from both.
5/10: Acceptable and not much more, really.
Steven Gerrard: France vs. England
Steven Gerrard, the Liverpool captain, has finally been given the England armband. And not as a stand-in or substitute captain, but as outright captain by choice of the manager.
The Liverpool central midfielder's days of bombing around the pitch, flying into tackle after tackle and powering in shots from distance, may be over. However, his influence on matches is still significant.
Roy Hodgson has employed Gerrard in a deeper holding position, where the man from Anfield is directing play and instigating counterattacks.
Against France, Gerrard was effective and efficient. Not always eye-catching, but then no England player was.
The Liverpool man linked the play from the defense to midfield. When England countered, he began the attacks but did not venture much into the opposing penalty area.
It appeared the Gerrard was under strict instructions, that his role in the French game was to nullify the French creative midfield by patrolling the area and breaking up play and distributing the ball.
His role was demonstrated perfectly with the fact that Gerrard did not register a shot at goal in the entire game.
On the night, Gerrard was solid, dependable and rarely conceded position. No Hollywood passes were on display, but his overall performance was adequately solid.
6/10: Effective and solid; and like England wanted to be, hard to beat.
Jordan Henderson: France vs. England
Jordan Henderson must be thinking that at some point he is going to wake up from this dream he has been having.
First he gets a dream, if possibly unexpected, move to Liverpool and then after a poor season he is on the plane to Euro 2012, following injuries to others, and to top it all off he makes a substitute appearance for the last 10 minutes in England's opening game of the tournament!
Coming into the foray with 78 minutes gone and the encounter heading for a predictable draw since half time, Henderson was probably not asked to do much except keep it tight.
His performance was of no real note, but he did seem to have the energy to throw himself into a tackle or two.
Was he any better than the man he replaced, namely Scott Parker? Mostly likely not. But it was a like-for-like change by Roy Hodgson.
So apart from that and the odd square pass, Henderson did not inspire England to the winning goal; then again that was not likely on his instruction card when he entered the field of play.
Keep it tight and play the simple ball was most likely on his card.
4/10: Not much to say about Henderson's performance, but then there probably was not much more he was asked to do anyway.
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