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5 Things We Learnt From England vs Iceland

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Well that didn’t go well did it?

Credit where it is due and congratulations to Iceland on what is no doubt the biggest victory in their history.

So much has been said about the game last night and frankly how pathetic most of the performances were but now I am going to weed out the rubbish and discuss the five things we learnt from last night’s game.

This is probably England’s most embarrassing exit from a tournament

Fans have always been rather low on the expectations of an England side but last nights defeat takes that pessimism to a new level.

This could be the most embarrassing exit since the famous commentary against Norway in 1981.

‘Your boys took a hell of a beating’.

Everyone was low after the group stage exit in the 2014 World Cup; but England were in a tough group and were beaten by very good opposition in Italy and Uruguay.

The tournament before that England lost on penalties to Italy in the quarter finals.

It looked as if England had no clue of what to do.

Players played out of position, no real tactics and Hodgson’s loyalty to certain players has come back to bite him.

I don’t buy into this ‘England should beat teams like Iceland’ but I do believe that after going 1-0 up the side should be able to shut up shop for 15 minutes and frustrate Iceland.

This is the worse result in England tournament history. Full stop.

England will be looking for a new manager

unsurprisingly after this result manager Roy Hodgson announced that he and his staff will be stepping down from the England position.

I can’t say many fans feel sorry for Roy.

Lots of fans have said they felt he was the wrong man for the job. Even a yes man to simply fill the shoes of manager until a better option came along.

Roy wasn’t popular with the fans and will be even less so now.

As I alluded to before, Hodgson’s loyalty to certain players has come back to hurt him.

Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson were not really fit; Roy’s defence of Raheem Sterling didn’t help the winger’s form and leaving Marcus Rashford on the bench until the last five minutes where he outplayed his team-mates was a worrying revelation too.

Harry Kane did not have a great tournament but would playing a fearless Rashford for half an hour last night made a difference?

We will never know.

Tactical decisions such as Harry Kane on set-pieces when he was struggling so much with them was another strange decision.

All in all the best thing to do is to forget all of this and move on.

Joe Hart could be a liability

England conceded four goals this tournament and two of them Man City and goalkeeper should have dealt with.

apologies were made and forgiveness was given for his error against Wales and that Gareth Bale free kick.

However last night Joe Hart made an even bigger mistake.

He managed to let Kolbeinn Sigthorsson’s ‘pea roller’ through his body and into the back of the net.

The difference between the two goals were that against Wales Hart looked like he saw it late and the power that Bale can deliver on a dead ball is mind-blowing, so allowances may be made.

But the goal against Iceland was powder puff in comparison!

There seems to be a virus that goes around England goalkeepers and major tournaments

David Seaman in 2002, Rob Green in 2010 and now Joe Hart in 2016.

Worrying when you think about it.

Iceland were deserved winners

Onto happier things, Iceland were amazing last night.

After going behind to a Wayne Rooney penalty Iceland did not let their heads drop and went straight up the field and equalised though centre back and man of the match Ragnar Sigurdsson.

Iceland oozed confidence and it showed throughout the game as despite not dominating possession, they created the best chances and put them away.

Iceland now face hosts France on Sunday in a game that once more has the small island as underdogs.

Will they thrive under that moniker? You better believe it.

France should watch out!

Iceland’s long throw is their lethal weapon

Ragnar Sigurdsson’s equalising goal came from an Aron Gunnarson long throw and this was not the first time we saw this at Euro 2016.

In their last group game against Austria, Iceland used this same long throw and flick on technique to score the opening goal in that match.

Lots has been said about how their opponents France struggle with set-pieces and that is Iceland’s strong point, especially from throw-ins.

Didier Deschamps would do well to drill his side on dealing with these throw-in’s otherwise we could have another shock on the cards!

 

In summary the less said the better.

Very few England players will come out of this tournament with their heads held high but those in my opinion include:

Eric Dier who was arguably England’s player of the tournament. He did not play well last night and may got injured hence his departure on half time, but he has been a star turn this tournament.

Full Backs Danny Rose and Kyle Walker were very good going forward in the group stages and have probably made those positions theirs to lose.

Finally the only player that will avoid criticism after last night’s debacle is Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford.

In the five minutes he was on, he showed the most drive, belief and confidence to try to get an equaliser last night.

He was also excellent in his cameo against Wales in the groups, helping to drive England towards that crucial winning goal.

Beggar’s belief how he wasn’t given more time yesterday.

 

As for the future of the England team, we will have to wait and see.

There are not many huge name managers available and I think it’s highly likely that the FA will promote Gareth Southgate from the U21s baring in the mind the work he did to help them win the Toulon tournament earlier this year.

 

Keep the faith, it’s a young squad and they should learn from this.

Come on England.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. zcode

    July 29, 2016 at 6:44 am

    I’m English, I’m 24 years old, I’ve watched everything since ’98 religiously.
    I shouldn’t be surprised by anything.
    And yet.
    And yet…

  2. ed-quinton

    July 29, 2016 at 8:20 am

    At least it can’t get much worse….. but then we do have Malta to play in WC Qualifying!

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