Here we take a look back at England’s starting XI that was beaten by Iceland at Euro 2016 under the management of Roy Hodgson. This tournament would be the former Crystal Palace mans last in charge of the Three Lions, before being replaced by Sam Allardyce who was eventually sacked, seeing current England manager Gareth Southgate stepping up from his role as England’s Under 21’s boss.
How England’s Euro 2016 Squad Looks When Comparing to Euro 2020
How England’s Euro 2016 Squad Looks When Comparing Euro 2020
Goalkeeper: Joe Hart
Joe Hart was coming into Euro 2016 not knowing his Manchester City future following Manuel Pellegrini’s exit from the Etihad Stadium for current manager Pep Guardiola. Hart had won the Premier League Golden Glove five times since 2011, last doing so in 2015, but this tournament was ultimately the start of the end for Hart, following goalkeeping errors against a long-range Gareth Bale free-kick, as well as conceding to a weak shot Kolbeinn Sigþórsson in England’s 2-1 loss to Iceland.
Following this tournament, Hart was loaned out to Serie A side Torino and replaced by Claudio Bravo at City, as well as being loaned out to West Ham, making 19 Premier League appearances, before being sold to Burnley on a permanent basis in the summer of 2018 where he couldn’t establish himself as the Clarets first-choice goalkeeper. seeing the 34-year-old released to join Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2020 as a backup goalkeeper. Everton's Jordan Pickford has since replaced Hart as England's first-choice goalkeeper.
Right-Back: Kyle Walker
Manchester City full-back Kyle Walker is one of few that survived England’s humiliation to Iceland, as the then Tottenham Hotspur players career has gone from strength to strength, winning three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and four EFL Cups since his move to City in the summer of 2017.
The 31-year-old is integral to England’s plans these days, as he often plays as a centre-back if England switches their formation to a back five, but, when England play a back four, he still tends to play ahead of a plethora of high-quality right-backs for the national side in Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Reece James, which a testament to Walker in itself.
Centre-Back: Gary Cahill
Back in 2016, Gary Cahill was England’s main centre-back having been an established high-quality player at Chelsea, winning the league title as recently as 2015 at this point, before also doing so in 2017 and was even part of the Blues Champions League winning side in 2012. Cahill was coming into Euro 2016 on the back of a poor season with Chelsea that had seen them finish 10th amidst all the turmoil that campaign following the sacking of Jose Mourinho.
Euro 2016 wouldn't be Cahill's last tournament in an England shirt as he was picked for the 2018 World Cup, but, the Crystal Palace defender was replaced by Manchester City centre-back John Stones for that tournament in the starting line-up and would impress at the World Cup in Russia with a series of sturdy defensive displays. Stones has helped City to win three Premier League titles since the Euros in France.
Centre-Back: Chris Smalling
Chris Smalling had been one of United’s better players in a drab campaign, as United’s defence was he joint-best in the league, despite conceding 35 times, but, he had a calamitous end to the season, scoring an own-goal in the Red Devils FA Cup semi-final win against Everton, before being sent off in the final as United went on to win their first major trophy post Sir Alex Ferguson via an extra-time strike from Jesse Lingard to beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at Wembley.
Smalling like Cahill hasn't played at a major international tournament since Euro 2016 and now plies his trade in Italy with AS Roma, ironically he would be replaced with the man who was bought to take his place at United in Harry Maguire.
Left-Back: Danny Rose
Danny Rose was also part of the Premier League’s joint-best defence, having had a superb campaign at Tottenham as they challenged Leicester City for the league title, but fell short and somehow managed to finish third in what looked like a two-horse race.
The 30-year-old remained as Spurs first-choice left-back until the arrival of Jose Mourinho halfway through the 2019/20 season, despite helping his club side reach the Champions League final in 2019. Rose has recently signed for Watford this season, having been completely froze out by Mourinho to the extent of him playing no matches for the club last season, having not been registered in any of Tottenham’s league or cup squads.
Rose would go on to be part of England's 2018 World Cup squad, but, due to his omission from Spurs' squad in the last 18-months, as well as the emergence of Luke Shaw and Ben Chilwell, the Doncaster born full-back has ultimately been replaced in England's squad.
Central Midfield: Dele Alli
Dele Alli is another player that has suffered similar treatment from former Tottenham manager Mourinho in recent times, but, back in the 2015/16 season, the Spurs midfielder was one of the hottest prospects in world football, having managed 10 goals and nine assists in 33 Premier League outings in what was his debut season at White Hart Lane, following a move from MK Dons.
The 25-year-old failed to make it into England's Euro 2020 side, which is a shame considering the expected career trajectory the Spurs man had back in 2016 as well as 2018. England have a whole host of attacking midfielders nowadays, with the likes of Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Mason Mount all being preferred to Alli.
Defensive Midfield: Eric Dier
Eric Dier like Alli was regarded as a young prospect at the time at the age of 22, having played in 37 of Tottenham’s Premier League matches, mainly as a defensive midfielder as Spurs finished the season in third place. Eric Dier scored a sensational free-kick in England’s disappointing 1-1 draw against Russia on matchday one and that was one of the few positive moments of the tournament.
The 27-year-old played all 90 minutes in England’s Nations League matches back in November against Belgium and Iceland but has struggled for form in the second half of the season, seeing him being an unused substitute in March’s international matches before failing to make the final squad this time around. West Ham United's Declan Rice, as well as Jordan Henderson, are England's two first-choice defensive midfielders at the current Euros, whilst Leeds United man Kalvin Phillips also plays a prominent role in Southgate's setup.
Central Midfield: Wayne Rooney
Euro 2016 was to be Wayne Rooney’s last in an England shirt, having only featured five more times, finishing his international career on 120 caps, with a record 53 goals to his name. The then Manchester United forward had been used as a midfielder under Louis Van Gaal in the latter stages of the season, of which England manager Roy Hodgson then opted to do likewise, this wasn’t a great fit in all truth, as England’s midfield seemed to persistently lack tempo, as did United’s when he featured there.
Rooney was the final player of England’s ‘Golden Generation’ and to many he’ll often be referred to as one of many that didn’t live up to the lofty expectations set by England fans of this era, having failed to shine at any tournament post-Euro 2004. Rooney would leave Manchester United on a free transfer just 12 months later, following an incredible spell at Old Trafford seeing him win 16 major honours.
Right-Wing: Daniel Sturridge
Daniel Sturridge is currently a free agent at the age of 31, having been released by Turkish Super Lig outfit Trabzonspor last year. The former Liverpool man was highly rated in and around the time Euro 2016 was taking place but had a series of injuries that kept on derailing the potential he showed in 2013/14 where he scored 21 goals in 29 matches as Liverpool narrowly missed out on the Premier League title.
In the 2015/16 campaign, Sturridge had managed just 14 Premier League appearances, scoring eight goals, which was deemed as enough to get him into Hodgson’s squad. Sturridge scored in Liverpool’s game of the season in a 3-1 Europa League final defeat to Sevilla and even managed a memorable stoppage-time winner against Wales in the Group Stages at Euro 2016. Sturridge has managed just 64 league appearances since the Euros in France for the likes of Liverpool, West Brom and Trabzonspor due to injury problems.
England have a sizeable amount of options for right-wing at Euro 2020, with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho and Foden all being able to play there.
Striker: Harry Kane
England captain Harry Kane was the fifth and final Tottenham Hotspur player to feature England’s starting 11 against Iceland, having scored 25 goals in 38 league matches for Tottenham that season.
Kane struggled to find his feet at Euro 2016, like many of his England teammates, as the Tottenham man didn’t have a single goal contribution to his name in four appearances and bizarrely was often put on set pieces, however, fast forward on two years to the World Cup in Russia and he was a cornerstone of England’s side that reached the semi-finals, winning the Golden Boot with six goals to his name.
Left-Wing: Raheem Sterling
Manchester City winger Sterling had one of England’s bigger impacts in their defeat to Iceland, winning an early penalty which Rooney converted to give England a 1-0 lead before disaster struck.
At this point in his career, Sterling had just played one season at City following his £50m move from Liverpool and was still finding his feet, having managed nine-goal contributions in 31 league appearances under Pellegrini, much fewer than his best season to date which came in 2017/18, where he scored 18 goals and assisted 15 on City’s way to becoming ‘the Centurions’.
Euro 2020 is perhaps Sterling’s best tournament as an England player so far, scoring twice in England’s three group stage matches, which are his first goals at a major international tournament.
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