Limp Lions are left frozen by Iceland

Brian Jeeves

England v Iceland – International Friendly – Webley Stadium – Report

England 0-1 Iceland

England concluded their preparations ahead of Euro 24 with a dismal performance against a dogged and determined Iceland side in front of an unimpressed Wembley Stadium crowd.

Off the back of confirming his 26-man squad for the upcoming tournament in Germany, Gareth Southgate utilises his squad, however, the England boss was left with more questions than answers after his side flattered to deceive against Age Fridtjof Hareide’s men.

The only goal of an otherwise instantly forgettable game came after twelve minutes when Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson left Arsenal stopper Aaron Ramsdale wondering if he could have done better in dealing with his low strike.

Harry Kane and Cole Palmer passed up reasonable opportunities for England. Nevertheless, the home side lacked spark and spirit, leaving the home crowd anxious and unconvinced that their side will prevail over the coming weeks.

Speaking to Chanel 4, Arsenal’s Declan Rice said: “When we have that much of the ball, we have a couple of clear-cut chances and get beat 1-0 at home just before a Euros, it’s not ideal.

“But there were a lot of positive performances. In the end, it becomes a frustrating game, you’re chasing your tail a little bit and get caught on the counter-attack.

“Inside I’m hurting and between now and the next game there’s work to be done.”

England Head Coach, Gareth Southgate (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Southgate came in for heavy criticism from sections of the support. He added: “It was obviously a disjointed and disappointing performance and we didn’t show enough character, but I think it’s good for us before an international tournament.

“We’ve got to be better without the ball. I think there were a lot of reasons for that and across the two games we probably haven’t had our full side out. We’ve been able to look at people, we’ve been able to learn about the balance of the team.

“I’ve been involved in a lot of last matches leading into a tournament. Inevitably players have one eye on what’s coming in terms of early challenges. No excuses on the result but there are a lot of things we can put right quickly.”

England get their Euro 24 campaign underway on Sunday, June 16, when they face Serbia in Group C at the Veltins Arena (8pm).


Brian Jeeves