dsquared polo shirt Euro 2016 talking points
From Manchester United Bastian Schweinsteiger frustrations, to the tigerish tackling of Arsenal new boy Granit Xhaka and the rising star of Dimitri Payet, TEAMtalk discusses 10 talking points to emerge from the weekend opening round of matches at Euro 2016.
Perfect Payet worth every penny
Anyone who had seen West Ham play this season would not have been surprised by the midfield masterclass put on by Dimitri Payet against Romania in the Euro 2016 opener.
The Hammers midfielder capped a fine season at Upton Park by being rewarded with a new deal and also claiming a win in the TEAMtalk Soccers Signing of the Season award.
But it wasn just his breathtaking winner on Friday nightthat caught the eye, it was his all round display that easily saw him stand out as Les Bleus creator in chief and underlined exactly why West Ham have reportedly slapped an eye watering 60million fee on the 29 year old head.
In addition, it not only justified Didier Deschamps decision to start the West Ham star, it also proved the old adage that you should never give up on your dreams.
This clothes store video promotion footage shows Payet back in 2005 when, as a then 18 year old, he was struggling to make the breakthrough at Nantes. Not only have theyquickly identified their targets, they also got one of them wrapped up already with the capture of Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchendgladbach.
The midfielder has vowed to bring a mean streakto the Arsenal midfield next season, with the player arriving in the Premier League with quite a reputation for playing the game hard.
Switzerland opening match at the Euros, a 1 0 win over Albania which interesting provided a rather interesting sub plot given his brother Taulant lined up for the opposition gave Arsenal fans an early glimpse at what their new signing would be like as he put himself about the pitch and lunged into a couple of meaty early challenges.
And his record in the Bundesliga gives Arsenal another indication of the type of player they are signing:
Only two players committed more fouls in the Bundesliga in 2015/16 than Granit Xhaka (73):
Only one player has earned more red cards than Xhaka (five) over the last three seasons in Europe top five leagues (England, Germany,
Italy, Spain, France)
Tackles winratio (79%)
If Xhaka adapts quickly to his new surroundings in the Premier League, Arsenal may just have landedthemselves a 30million bargain. But time a few ofthose tackles wrong and the Gunnersmay find they signed a player who spend more time in the stands than he will on the pitch.
Bale brilliant but others steppedup for Wales too
Gareth Bale was always going to carry Welsh hopes on his shoulders such is his reputation as a player. The nation retoric for the final is Stronger so it will have come as some relief as much as anything that some of their other players also put on a performance in Saturday 2 1 opening victory over Slovakia.
The likes of Ashley Williams and the lesser seen Jonny Williams also delivered excellent performances, while Aaron Ramsey was often dominant in midfield as Wales laid down a marker in Group B.
However, it was the impact of Hal Robson Kanu off the bench which will have also caught Chris Coleman eye and stoked Welsh belief that they can make the last 16 of the tournament at least.
2014 Hal Robson Kanu goal was WAL first competitive goal not scored by Bale or Ramsey since October 2014. Shared.
That dipping volley he struck to sink Turkey on Sunday divided opinion with some suggesting he didn catch it cleanly. But if you picking fault with a goal like that, then you probably won be getting much enjoyment from the football on offer so far in France was quite simply brilliant on Sunday and was at the hub of everything brilliant Croatia did on Sunday, showing exactly why they aren a team to be taken lightly in France. Much like England the night before, they weren clinical in the final third, but unlike England the night before, they showed how to close a game out, with former Manchester City and Tottenham defender Vedran Corluka (still only 30 by the way!
) showing his battling qualities to help his nation over the finishing line.