ENGLAND'S ICELAND SHAME: Roy Hodgson quits after England's darkest night in 144 years' of international football
CLUELESS England manager Roy Hodgson quit following the darkest night in 144-years’ of international football following a shameful 2-1 defeat to minnows Iceland in the last sixteen of the European Championships in Nice tonight.
The Three Lions got off to a dream start when Wayne Rooney tucked home a fourth minute penalty – but the dream dissolved and swiftly turned into a nightmare.
Iceland launched a trademark long throw into the box and Ragnar Sigurdsson steered the ball home from close range to equalise within a couple of minutes.
Iceland won it thanks to a gift from goalkeeper Joe Hart, who allowed Kolbeinn Sigthorsson's shot go through his hand to find the bottom right-hand corner from the edge of the box after only 18 minutes.
England failed to break an Icelandic side full of heart as The Three Lions limped out of the tournament in embarrassing fashion as Iceland booked a Quarter-Final tie against hosts France on Sunday night.
Hodgson, who is the highest paid coach of all of the 24 teams, resigned at a press conference following the game but chose not to answer any questions about his side’s appalling performance from the gathered media.
Hodgson’s contract was up following the end of the tournament but he had no choice but to end his four-year reign.
His decision to make six changes for a goal-less draw against Slovakia ensured England finished as Group B runners-up to Wales and his highly-paid side should have had enough talent, class, heart and desire to beat a side like Iceland in the last sixteen.
Hodgson, 68, said: "I'm extremely disappointed. We haven't progressed as far as I thought we were capable of and that's obviously not acceptable.
"I'm proud of the work my coaching staff and I have achieved during our time at the helm with England. The transition of the squad whose average age is 30 to now being the youngest in the tournament is both remarkable and exciting for the future of English football.
"I would have loved to have stayed on for another two years, however I am pragmatic and know that we are in the results business.
"My contract was up after the Euros. So now is the time for someone else to oversee the progress of this young, hungry and extremely talented group of players.
"They have been fantastic and they have done everything that has been asked of them.
"When I arrived I was told that players didn’t turn up to play for their country, or that they pull out at the last minute but I’ve not seen any of that. These players love to play for their country and their commitment has been unquestionable.
"Ray Lewington and Gary Neville have asked me to speak on their behalf. They arrived with me as part of my coaching team and they’ll leave with me. I’d like to thank them for their dedicated support and for the major part they’ve played in our team preparation.
"Finally, I’d like to thank all the support staff, players, The FA and of course the fans – it’s been a fantastic journey these four years and it’s one I’ll look back on with pride.
"Finally I’d like to thank the media for the support that you’ve given me during those four years.
"I’m sorry it’s had to end this way with another exit from a tournament but these things happen and all I can do is wish everybody all the very best and hope that you will still be able to see an England team in a final of a major tournament fairly soon…we’ve been unable to do it. Thank you very much."
The Football Association now face a massive job to bring English football back up from its knees after the darkest night in England’s history.
The FA said: “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.”
Congratulations to Iceland, who celebrate their greatest night in their footballing history – and they deserve their glorious night - but sorry England, you’re a disgrace to your country!
Two former England Golden Boot winners, Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer took to Twitter to voice their disgust of losing to Iceland.
Lineker tweeted: “Roy Hodgson resigns as England manager. A decent and dignified man but will forever be remembered for losing to tiny Iceland.
“The worst defeat in our history. England beaten by a country with more volcanoes than professional footballers. Well played Iceland.”
Shearer also summed up the mood in England tonight, adding, “England – shocking. Pathetic. Inept. Well done Iceland, you were brilliant.”
Visit The Football Association’s website: www.thefa.com