Thursday 23 November 2017

Roy Hodgson steps down as England manager following Iceland humiliation

England manager Roy Hodgson stands dejected on the touchline
England manager Roy Hodgson stands dejected on the touchline

Roy Hodgson has resigned as England manager after the Euro 2016 defeat to Iceland which knocked the national team out of the tournament.

The former Fulham and West Bromwich Albion manager’s contract expires this summer but he has confirmed he will not seek fresh terms.

Despite boasting a young and talented squad, England have yet against struggled to make their mark at a major competition, spelling the end of Hodgson's four-year reign as manager.

Wayne Rooney's penalty gave England a dream start after four minutes, but from that point they were largely outfought, outbattled and outplayed.

Ragnar Sigurdsson all too easily lost Kyle Walker from Aron Gunnarsson's mammoth throw to level within two minutes and things got worse when a Kolbeinn Sigthorsson effort trickled home after Joe Hart's pathetic attempt at a save.

Wayward finishing, stern defending and poor passing meant England were unable to find a response as Iceland deservedly set up a remarkable quarter-final with hosts France.

As for England, bowing out to Iceland will leave a hangover that will prove hard to shake, with fans chanting, "You're not fit to wear the shirt" at the final whistle.

Hodgson issued a statement, saying: "Now is the time for someone else to oversee the progress of this young and hungry group of players.

"When I was arrived I was told players didn't turn up to play for their country but I haven't seen any of that.

"I'd like to thank Gary and Ray for their support and the part they've played.

"It's been a fantastic journey and it's one I shall look back on with pride.

"I'd lack to thank you the media, for your support over the last four years.

"I wish everybody all the very best. I hope you all see England in the final of an international tournament soon."

A statement from the English FA read: "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. 

"For now, we congratulate Iceland for reaching the quarter final and wish them well against France at the weekend.

"Finally, our sincere thanks go to the travelling fans for their incredible support tonight and to everyone back home for getting behind the team."

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