A few days ago, England lost to what many deem as a low class bunch of minnows. Despite the fact that the minnows in question, Iceland, came second in their group the same as England did. Yet losing to Portugal would have, apparently, been bearable as they are a proper team with a bonafide superstar in Ronaldo. Alas this was not the case and Iceland were victorious to the chagrin of many Eng-er-land supporters and of course the media.
I am Welsh with a heavy dosage of Englishness (both grandfathers for starters) so their progress is ok by me unless it comes at the expense of Wales; a match in my opinion that shouldn’t have been lost or rather typically for Wales given away (despite Chris Coleman’s somewhat surprising statement that it was only the middle game of three – as if to say it wasn’t important). Getting back to the game, both English goals were scrappy to say the least; let’s face it a toddler could have scored from the range Vardy was at. You could however see the worry on Roy Hodgson’s face in the dugout throughout the game.
It took all of England’s firepower to beat Wales and that in itself is not a good sign. So, having done everything right in qualifying England have misfired on the big stage again. Many analysts and pundits are pondering how this could be as if England should win every tournament they qualify for. Remember this used to be the situation with Spain prior to 2008, though they too have failed to progress any further this time courtesy of the Azzuri.
The next question is who should manage England or perhaps who the hell would want to considering the unreasonable expectations of the English FA and media. The job has quite rightly come to be regarded as a poison chalice. Expect to be pummelled by an unchallenged media who expect England to win every game and failing that amusingly include the population of the country doing the damage; last time I checked a football game was between two teams of 11 guys (subs excluded), not 330, 000!
So are England down the dumper, a flash in the pan? For the moment yes. As for humiliating, not sure. If it were a friendly or qualifier from 1984 when Iceland were minnows who beat Wales 1-0, then again my answer would be affirmative. I am not saying England played to the best of their abilities however in a championship where Iceland have yet to put a foot wrong is it really an embarrassment? More so, I don’t believe it is fair to humiliate the boss (Roy Hodgson) either. No team can win it all, not even Spain.