The national team of Iceland has come a long way from the times when tournament football was “pie in the sky” to qualifying and participating in Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Swedish manager Erik Hamren took charge of Iceland after Russia 2018 and his first tests as manager of Iceland took place in UEFA Nations League.
Things got off to a terrible start for Hamren as Iceland was hammered 6-0 by Switzerland away from home.
Days later the situation didn’t get any better as Belgium scored a 3-0 victory over Iceland in Reykjavik.
Going back to the first match for Iceland, I find it alarming that with a six-goal defeat there was only one Icelandic player that received a yellow card.
What was wrong with the Icelanders? The way I see it, there should have been more yellow cards and even a red card.
The bottom line is that footballers are smart enough to know that they are going to lose when the score starts to get lopsided, but they also have to send a message that they will not get embarrassed.
And that is exactly what happened to Iceland in the thrashing they received from Switzerland.
Next up for Iceland is a home fixture against Switzerland in Reykjavik on 15 October.
With the way everything has gone, it is safe to say that Iceland doesn’t have much of a chance to finish top of Group 2 in Nations League A.
But all members of the Icelandic team know they must make it up to their loyal supporters in the next match against Switzerland.
Hamren won’t announce publicly that Iceland virtually has no chance of topping Group 2, but he can get his footballers back on the right track by telling them to be more physical against the Swiss.
Prediction: Iceland 1-2 Switzerland
This article was originally published on Nationsleaguefootball.wordpress.com
In the coming weeks, we will be sharing Eftekhari‘s articles on the Faroese and Icelandic national team.