It’s been a up and down few days for the four Newcastle United stars competing at this summer’s European Championships.
Starting with Martin Dubravka, the NUFC no.1 has sadly had an absolute shocker on Wednesday night, going from hero to villain after his early penalty save was followed by a calamitous own goal and another poor error for Spain’s third in a 5-0 defeat in Seville.
Slovakia would’ve qualified for the last 16 had they avoided defeat, but the result leaves them third in Group E on three points and heading home.
Elsewhere, Ryan Fraser has had a tournament to forget – much like his first season on Tyneside – despite going into the tournament in good form for his country.
The winger failed to start any of Scotland’s three group games, managed just 43 minutes of action from the bench and saw his country beaten easily by Croatia at Hampden Park last night – a result that saw them finish bottom of Group D on just one point.
As for Fabian Schar and Emil Krafth, it’s good and bad news.
The good news is that both have qualified for the last 16 – Switzerland will play France in Bucharest on Monday and the Swedes will face Ukraine in Glasgow next Tuesday – however the defensive duo may not start either game after being benched in the final games of the group phase.
Schar was dropped for their 3-1 win over Turkey on Sunday night, with this coming after he was hauled off before the hour mark in the Swiss’ 3-0 defeat to Italy last week. He’s through, but it looks like he’s lost his place in their starting XI for the first time in his eight years playing for the national side.
For Krafth, he helped Sweden finish top of Group E tonight and played his part with another late cameo, however he too has been restricted to very few minutes – finding himself behind veteran Mikael Lustig despite a solid end to the season for Newcastle United.
The 26-year-old came on for the final 22 minutes of their 3-2 win over Poland tonight, but managed just 16 minutes of action in previous group games against Spain and Slovakia.
Off the pitch, NUFC coach Graeme Jones helped England top their group with a 1-0 win over Czech Republic last night – a result that sees us face one of Portugal, France or Germany in a last 16 game set to take place at Wembley next Tuesday!