Austria need to stop messing around with David Alaba
David Alaba is the key cog for Austria in their midfield. Against a defensive Hungary, they opted to slot him deep in midfield alongside Julian Baumgartliner where his ability in possession was vital to Austria controlling the game, even if his effort on defense was basically non-existent. Against Portugal they opted to slot him into the classic #10 role isolating him from his teammates and ensuring that the value he brings in both buildup play and in defense was completely unusable. It directly contributed to Austria being pinned inside their own half.
Austria needs to find the role that works best for and with Alessandro Schöpf also in the fold there’s zero reason why this team shouldn't be building around the trio of Baumgartliner, Alaba, and Schöpf and not messing around with pushing Alaba all over the pitch.
Vierinha continues to show why he might be one of best rightbacks in Europe
Remember when Vierinha was an attacking midfielder for Wolfsburg? Yeah, that looks really silly in hindsight and Dieter Hecking deserves a ton of praise for the way he’s been able to transition the Portugese international into one of the best rightbacks in Europe. He played lockdown defense on the right and contributed with wonderful aplomb in attack isolating Arnautovic and restricting Austria’s attack.
It’s really only a matter of time before someone comes calling for him at Wolfsburg and given the rightback situation at Bayern Munich and Philipp Lahm’s age, maybe we can dream a little?
Cristiano Ronaldo is the most enigmatic national team player
For all his abtastic celebrations, antics, and accomplishments in club football, Cristiano Ronaldo is the exact opposite for Portugal. He’s like a tortured soul trapped in eternal purgatory, doomed to relive and repeat missed chance after missed chance as his country looks on. From a penalty that hit the post to his amazing header following a set piece that saw him start two-plus yards offside, to all his chances, every single one was another piece of anguish that seemed to pile on.
You can feel sorry for the guy even while you’re busting a gut laughing as yet another penalty bounces off the post.