Three little words...
“These things happen”, thank-you Roy Hodgson for delivering that pearl of wisdom in the wake of England’s exit from Euro 2016.
First and foremost, I think we’ve all been guilty to a degree of doing Iceland a disservice. On the night they were the better team, it’s a cliché I know, but it is a team game and as a unit they certainly did the job.
It’s knock-out football, this is no different from Colchester beating Leeds, Hereford versus Newcastle, Wrexham versus Arsenal, or even Walton & Hersham beating Brighton 4-0 at the Goldstone with the legendary Brian Clough as the Albion boss.
In England terms, ultimately should I really be that surprised?
I checked this week on good old Wikipedia that I watched my first full England game on April 29, 1972, Ted Heath was PM and we weren’t even in Europe then, The Royal Scots Guards were number one with Amazing Grace, David Coleman was the commentator and we lost 3-1 to West Germany.
So, setting up 44 years of disappoint-ment, despair and frustration, Monday night was no different.
Pre-match, I, along with possibly millions of others, had predicted an England win. At the end I cannot recall many games, if any since that April night in 1972, when I’ve turned the television off at the final whistle.
You can point fingers and blame selections, systems, whatever, as I said we were beaten by the better team, accept it, move on and hopefully learn from it.
One observation, perhaps this might highlight where we’ve got some of our priorities wrong. Should commercial television be running half-time ads from the England goalkeeper advertising shampoo when he’s had a nightmare first half?
So to the future, immediately I doubt the French are relishing taking on Iceland, with perhaps the entire global football community outside the host nation willing the minnows to win, in the knowledge that this is football and anything can happen.
As for the rest of the competition, Wales is in the UK, and I’d imagine will always be, therefore remembering Zulu and Mary Hopkin, I would like to see them beat Belgium on Friday and progress to the next round.
As for the England manager’s resignation, I was almost as ‘shocked’ as when I found out Ozzy Osbourne liked a drink.
Hodgson was the only option four years ago, so what next for the FA.
Like Hodgson, I think Gareth Southgate would be the preferred ‘safe’ choice but I’d actually like to see the FA buck the trend and partly rectify a situation that could have been handled better.
Though I wasn’t his biggest fan over his treatment of Gazza in 1998, I think they should give the job to Glenn Hoddle for the second time. I know the latter said the wrong thing (but don’t most of us) but it was partly down to trial by media, and he still has a lot to offer.
Despite the defeat, we do have a crop of extremely talented players, maybe Glenn is the man to get the best out of them?
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