Sports England vs Iceland Player Ratings: Mainoo and Stones Steal Spotlight in Euro 2024 Build-Up
England vs Iceland Player Ratings: Mainoo and Stones Steal Spotlight in Euro 2024 Build-Up

England vs Iceland: The Final Hurdle Before Euro 2024

England's final match before the Euro 2024 tournament did not go as expected, with the home side falling to a 1-0 defeat at Wembley. The only goal of the match was scored by Iceland's Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson in the first half. Despite a number of positive individual performances, England's overall play left much to be desired.

Aaron Ramsdale's Performance in the Spotlight

Aaron Ramsdale, tasked with keeping the Icelandic forwards at bay, found himself beaten at his near post by Thorsteinsson's strike. While he did redeem himself with some solid saves later in the match, the initial goal could spell a return to the bench for him. His ability to bounce back will be crucial as the tournament approaches.

Defense: A Mixed Bag

Kyle Walker, known for his defensive prowess, was caught out on the play that led to Iceland's goal. That said, his overall performance suggests he'll still be integral against Serbia. John Stones gave England a bit of a scare early on with an apparent injury but soldiered on until halftime. His resilience and skill will be key for England in the tournament.

Marc Guehi's timely block prevented Iceland from scoring a second goal, showcasing his importance to the defensive lineup. Kieran Trippier, usually more reserved, pushed further up the pitch, hinting at a potentially more attacking role as left-back. Declan Rice provided his usual energetic display, creating an opportunity for Cole Palmer, demonstrating his value once again.

Kobbie Mainoo's Rise

Playing higher up the pitch, Kobbie Mainoo was a notable presence. His solid performance has put him in contention for a starting spot when the tournament kicks off. If Mainoo continues to perform at this level, he could become one of England’s standout players.

Anthony Gordon and Phil Foden: Offensive Threats

Anthony Gordon had a positive performance characterized by his tenacity and threat on goal. He’s proving to be an essential player for England. Phil Foden, occupying the No10 role, will need to find his place in the starting lineup alongside the returning Jude Bellingham. Foden’s versatility will be an asset, but finding the right fit remains crucial.

Cole Palmer's Promise and Harry Kane's Leadership

Cole Palmer showed flashes of brilliance but needs to refine his decision-making. Nonetheless, his potential is evident and could be a valuable player for England. Harry Kane, often dropping deep to facilitate play, continues to be the talisman for England. As team captain, his role is more significant than ever, and he'll be leading the team into the tournament.

Impactful Substitutes

The substitutes, notably Bukayo Saka, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Ivan Toney, each brought something to the table. Saka added dynamism, Alexander-Arnold provided creativity, and Toney showed promise. However, as the match wore on, England's defense appeared more vulnerable, highlighting areas that need addressing before the tournament.

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead

With the kick-off of Euro 2024 fast approaching, England's final squad decisions will be under immense scrutiny. This match against Iceland served as a crucial test for many players vying for a starting role. Some, like Stones and Mainoo, solidified their standing, while others still have work to do. Gareth Southgate has many decisions to make, and this match provided valuable insights.

This defeat may act as a wake-up call, encouraging the team to tighten up defensively and improve their overall cohesion. As the tournament looms, every player's performance will be under the microscope, with the aim of achieving success on the European stage.

About the author

Melinda Hartfield

I am a journalist focusing on daily news across Africa. I have a passion for uncovering untold stories and delivering factual, engaging content. Through my writing, I aim to bring attention to both the challenges and progress within diverse communities. I collaborate with various media outlets to ensure broad coverage and impactful narratives.

Write a comment