Euro 2016: England’s manager quits after loss to Iceland


ABUJA, JUNE 28, 2016 – Roy Hodgson has resigned as England manager after his side suffered a shock 2-1 loss to Iceland on Monday to crash out of the 2016 European Championship in France.

Recalls that the 68-year-old had been in charge for four years after replacing Italian Fabio Capello.

The fact that he has won just three of 11 games in major tournament finals was always there to haunt him.

England suffered their worst humiliation since they were knocked out of the 1950 World Cup by the U.S. in Brazil as Iceland shocked them out of contention.

After Wayne Rooney’s 4th minute penalty kick, Iceland equalised within a minute as England failed to deal with a trademark long throw, before Ragnar Sigurdsson bundled home from close range.

Iceland — with a population of just 330,000 — were among the lowest-ranked teams in France at 34 in the world.

“I’m sorry it will have to end this way but these things happen,’’ Hodgson said while explaining his resignation.

“Now is the time for someone else to oversee the progress of a hungry and extremely talented group of players.

“They have done fantastically and done everything asked of them. I hope you will still be able to see an England team in a final of a major tournament soon.’’

Hodgson, who won 33 of his 56 games as England boss, would have been out of contract at the end of the tournament.

The former Liverpool and West Brom boss was due to discuss a possible contract renewal.

But Football Association (FA) chairman Greg Dyke had said he (Hodgson) would only stay on if England “do well’’ in France.

In a statement issued following Hodgson’s resignation, the FA said: “Like the nation, we are disappointed to lose this evening and that our run in Euro 2016 has come to a premature end.

“We had high hopes of progressing through to the latter stages of the competition and accept that we have not met our own expectations or those of the country.

“We back Roy Hodgson’s decision to step down as England manager and will discuss next steps imminently.’’

Recalls that England which qualified for Euro 2016 with a 100 per cent record in their group had started the finals with a 1-1 draw against Russia.

They had gone on to beat Wales 2-1 and draw 0-0 with Slovakia in their final Group B game.

The results that left them in second place and in a tougher half of the draw.

Hodgson had faced heavy criticism following the Slovakia game for making six changes to the side that had beaten Wales.

Under Hodgson’s guidance, England had reached the quarter-finals of the last European Championship in 2012, losing to Italy on penalty kicks, before a dismal showing at the 2014 World Cup.

They had then in Brazil gone out at the group stages without winning a game.

Hodgson also confirmed that assistants Ray Lewington and Gary Neville would also leave their posts.

In a reaction, former England striker Alan Shearer described the Iceland defeat as the team’s worst performance.

“That was the worst performance I’ve ever seen from an England team. Ever.

“We were out-fought, out-thought, out-battled and totally hopeless for 90 minutes. It looked to me like Roy was making it up as he was going along.’’

Shearer, who revealed he wanted to become England manager before Hodgson was appointed, added: “Our players caved tonight.
They caved and the manager caved.’’

Another former England international, Jermaine Jenas, said Hodgson “didn’t know’’ what he was doing, adding “He didn’t know his best team or system.

“His loyalty to players has cost him his job. It was a horrible way to go out of the tournament.’’

In another reaction team captain Wayne Rooney insisted that tactics did not play a part in England’s loss.

“I can’t stand here and say exactly why it’s happened,’’ said the striker. “There are always upsets in football. It’s not tactics. It’s just unfortunate.

“We know we’re a good team. It’s a sad day for us. It’s tough.’’

Asked about his own international future, Rooney said: “I’m still available.’’

On his part, England goalkeeper Joe Hart said: “We worked hard but with no success. That is how this team will be remembered.’’

He added that the next manager “has a tough job on his hands’’.

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