England’s loss to Iceland in the round of 16 at EURO 2016 was simply the latest disappointing end to another disappointing display at a major tournament by the Three Lions, but that doesn’t mean it stings or lingers any less, according to Jordan Henderson.
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Speaking ahead of England’s 2018 World Cup qualifying clash with Malta on Saturday, Henderson was asked about the defeat — perhaps unfairly labeled “embarrassing” by the British press — as will be done the rest of his international career, and the Liverpool captain pulled no punches in explaining the emotional baggage he and others still carry from that day Nice, France — quotes from the Daily Mail:
“Iceland will stay with me. I know it is easy to say you have to learn from those experiences and use them to motivate you so that it doesn’t happen again, but it will always stay with the players.
“That is one of the worst places I have been. Even though I did not play, I felt part of the team. We’re in it together and I really believed in us.
“We let everyone down — the country, the fans, the manager. The dressing room was horrible. Really horrible. People were emotional. The manager was emotional with the talk that he gave afterwards. It wasn’t nice to see. Everyone is human.
“Some people think we are machines and they can just chuck everything and criticize. I can tell you we do care. I can understand why the fans were mad. They had every right to criticize us. It is up to us to change that.”
Everything looked to be heading in a positive direction with Sam Allardyce in charge of England, expected to provide the kind of mental toughness and tactical instruction to help the Three Lions finally realize their untapped potential. Allardyce has now gone, leaving Gareth Southgate, a man who doesn’t want the job himself, the interim boss, and the same EURO squad remains largely intact as England barrel toward another summer of disappointment in 2018.
I’d tell you to change, England, but at this point, I’m almost 100 percent positive you’re incapable of doing so.