Wayne Rooney believes England’s defeat to Iceland prove why Three Lions will miss Harry Maguire at the Euros

Wayne Rooney believes England’s defeat to Iceland prove why Three Lions will miss Harry Maguire at the Euros

The 1-0 defeat to Iceland at Wembley marked a dismal end to England’s Friendly matches ahead of Euro 2024.

This defeat, eerily reminiscent of past disappointments, might not bode well for the upcoming tournament. It was a loss that not only ended a frustrating campaign but also underlined the challenges facing Gareth Southgate as he prepares his team for their opening match against Serbia on June 16.

This match was a historic low, with England losing their final pre-tournament game for just the second time in their history, the first since 1954. The resulting boos from the Wembley crowd reflected a growing concern about the squad’s readiness.

Southgate, now heading into what many presume to be his last major tournament as England manager, must address significant gaps in his team.

The anticipation around Euro 2024 had positioned England as potential favourites, thanks to a squad that has grown in both talent and experience over the past eight years.

However, Southgate’s recent decisions have introduced uncertainty. By sidelining several seasoned stalwarts in favour of relatively untested players, he has gambled on youth and potential over proven reliability. This experimental approach was evident in the lineup against Iceland, which included eight players likely to start against Serbia but struggled to show cohesion and effectiveness.

Wayne Rooney believes England miss a leader like Harry Maguire

Wayne Rooney, a veteran of many international campaigns, was quick to highlight the absence of key players like Harry Maguire, whose leadership and defensive prowess were sorely missed on Friday and will likely be missed during the tournament itself.

England’s recent form is a huge worry going into Euro 2024

England’s recent form does little to inspire confidence. In their last five matches, they have managed just one win, alongside two losses and two draws. This slump includes three consecutive games without a victory at Wembley, a worrying trend not seen since 2018. These results starkly contrast with Southgate’s optimistic comments about the squad’s vibrancy and potential.

The match against Iceland laid bare the team’s deficiencies. The attack was lackluster, failing to create meaningful chances or exert sustained pressure on the opposition, registering just one shot on target all game. The defence, meanwhile, appeared vulnerable and disorganised, easily penetrable and lacking the protective midfield shield that could prevent counter-attacks.

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