England embarrassed by Iceland at Euros
FOOTBALL: It was a case of England being sent packing from Europe for the second time in a week.
Again, it was the country’s own doing, but on this occasion, not through want.
And as Prime Minister David Cameron did last week when the nation voted to leave the European Union, England manager Roy Hodgson fell on his sword after his team’s shock exit from Euro 2016 in France.
It came before the knives into his back following the humiliating 2-1 loss to Iceland, which booked its quarter-final berth.
Announcing his resignation after the indignation of what was described by many as the worst loss in English football history, Hodgson said: “I’m sorry it’s had to end this way with another exit from the tournament. These things happen.”
Unfortunately for England they happen a little too regularly.
And in Hodgson’s time in charge alone, England has won just three of 11 games in major tournaments.
“I’m actually proud of the work my coaching staff and I have achieved over our time at the helm of England,” he said.
“The transition from the squad, whose average age was 30, to now being the youngest in the tournament is both remarkable and exciting for the future of English football.”
Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce and Crystal Palace counterpart Alan Pardew are likely to be considered as Hodgson’s successor, but the FA will not restrict the search to an Englishman.
“I would have loved to stay on for another two years. However, I am pragmatic and I know we are in the results business,” Hodgson said.
Iceland, with a population of just 330,000 and ranked 34th in the world, will now play host nation France in the last eight early on Monday morning, while Germany takes on Italy after the latter bundled out reigning Euro champion Spain 2-0.
EURO QUARTER-FINALS: Poland v Portugal (Fri 5am); Wales v Belgium (Sat 5am); Germany v Italy (Sunday 5am); France v Iceland (Mon 5am).