Euro 2016 – What We Learned – England 1 Iceland 2

Euro 2016 – What We Learned – England 1 Iceland 2


Icleand managed the unthinkable in Nice, knocking out England in the round of 16 with a well-deserved 2-1 victory.

England got off to a flyer and Wayne Rooney slotted home a penalty inside the opening four minutes after Raheem Sterling was brought down in the box.

Two minutes later, however, Iceland were level through the incredible Ragnar Sigurdsson, undoing England after receiving an Aron Gunnarsson long throw.

Inexplicably (at least on paper), the KSI were in front, after Kolbeinn Sigthorsson slotted home following some outstanding play on the edge of the box.

From there, they had a lead to hold onto and did so expertly. After the break, they were rarely troubled despite England’s possession, more than deserving of one of the biggest upsets in tournament history.


Joe Hart should no longer be England’s No. 1

Joe Hart has had a shocking tournament. Following his blunder against Wales when he parried a long-range Gareth Bale effort into his own net, Hart again was at fault when Sigthorsson put the Strakarnir Okkar in front within 18 minutes.

Hart has been much maligned in recent times for the national team, which has pre-dated the beginning of this tournament. Twice now, however, he’s shown a weak wrist when forced into a save with his left hand, which now surely raises questions over his immediate international future. Is it time for Fraser Forster? Or should the Three Lions be looking to Jack Butland as a long-term option when he returns from injury.

Euro 2016 zone

Iceland show incredible spirit

The tiny nation, both in a population and footballing sense, have captured the imagination of many throughout Euro 2016. Qualifying for the finals was an incredible achievement in itself, however their run in the finals has been outstanding.

In qualifying, they defeated the Netherlands twice, as well as the Czech Republic and Turkey. While the narrative has revolved around a ‘fairytale’ and a series of respectable and surprising results, perhaps they have not been given the due recognition that they are a very good football team.

The support off the field has matched their performances on it, with their 3,000 strong support constantly out-singing their rivals.

Ragnar Sigurdsson and Kari Arnason have been heroic in defence, while Aron Gunnarsson has been immense in midfield.

England continue to misfire in major tournaments

England have not won a major trophy since their fabled 1966 World Cup triumph on home soil. In recent history in particular, they have not looked anywhere near breaking the long-standing drought.

In the second half against Iceland, they showed the weight of burden they held on their shoulders. Wayne Rooney was dire, Harry Kane struggled and England rarely troubled Hannes Halldorsson. The damage was done, however, in the first half through a combination of fantastic Icelandic football and diabolical England defending.

The current members of this England squad will forever be remembered for this result, while Roy Hodgson will be the public enemy number one, surpassing those figures central to the recent Brexit decision.

The British tabloids will be well-worth a read this morning.

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