Iceland joint-coach Lagerback gets one over mentor Hodgson
Now-departed England boss Roy Hodgson could have scarcely imagined that his time as England boss would be brought to an end by one of the disciples he created as he cut a swathe through Swedish football 30 years ago.
When the final whistle went in England's shambolic 2-1 last-16 defeat by Iceland yesterday morning (Singapore time), the man who rose to shake his hand in the other dugout was Iceland's joint-coach Lars Lagerback, a Swede inspired by Hodgson to go into coaching.
"Part of why I'm sitting here is Roy Hodgson and (former Malmo manager) Bob Houghton when they came to Sweden," Lagerback said after the greatest win in the tiny nation's history.
"I learned a lot from them. They changed the training methods and the coaching education and I was really benefiting a lot for that."
Hodgson is still revered in Sweden as one of the men who revolutionised the game there, bringing in a pragmatic, physical style to the domestic league as manager of a dominant Malmo side in the mid-1980s.
Many managers adopted his methods, among them Lagerback, who went on to successfully manage Sweden at a succession of major tournaments, as well as taking the reins of Nigeria at the 2010 World Cup.
His style is very similar to Hodgson's Malmo sides - meticulous preparation and defensive organisation, swift counter-attacks and long balls, and well-planned dead-ball routines.
Iceland's equaliser, after a Wayne Rooney penalty, came from a long throw-in as Lagerback displayed the full range of tricks he had learned from watching Hodgson all those years ago.
He didn't stop there, marshalling the Icelandic defence of relative unknowns into a cohesive unit that shut down established Premier League strikers such as Harry Kane, Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy.
"Organisationally, everything was in place but, even offensively, we got better after the second goal," Lagerback said.
Try as he might, Hodgson could not outwit his one-time pupil, and all that was left after the final whistle was to read a prepared statement announcing his resignation. - Reuters.