Sunday, June 23, 2024

‘Boring’ & ‘dismal’ – but are England still ‘ready’ for Euro 2024?

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Boos rang out at Wembley as England’s grand send-off for the European Championship they hope to finally win ended with defeat by the same team who stunned them in 2016 – and the BBC pundits were also unimpressed.

Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson scored the only goal as Iceland came out 1-0 victors against an England team who played most of their likely starters for Germany.

“We had no width, there was no punch of directness or aggression or physicality in the play,” said former England defender Matt Upson, watching the game for BBC Radio 5 Live. “It was really quite dismal. It was a bit boring to watch.

“What a tough watch that was. It’s not pleasant going into a major tournament.

“Even if they didn’t play that well or had an off-night that’s fine, but what’s been delivered there was really flat and disjointed. It didn’t have the character at all. So flat from England.”

Former striker Dion Dublin, who played four times for the Three Lions in 1998, was similarly concerned by the lacklustre display.

“Nobody really had a good game tonight,” he added. “There’s not really one player in an England shirt who will say ‘I’ve done my bit, I’ve earned my shirt’.

“They just seemed off it tonight. I don’t know if they came into this with a little bit of expectation. I didn’t see any partnerships working.

“I don’t know what it was tonight. Iceland were better, they were more dynamic, they looked fitter. They got into such a good shape and made it hard for England. They deserved the win.”

Iceland, who knocked Roy Hodgson’s England out at the last-16 stage of the Euros eight years ago, have not qualified for this summer’s tournament.

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