Well, that was... something. England took on Iceland in the European Championship knock-out round today in Nice, but it was anything but a nice day for the Three Lions. Placed against an overachieving country playing in its first ever European Championship finals and with a population the size of Corpus Christie, Texas, England went out and laid an egg, conceding two first half goals in 12 minutes and falling to Iceland 2-1.
Wayne Rooney put England up early with a penalty in the fourth minute, but Iceland quickly struck back with a goal two minutes later from Ragnar (not Gylfi) Sigurdsson, and Kolbein Sigthorsson put Iceland up for good in the 18th minute.
Tottenham’s Dele Alli had one notable shot from distance, a screamer that went just over the bar, and Harry Kane had a decent effort in the first half that stung the hands of Iceland keeper Hannes Haldorsson (who has had a fine tournament in his own right) but that was pretty much the highlights if you’re an England fan. Kane had a pretty awful match overall, and England were not helped in the slightest when manager Roy Hodgson opted to pull Eric Dier at halftime for Jack Wilshere, a gambit that backfired spectacularly.
The embarrassment was so acute that after the loss Hodgson immediately resigned – one wonders if he did so while still in the tunnel – and England again suffer the indignity of an early exit from a major tournament.
I could go into a detailed account of how poor England were (they were awful) and how much Iceland deserved the win (they really did) but ultimately, I don’t really care. England crashing hilariously out of the Euros is great if you’re a neutral and like watching underdogs like Iceland succeed. Ultimately, it’s good for Tottenham Hotspur too, as Kane, Dier, and Alli looked positively knackered out there. Summer tournaments take a toll on players and although Hodgson’s tactics didn’t help him any, Kane departs the Euros having ultimately disappointed in his performances, and looking like he needed an extended vacation.
Well, now he gets some time off, and it’s a good thing. Harry, Alli, Dier, Kyle Walker, and Danny Rose will now hopefully be able to take some “me time,” forget about football for a while, and come back rested and ready to lead Tottenham to a Premier League title.