Genius Özil will boss Euros
It's the end of the season and usually that means being starved of football but not this summer! Arsenal have a whole host of players heading to the Euros next week and if you're anything like me you'll find yourself following Arsenal players as well as your international team. When it comes to games my nation is not involved in but Arsenal players are on the field I feel a little torn. Part of me always wants Arsenal players to do well, another part wants them to get knocked out so they can get a rest.
This summer we thankfully don't have to worry about jet-lag or players adjusting to a new time zone as Euro 2016 is being held in France. The majority of our key players at Arsenal are Europeans so there's plenty to enjoy – and worry about! International tournaments are never very kind to us, often returning injured or fatigued players. Mertesacker and Özil struggled after winning the world cup, as did Fabregas.
Arsenal is providing a lot of players for this tournament, ten in total if we count Xhaka, Szczesny and Rosicky, with five of those playing for the four Euro 2016 favourites which is one more than Real Madrid and only bested by Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
With the tournament being on home soil you would expect Koscielny and Giroud to be competing at the later stages with France. Hector Bellerin has won a deserved call up to the Spain squad who are defending their European title. Jack Wilshere will be hoping his freshness, having missing most of the season, will give him an advantage in the fight for a starting place in a youthful England side – a team who had a perfect qualifying campaign with 10 wins out of 10.
The one to watch though is Mesut Özil. Although he tends to operate a wider role for country than club his domestic form has been sensational with 19 assists in a 38 game season. Mesut already can boast being the top assist maker in England, Spain, Germany, the Champions League and World Cup so the good money is on him doing the same for the Euros. Last season Özil smashed the record for chances created in a single season and had Arsenal's finishing been a little better who knows what might have happened.
Germany have much more clinical finishers than Arsenal so the smart bet is on Özil racking up the assists on the international stage. Here are all of his 2015/16 assists.
The tournament has been extended to 24 teams and that throws up the potential for fatigue. Luckily Arsenal aren't providing too many players to a single team like in years gone by so the effect should be lessened. On the up side there will be 51 games this summer compared with the 31 games in the previous five events so there's even more football to enjoy.
It's also an opportunity to get a good look at Xhaka for Gooners who don't follow the Bundesliga. Hopefully all of our players do well, have a good tournament and come back fit.
Keep checking back for match previews and reports from the Euros as well as articles on players Arsenal are scouting in France.Tell us what you think! If you agree, or have a different view, please leave a comment in the comments section or why not write a response or your own article on YouWrite?
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Tags: Jack Wilshere, Giroud, Koscielny, Germany, England, Mesut Ozil, Mesut Oezil, Euro 2016, France, Xhaka, Bellerin called up for Spain, Internationals, Switzerland, Czech Republic Cech and Rosicky Arsenal, Szczesny Poland Arsenal, Die Mannschaft