Unforgettable landmark moment in Nice: England 1 Iceland 2

Last night’s BBC sport news report was by Dan Rowan.

The producers got Alan Shearer to repeat his verdict on England 1 Iceland 2 in almost exactly the same words he’d used in the MOTD highlights show on Monday night.

They realised that viewers were angry, and that Shearer’s damning post-match verdict expressed our feelings as well as his own.

So we saw Alan Shearer say, “The worst England performance I’ve ever seen. There was no fight, no heart, no passion. And the ability just wasn’t there. The ability to perform under pressure, players just couldn’t do it. We caved, the manager caved.”

We saw Engerland bottle it, Alan.

We saw our team give up, crumble, throw in the towel.

That is where we now are, that is what we’ve become. I just thank God that Bobby Robson and Don Howe were not around to witness that capitulation.

The one thing English players could always do was battle, play for each other, and never give up – and our fighting spirit was what the foreigners feared.

We saw the bumbling Hodgson resign after a national humiliation.

Dan Rowan, standing outside the team’s luxury hotel in Chantilly, said, “England wanted for nothing in France but they leave having been reduced to a laughing stock. The FA say they are prepared to consider a foreign coach as Hodgson’s successor. After a failure that no longer comes as a surprise, the sense is that it will take a lot more than a new manager if England is ever to have a team we can be truly proud of.”

Proud of our football team? That’s gone, Dan. Not in your lifetime.

We have academies but our youth coaching is abysmal because it costs £12,000 to do a Uefa Coaching badge that you can do for £700 in Spain.

Every country has more qualified coaches than we do, working with schoolkids, teaching them to play properly from an early age.

FA Chief Executive Martin Glenn said, “When it comes down to a game that matters, we haven’t delivered. And that’s not just a recent thing, that’s been a fifty year thing. And we’ve got to figure it out .And it is more than the skill or the tactics. To my mind there’s clearly something around the psychological preparation and the resilience which is also important.”

The blazers who run the FA have been clueless for decades

Graham Taylor, a Third Division full back, did not believe in proper football, so he was doomed to fail before he ever opened his mouth.

Kevin Keegan, a popular cheerleader, was doing OK as a caretaker, so they said, “The press love him, let’s give Kevin the job on a permanent basis.”

Sven and Capello proved unsuitable too.

Despite all that, it was memorable, a landmark moment.

Nice was special, Nice was huge, Nice was a historic national trauma, a 24-carat football disaster. Everyone understood how this failure unfolded because it was all so simple and so obvious.

Roy Hodgson didn’t win a game in Brazil in 2014 and our challenge in that tournament lasted five days. But he kept his job.

In the last two years he’s gone from losing 2-1 to Italy and 2-1 to Uruguay to drawing 0-0 with Slovakia and losing 2-1 to Iceland.

Is it still important? Let’s face it, millions of people stopped caring about England years ago

Why should we care if the players don’t?

The shaming details of this particular farce provided further evidence that England’s most famous footballers now live in a cushioned parallel universe, disconnected from reality. The game wasn’t even close.

Every two years eleven of our stars  pull on shirts with three lions on the chest and go out and try to perform but can’t. Engerland played like timid, dim-witted pussycats. That why, after such a gutless performance, the fans were entitled to sing, “You’re not fit to wear the shirt.”

The game was on ITV and we watched a meltdown on an unprecedented scale.

That must have shocked fans who believed the hype. Those people don’t know that Wayne Rooney is past it, that Jack Wilshere can’t run, that Joe Hart is worth a goal every other game to our opponents, that the uninspiring Roy Hodgson cannot pick a team to save his life.

He picked the wrong team, without Lallana, without Vardy, so I knew it was never going to work, as I said on ANR that afternoon,

We were handed a gift goal in the first minute, when keeper Halldorsson clipped Sterling to concede a silly penalty, which Rooney converted very professionally.

After that I didn’t see anything I liked from England, apart from a Dele Alli thunderbolt that fizzed just over the crossbar.

Iceland had every quality we lacked: raw guts, a strong team ethic, a visible belief in their an old-fashioned 4-4-2 system. That was how an unchanged team of guys who play for Swansea, Cardiff, Odense and Hammarby batttered England, urged on by the distinctive unison clapping of their supporters

They scored in 6 minutes from their first long throw into the penalty area by Cardiff’s Aron Gunnarsson, Kari Arnason flicked on, and centreback Ragnar Sigurdsson made an unmarked run into the six-yard box to make it 2-1 in 18 minutes.

England just stood there and watched. Our challenge only lasted six minutes.

I’m told that Chris Waddle said Iceland are a decent Championship side.

In The Irish Times, Ken Early reminded us that Hodgson was tetchy after the Slovakia 0-0 in Saint Etienne, and predicted that some team soon was going to get a battering.