England exit Euro2016: The best British writing

England's Wayne Rooney comforts his teammates at the end of the during the Euro 2016 round of 16 football match between England and Iceland. Photo / AP.
England's Wayne Rooney comforts his teammates at the end of the during the Euro 2016 round of 16 football match between England and Iceland. Photo / AP.

After the humiliating loss to Iceland in the Europe 2016 tournament, England's football writers have clearly identified their teams' problem area - goalkeeper, defenders, midfield, strikers, tactics, set pieces, selections and the manager. England's WAGs (wives and girlfriends) appear to have escaped scrutiny and criticism, although that may happen in the coming days.

We round up the best of the English writing in the wake of England's exit:

Barney Ronay (The Guardian)

"...this was not, as some have suggested, England's worst defeat.

"Iceland are a good team, far better than the more isolationist voices would credit. The reason so many Icelanders play below the top tiers is in part simply because they're Icelandic, a prejudice that will change given the first-world coaching structures in place.

"England do not have a complete, all-round midfielder to match Gylfi Sigurdsson, just as if Gylfi were English he would be at Manchester City or Arsenal, not Swansea City.

Iceland's rather derided (beforehand) centre-forward Kolbeinn Sigthorsson still has more international goals than the combined mega-millions front three of Harry Kane, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling. A detail perhaps. But the disjunct from reality, the delusion of pre-existing superiority remains one of many clogs in the machine.

"As for Rooney, it is surely best to focus instead on finding the best way to work with his new club manager and allowing others to have their time with

Jason Burt (The Telegraph)

"...Hodgson has failed. He came into this tournament without a clear idea of how he wanted to play, with questionable preparation and with players who were much of a muchness; some wrongly rewarded for past deeds, such as James Milner; some, like Jack Wilshere, who were simply not fit enough.

(Hodgson) seemed like a decent man never fully in control and who was attempting to keep his bosses happy... the man who oversaw two horrible tournaments and one of the most humiliating results in the 144-year history of England playing international football."

Ian Herbert (The Independent)

"Joe Hart was doing his Neanderthal beating-the-chest routine again before kick-off, pumping up the team like he seems to have decided he needs to at this tournament, when all England needed from him was some poise and security.

"It was how it had become with Hart - a lot of extraneous preening and attitude which tells you that this is an individual who has forgotten the elementary part of his professional role."

Matt Gatward (The Independent)

"Hodgson spent the 90 minutes England were labouring against Iceland seemingly trying to get food out of his teeth, the verbals utterly absent."

Mark Ogden (The Independent)

"Rooney impressed in flashes in midfield, but why was he not deployed there during the warm-up friendlies? The move smacked of desperation on Hodgson's part - desperation to squeeze his captain into the team having decided he was no longer able to claim a place as a forward."

"If a centre-forward (Harry Kane) is the team's best corner taker, what does it say about the midfielders' or full-backs' ability to cross a ball?


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