England lost to minnows Iceland at their crucial Round of 16 knockout stage, going down 2-1 at the final whistle.
Soon after the loss, Roy Hodgson called it quits as manager for the national side and said “This things happen.”
However, head has to roll and with both Hodgson and Neville resigning but does the loss underline an even deeper insight into England’s ‘chokers’ performance?
“Utter humiliation. It must go down as the worst result in England’s football history. And it spelt the end of Roy Hodgson’s catastrophic four-year reign which will see him go down as one of the worst England managers of all time,” John Cross wrote in The Daily Mirror.
“Pack away the flags. Put the song-sheet down. After two strangulated, ultimately hysterical weeks in France it really is time to go home. It was not just England’s tournament that ended at the Stade de Nice with this stunning last-16 defeat by Iceland, a nation the size of the London Borough of Lewisham. At the final whistle a wider full stop arrived with Roy Hodgson’s resignation after four years in the job, capped at the last by one of the great English sporting failures, defeat so abject it qualifies as a kind of uber-loss, humiliation that will sting even through the scar tissue of all that accumulated tournament failure,” The Guardian lamented.
“Hodgson was paid £3.5million per year – more than any other boss at Euro 2016 – to fulfil a part-time job…He was guilty of ignoring the most boring yet meaningful cliché in football – that of taking each game as it comes. And today, as the FA go groping into the heart of darkness, armed only with a goblet of cyanide and a fat salary cheque, the post of England manager is less desirable than ever” : Dave Kidd In The Daily Mirror.
Martin Samuel compared England’s defeat to a similar humiliation by United States of America 66 years back in The Daily Mail : “Roy Hodgson managed to get it all the way to Belo Horizonte in 1950. Not since a distant World Cup, 66 years ago, have England suffered a humiliation as great as this. Not since this country dipped a first tentative toe into the world of international competition, has a result sent such seismic waves through the national game. Beaten by Iceland – a nation with a population the size of Leicester. Beaten by Iceland – a team with a part-time coach, and a part-time football culture. Beaten by Iceland – a team that had never played a knock-out game at a tournament before.
For Hodgson, this was a very bitter end and he was gone for good within 20 minutes of the final whistle. His players were booed, individually and collectively, and there was none of the residue of goodwill felt at the end of the 2014 World Cup.”
“It was a shambolic performance, especially second half. Obviously it didn’t go right for us in the first half – that’s where the mistakes were for the two goals. But for the group of players to not have any sort of clue what to do on the pitch in that situation, to completely panic, we didn’t have too many chances, people were doing stupid things with the ball…I don’t think I can remember a game as bad as that.” Former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher said on Sky Sports News.
Former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright rip apart into the players for their techniques and basic ball control skills after the match in the ITV studio. ‘That second half was embarrassing. The ball was going under people’s feet! They did not perform today. They were rubbish in this game. Rubbish.”
“Joe Hart was doing his Neanderthal beating-the-chest routine again before kick-off, pumping up the team like he seems to have decided he needs to at this tournament, when all England needed from him was some poise and security.
It was how it had become with Hart – a lot of extraneous preening and attitude which tells you that this is an individual who has forgotten the elementary part of his professional role. The same unpleasant strutting is there in the interviews with him: not the ones on television, in the full glare, but those behind the scenes where he, as one of the senior players of this England side, is asked to articulate some sense of leadership,” writes Ian Herbert in The Independent.
Former captain Alan Shearer described England’s Euro 2016 exit at the hands of Iceland as the “worst performance” he has ever seen from the Three Lions.
“We were out-fought, out-thought, out-battled and totally hopeless for 90 minutes. I said after the three group games that England weren’t good enough – I didn’t see enough. It looked to me like Roy was making it up as he was going along. It was tactically inept,” Shearer told BBC’s Match of the Day.
“One of the biggest problems of not knowing the best England team, aside from best players or shape, is there is no philosophy. Against Iceland there was no finesse and no inventiveness,” said Rio Ferdinand, former England defender and Manchester United legend.