England Woes and Hodgson Goes
Posted by John Smith | Published on June 28, 2016
Last night’s disastrous result versus Iceland capitulated another embarrassment for the Three Lions – with the result arguably the most embarrassing that England have ever anticipated. The result means that England have still only ever won 6 games in the knockout stages of an international competition ever since they won the World Cup in 1966. An early goal from the penalty spot from captain Wayne Rooney started the game, but goals from Sigurðsson and Sigþórsson successfully won the game for newcomers Iceland. For a team that are having their first ever run in a major international tournament, and are the smallest team in the entire competition, Iceland have had a highly successful tenure thus far.
Matters got even worse following the poor display, as manager Roy Hodgson publicly resigned as manager following what has been a disastrous week for a majority of England fans. Out of the EU, and now, out of EURO 2016. England’s shameful performances across the entirety of the tournament has definitely been poor to watch.
Experienced players including: Joe Hart, Jack Wilshere and Chris Smalling were simply not up to par, whilst younger stars: Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane have simply not lived up to their expectations. An undeserved win versus Wales, two disappointing draws against Russia and Slovakia and the humiliating defeat to Iceland has summarises what has been another lacklustre attempt in an international tournament from the Three Lions.
Hodgson made one change to his team, replacing one of our key players in Adam Lallana for Raheem Sterling due to a reported injury on the midfielder. Doubts immediately rose following the introduction to the team. England started the game in fine form, playing very well in attack and looking to exploit the Iceland defence. After four minutes, Raheem Sterling won a penalty as he was tripped up in the box, which was tucked away by Rooney. However, a poor defensive display enabled Iceland to exploit the defence with a long throw and level the game minutes later with a goal from Ragnar Sigurðsson.
Following the goal, England attempted to regain their league but slowly began to look sloppy in maintaining possession. 10 minutes later, it was the underdogs Iceland who took to the leader through a goal by Kolbeinn Sigthorsson. Another poor piece of goalkeeping by Joe Hart across the tournament gifted Iceland their deserved lead.
For the remainder of the game, the overall game played out consistently. Every Iceland player played exceptionally well, contributing to the defensive style that has been effectively utilised by their country. Each player calmly did everything they could to prevent England from equalising. A Harry Kane header and a few minor chances were all that effected Halldorsson for the remainder of the game, with a majority of players putting up sloppy performances.
Dele Alli and Wayne Rooney did not look comfortable in midfield, producing lackluster passes and losing possession countless of times. The defence looked shaky and were lucky that Iceland did not score another, as they were clearly the greater threat on goal. All three of England’s strikers were quiet for a vast majority of the game too, with none making an attacking threat towards the opposing defenders.
The only bright spark across the entirety of the game for England came in the form of the emergence of Marcus Rashford. The young Manchester United forward offered a lot offensively and even attempted to produce something for his country, which had been clearly missing for the 86 minutes prior.
Despite the bright spark, it was evident that nothing could be done to stop Iceland, who successfully beat England in ignominious circumstances for the Three Lions. However, for Iceland, they remained solid for the entirety of the game and also looked comfortable driving forward – threatening the England defence countless times. It will definitely be interesting to watch how Iceland come to terms with their next challenge – the hosts France.
With England out of the European Championships, and Roy Hodgson resigned as manager, it appears that a new era will soon dawn for the Three Lions.
England: Hart 4, Walker 5, Cahill 4, Smalling 4, Rose 5, Dier 5, Alli 4, Rooney 5, Sturridge 6, Kane 4, Sterling 4
Iceland: Halldorsson 7, Saevarsson 6, Arnansson 7, Sigurdsson 8, Skulason 7, Gudmundsson 6, Gunnarsson 7, Sigurdsson 7, Sigthorsson 7, Bodvarsson 7
England: Wilshere (45′ for Dier) 4, Jamie Vardy (60′ for Sterling) 4, Rashford (86′ for Rooney) NA
Iceland: Bjarnson (77′ for Sigthorsson) 5, Traustasonat (89′ for Bodvarsson) N/A