Declan Rice reacts to England’s surprise defeat to Iceland

Declan Rice reacts to England’s surprise defeat to Iceland

Arsenal‘s Declan Rice has demanded improvement from the England squad after their surprising 1-0 loss to Iceland in a pre-Euro 2024 friendly.

Despite dominating possession and creating chances, England failed to capitalise, leading to a disappointing defeat at Wembley.

(L-R back row) England's midfielder #07 Cole Palmer, England's defender #02 Kyle Walker, England's defender #06 Marc Guehi, England's goalkeeper #01 Aaron Ramsdale, England's defender #05 John Stones and England's midfielder #11 Anthony Gordon, (L-R front row) England's midfielder #10 Phil Foden, England's defender #03 Kieran Trippier, England's striker #09 Harry Kane, England's midfielder #04 Declan Rice and England's midfielder #08 Kobbie Mainoo pose for a photo ahead of kick-off in the International friendly football match between England and Iceland at Wembley Stadium in London on June 7, 2024. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Rice, the most experienced player on the pitch by the final whistle, acknowledged the setback but emphasised the importance of learning from the experience.

“There’s work to be done,” Rice admitted. “When you have that much of the ball, have a couple of clear-cut chances, and get beat 1-0 at home just before the Euros it isn’t ideal.”

The Arsenal midfielder, however, remained optimistic and highlighted the positives from the match.

“I’m going to take the positives,” he said. “There were a lot of promising performances, we played with a good tempo, always tried to play forward. We have to be a little bit more savvy.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 07: Declan Rice of England speaks to team mate Joe Gomez during the international friendly match between England and Iceland at Wembley Stadium on June 07, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Rice believes this loss can serve as a valuable lesson for the team as they prepare for their Euro 2024 opener against Serbia.

“It’s not ideal we lost but there are good learning curves we can build on as a team,” he stated. “Every game is another chance to get better and we’re going to be more than ready for Serbia.”

England, a favourite among the teams taking part, has been drawn into Group C alongside Serbia, Montenegro, and Bulgaria. The top two teams from each group, along with the four best third-placed teams, will advance to the knockout stage, with the final taking place at the Olympiastadion on July 14th.