Holland are sizzling
James Dall casts his eye over your Euro 2008 Hot or Not ratings to determine who's setting the tournament alight
Last Updated: 17/06/08 12:42pm
Sneijder: 9 out of 10 again
With the second round of Euro 2008 group games done and dusted, we have inspected your Player Ratings to hail who's hot and shame who's not in Austria and Switzerland.
Once more, it is Holland that largely dominate - landing five of the 11 places up for grabs - after another stirring display, while goalkeepers impressed both reporters and readers following some fine shot-stopping in the second round of Euro 2008 group fixtures.
Poland keeper Artur Boruc was cream of the crop, with the 28-year-old denying opponents, and co-hosts, Austria on countless occasions via a number of cat-like reflex saves - which landed him a rating of nine from reporter Steve Pass and an average of 9.1 from yourselves - until the dying moments when he was finally beaten by a penalty.
Continuing on the theme of the gloved ones, before we eulogise the Dutch, £32million Gianluigi Buffon shone after his quite brilliant penalty save while his opposite number, Romania's Bogdan Lobont, made a favourable impression on us all, and not forgetting Turk Volkan Demirel who also joined in on the act with a goalkeeping performance that he could afford to look smug about.
There were of course a couple of sinners, those that did the men between the sticks no favours, with Frances' Gregory Coupet and Greece's Antonios Nikopolidis drawing truly rotten scores of four from reporters Gareth Friel and Rob Parrish respectively, a feeling matched by you via your ratings of 3.5 for Monsieur Coupet and 3.6 for veteran Nikopolidis (yikes).
So, onto Marco van Basten's easy-on-the-eye Oranje who served up yet another sweetly, refreshing performance, running riot over the quite grotty French - who seem intent on staging their own version of Les Misérables - with schemer Wesley Sneijder at the heart of all things positive as the Real Madrid man pulled the strings, and struck a later stunner, to earn a consecutive nine out of 10 from us - a figure mirrored by you.
Giovanni Van Bronckhorst was top-notch once more to land back-to-back appearances in our team of the round after a classy, buccaneering performance, earning a far from shabby eight while, further up the pitch, midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart's industrious display saw him also bag an acht (if we are to adopt a nation this tournament, it seems only right we should invest in some language lessons too).
Our Dutch five-some is completed via striker Ruud van Nistelrooy and winger Arjen Robben's inclusions. Van Nistelrooy was tireless in his efforts and played a pivotal role in Holland's attacks to land an average of 8.6 from you, while Robben pips Cristiano Ronaldo to our wide-left berth (I felt it all too easy and obvious to award the all-but faultless Portuguese man a place) after the Real Madrid winger was awarded 8.5 following a brilliant impact off the bench, assisting and getting his name on the scoresheet.
On the opposite flank of our five-man midfield, Arda Turan's all-round impressive display and stoppage-time winner for Turkey against Switzerland did not go unnoticed as he edged over the eight out 10 marker, whilst playmaker Sergei Semak sits centrally in our 11 after a captain's display to be proud of as Russia sent reigning European champions Greece packing with a game to play.
Alongside Van Bronckhorst at the back, keeping things organised and tight, is Russia's Sergei Ignashevich after he nipped Greece's few flutters forward in the bud, while we also have the enthusiastic and driven Fabio Grosso, who marginally missed out on an eight out of 10 rating after his showing versus the Romanians.
David Villa was again superb for Spain but lastly, partnering van Nistelrooy at the top of our tree is Ivica Olic, who struck Croatia's all-important second in their terrific 2-1 triumph over pre-tournament favourites Germany to acquire a score of 8.1 as charismatic coach Slaven Bilic celebrated his side's progression to the quarter-finals with a group encounter to spare.
Speaking of our friends the Germans, at the wrong end of the scale we have left-back Marcell Jansen who suffered a truly torrid outing and was condemned by receiving an average reader rating of 3.8. Interestingly, it seems scribe Lewis Rutledge must have been in a generous mood that day after he dished a charitable five.
However, Jansen escapes the bottom of the pile thanks to a French few, following their whooping at the hands of Holland. Florent Malouda, who I still cannot believe cost Chelsea £13million, scooped a feeble four from our journalist and a 3.3 from you, while surprising selection for Euro 2008 Bafetimbi Gomis' inability to control a football landed him the unwanted tag of worst player of the round according to our readers with a cringe-worthy rating of 2.6 out of 10.
After further investigation I also stumbled across two glaring disagreements, with Portugal's Deco securing a joyful 8.5 from you but a mere six from football editor Mark Buckingham, while reporter Stephen Joyce's rating of 7 for Switzerland's Stephan Lichtsteiner clashed horribly with your score of 4.7.
In conclusion, it is attacking gusto that appears to be tantalising yours and our taste buds. But will the splendid expression continue? Or will sides steadily adopt a more cautious approach as we enter the crucial final group games? And what of our selections, do you feel we have crucially overlooked an individual or two when selecting the star XI?
You can rate players' performances after every match at Euro 2008 and it will be possible to interact with our match coverage throughout the tournament. We will also continue to observe the Hot or Not ratings after every round of games.