With Irish emotions raw in the immediate aftermath of the aftermath of the heartbreak against France, Guardian football columnist Michael Cox stood back from his chalkboard, furrowed his brow and slipped his glasses to the tip of his nose to tweet his calculated assessment of the Irish performance at Euro 2016
Ireland were poor at this tournament. Technically and physically inadequate, very fortunate to face half-arsed Italy in final group game.
— Michael Cox (@Zonal_Marking) June 26, 2016
The tweet elicited a furious riposte from Irish fans and journalists alike, as Cox tread heavily as Irish fans had spread their dreams under his feet. A couple of weeks later, with Irish dreams rolled up and packed away, the Guardian have once again been harsh upon some Irish performances at the Euros. In picking their team of the tournament, the writers ignored the Irish squad, which we admit is probably fair enough. Where they did decide to bother us, however, is in selecting their flops of the tournament. They did it methodically, rating each player's performance across the tournament. Here's the team in full:
Joe Hart (ENG); Aleksandar Dragović (AUS), Ciaran Clark (IRE), Lorik Cana (ALB), Georgi Shchennikov (RUS); Glenn Whelan (IRE), Marouane Fellaini (BEL), Pavel Mamaev (RUS); Haris Seferović (SUI), Tomáš Necid (CZE), Raheem Sterling (ENG)
Clark's inclusion is, admittedly, reasonable. An own-goal against Sweden prefaced a horror-show against Belgium, which led to his being dropped for Ireland's remaining couple of games.
Whelan's inclusion seems harsh, however. He was one of Ireland's standout performers against Sweden, and while he did struggle against Belgium, there were a number of players across the tournament who performed below his standard. Turkey's Ozan Tufan is one such example: he fixed his hair and watched Luka Modric score in his side's opening game.
The Guardian's team of the tournament, meanwhile, is as follows:
Lukasz Fabianki (POL); Joshua Kimmich (GER), Ragnar Sigurdsson (ICE), Giorgio Chiellini (ITA), Raphaël Guerreiro (POR); Grzegorz Krychowiak (POL), Ivan Perisic (CRO), Andrés Iniesta (SPA), Aaron Ramsey (WAL) Dmitri Payet (FRA); Antoine Griezmann (FRA)
In all seriousness, the Guardian's database of players at Euro 2016 is a brilliant resource, which you can check out here.