England struggling to shake horror of Euro 2016 humiliation against Iceland
There are some anniversaries that are easier to forget -- a day to pull up the bed covers and blank out 24 hours. Most affiliates of the English football team will approach Tuesday, June 27 with a shiver down their spine, one year on from being humiliated (and eliminated) by Iceland at the 2016 European Cup.
England have had their ups and downs in major tournaments -- plenty more downs than ups, it must be said -- but losing to a team fielded by a country with a population of just over 300,000 in Nice last June is about as bad as it gets.
The 1-0 defeat to the United States in the 1950 World Cup in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, has always been regarded as the nadir of English football. In the modern era, however, Iceland has become the one-word summation of the spiral of failure that England seems incapable of escaping.
The newspaper headlines following the defeat captured the mood of an angry footballing nation.
"Cod Help Us," raged the Daily Star; "Clueless," screamed the Daily Express, with The Sun going for "Ice Wallies."
When England suffered a 2-0 defeat against the United States in Boston in 1993, they were greeted with headlines of "Yanks 2 Planks 0." These scathing captions hit the press just one year after manager Graham Taylor was pictured with a turnip on his head under the headline of "Swedes 2 Turnips 1," following the side's Euro 92 exit at the hands of Sweden.
Those headlines still make English football fans wince more than 20 years on, but the pain from the Iceland defeat is still so raw that few of its hapless protagonists are prepared to talk about it.
Roy Hodgson, who resigned as manager immediately after the game in the press room of the Allianz Riviera Stadium, has spoken about a "grieving process" in the wake of the loss that cost him his job.
"I don't know whether you ever get over things that cause you pain," Hodgson said last December. "Perhaps you shouldn't relate this to deaths in families because it's a football match, but when something matters a lot to you, then unfortunately, where grieving is involved, do you ever really get over it? I don't know. I think there's always going to be that scar.''
Hodgson is not the only Brit to leave Euro 2016 with a scar, however.
Much of the side that started against Iceland remains central to Gareth Southgate's plans going into Russia 2018, but the big characters -- those players supposedly earmarked to help lead England to success in France -- have suffered a turbulent 12 months since the loss in Nice.
Wayne Rooney, England's captain and goalscorer against Iceland, has lost his place in the international squad under Southgate. At 31, Rooney may be forced to contemplate a premature end to his England career.
His season at Manchester United following Euro 2016 was a huge disappointment in terms of appearances and goals, but how much of his underwhelming play stemmed from his performance against Iceland, when he simply could not influence the game from the midfield position he had identified as his own prior to the tournament?
Jose Mourinho was certainly not impressed, insisting in his first news conference as United manager that Rooney was not a midfielder. Mourinho's diagnosis has been corroborated by Rooney's play at Old Trafford.
Joe Hart was England's undisputed first choice in goal against Iceland, but was at fault for both of the scores tallied by Ragnar Sigurdsson and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson.
Hart's performance that night in Nice led to mountains of criticism; many were also quick to cite his mistake in the 2-1 win against Wales, when he conceded a long-range Gareth Bale free-kick.
Hart had perhaps come to believe he was untouchable, but Pep Guardiola decided to cast him aside by the time he returned to Manchester City. Guardiola ultimately loaned Hart to Torino, and the goalkeeper's reputation has not recovered since.
While he remains England's No.1 in goal, the emergence of Everton's Jordan Pickford -- coupled with Jack Butland's return to fitness at Stoke City -- suggests that Hart's grip on his position is weaker than ever.
Hodgson, Rooney and Hart might well be Euro 2016's biggest losers on a personal level, but England as a team have yet to recover from the aftershock of losing to Iceland.
England have taken on their third manager in 12 months, with Southgate replacing Hodgson's successor, Sam Allardyce, after just one game. Despite the change, the new man's record is unspectacular at best.
In eight games at the helm of England's national side, Southgate has recorded three wins -- against Malta, Scotland and Lithuania.
England have won away just once since Euro 2016, defeating Slovakia last September under Allardyce. Games against elite nations, meanwhile, have resulted in defeats away to Germany and France and a Wembley draw against Spain.
Though they have the players -- Harry Kane, Dele Alli, John Stones and Marcus Rashford are all potentially top-quality -- and huge financial resources at their disposal, England are still suffering from a post-Iceland hangover.
The England Under-20s won the U20 World Cup earlier this month, and the U21s face Germany in the semifinals of the European U-21 Championships in Poland on Tuesday, so the future might be bright for the Three Lions.
But as the anniversary of the match against Iceland looms large, England's senior team are still caught in a nightmare -- and show no signs of waking.
Mark Ogden is a senior football writer for ESPN FC. Follow him @MarkOgden_