Forget Britain, England is splitting and Iceland laid bare that which we hid
It's lonely in England and there's a lot more than tactics and skill that's needed to fix it.
It was bound to happen. Everybody said it was going to happen. Everybody admitted that there was a slight chance of a surprise but that going by past results and the general way they go about representing their country, England would cave.
And they did.
Jamie Vardy, Wayne Rooney, Gary Cahill, Jack Wilshere, Dele Alli, and Harry Kane were seen after the game heads down on the ground. They were all apart from each other. Not together. They didn't huddle, they didn't pick each other up and worse of all, they didn't walk to the crowds – together – to thank them for their support.
England are not a footballing superpower. People assume they're one because they have individually talented footballers. The hype is not real. The passion is not real. It feels like they're forced to do what they do. It isn't natural and it very well isn't inspiring.
Pulling on the white shirt isn't an honour anymore, it's a burden. A break in between league seasons could be used for something far more important. Harsh, but true.
Blaming the manager isn't going to solve anything. A change of managers probably isn't going to solve anything. Roy Hodgson knows that; he's been around football long enough to know when to walk. Iceland simply convinced him.
Fans will burn effigies of their managers and a few stars. Others will blame the players who they love to blame. Some will sympathise, some will understand but all of them will know that they're team – a team born out of the world's most prestigious league – needs something larger than skill, technicality and tact.
A leaf out of Wales and Iceland, perhaps? Two heavy underdogs who seem to flourish with their backs against the wall. England have quicker, stronger and more technical players but miss out on the one thing that actually matters on a stage like this.
'T' for togetherness, not tactics.
When Neil Taylor scored Wales' third goal against Russia, he wasn't celebrating alone. He wasn't even seen on camera thanks to the deluge of teammates all over him. It was their third goal – an almost insignificant event in the game's story.
Yet it brought about something in everyone within the team to run at the defender and show them how much they appreciate what he's done there. Gareth Bale is perhaps one of the best players on the planet right now. So is Aaron Ramsey. And the two of them are amongst the first to run to Taylor and express themselves.
Iceland did the same. Sigthorsson's goal was huge. His celebration was even more so. Passion, love and even fear brought that team together like nothing ever before in this tournament.
Look at Graziano Pelle's goal celebration after he scored Italy's second goal against Spain. His teammates, the rest of the squad on the bench, those warming up, the coaching staff all joined in on the celebration. That was what made the goal a great goal. Not technique or style but fellowship.
England need to improve who they are before they can improve what they can do. The over-reliance on ruthlessness and the 'anything-to-win' attitude works rarely. Ask Jose Mourinho.
To play the long-ball, to truly play the game, that is, you need to instil something much higher. England have the talent, they just need a team to use it.