The football – and thereby the smiting – is returning to European shores, but the times they are a-changin’. Coach Heimir has left his post, Aron “The Annihilator” Gunnarsson is playing Premier League football for the first time in four years and the nation’s most promising youngster is on the move. In fact, only Iceland’s women seem committed to devastating continuity. Here’s news of all the upheaval from the trenches.
Our girls set to smite in World Cup decider
Iceland’s women have a date with destiny on September 1st as they meet two-time World Champions Germany in a World Cup qualification decider. With only two games remaining, our girls sit atop Group Five with 16 points, while Germany are a point behind with 15. Therefore, a win at Laugardalsvöllur would secure Iceland’s place at next summer’s tournament in France. To compound matters for the Germans, their fragile psyche remains firmly in our girls’ back pocket, after being smited 2-3 at home in October of last year. Of course, Viking glory awaits when the two sides meet, and the only thing left to do for the girls in blue will be to put the cherry on top of the kleinur by beating Czech Republic in their final group game. Áfram Ísland! GR
New Smiter-in-Chief enters the great hall
The Icelandic Football Association (KSÍ) has rekindled its footballing love affair with Sweden, appointing Erik Hamrén as its new Smiter-in-Chief. The former Rosenborg and Sweden national team coach replaces Heimir Hallgrímsson, who abdicated his position after a long and glorious reign in the summer. With the announcement of the new-look regime, it certainly appears that KSÍ are attempting to replicate the Heimir x Lars Lagerbäck formula which saw the nation qualify for its first major tournament in 2016, as successful Iceland women’s national coach Freyr Alexandersson joins Hamrén as assistant manager. Freyr will hope to further increase his tactical nous under the Swede’s tutelage, and eventually steal his job. Better watch your back, Erik. GR
Premier League pillagers don’t break a sweat
Iceland’s trio of Premier League warlords took it easy in the opening round of fixtures, reserving their strength for more important battles. Everton’s Gylfi Sigurðsson only lasted 43 minutes in his side’s 2-2 draw with Wolves before being sacrificed by manager Marco Silva, who was forced to reorganise after Phil Jagielka’s red card. Meanwhile, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson played 87 minutes in Burnley’s 0-0 draw with Southampton and Aron Gunnarsson didn’t even make the matchday squad for newly-promoted Cardiff, with arch-slimeball Neil Warnock citing a “knee injury” as the reason for “The Annihilator’s” absence in the 2-0 defeat against Bournemouth. Contrary to the official line, Aron was actually honing his long-throws with the severed heads of the smited. GR
Bjarki bags dramatic winner
Birkir “Horror Hooves” Bjarnason sealed a 3-2 victory for Aston Villa against Wigan Athletic in the dying embers of the game in matchday two of The UK’s Championship division, provoking a frenzy of limbs in the Holte End. The Villans took the lead through captain James Chester, who headed home from a free-kick inside 15 minutes. Nick Powell then pegged Villa back, before he turned provider – crossing for Callum Connolly to give the Latics the lead before the hour mark. A calamitous Chey Dunkley own-goal on 63 minutes then set up a dramatic finale, and Bjarki was on-hand to deliver the Hollywood moment; sliding in at the back post to convert a Conor Hourihane cross in the fourth minute of injury time. Smite, smite, baby. GR
“Prince of Darkness” jumps ship
Albert Guðmundsson has terminated his affiliation with PSV Eindhoven in search of more front-line opportunities, moving to Eredivisie foes AZ Alkmaar. The starlet, who made a substitute appearance in our boys’ final group game against Croatia in the World Cup, enjoyed a successful stint at Jong PSV – scoring nine goals and making eight assists in 15 second-tier appearances last season. Opportunities with PSV’s senior side, however, remained limited and his move to AZ represents Albert’s desire to graduate from warrior-in-waiting status and become a key destroyer for club and country. The liquid 21-year-old has already scored an international hat-trick, and we’re sure many more are to come; the next against Switzerland in the UEFA Nations League in September. GR
Þór/KA smite Women’s Champions League
While the women’s national team prepare for their upcoming games against Germany and the Czech Republic in September, Akureyri club Þór/KA currently hold the second position in UEFA women’s champions league group 1. So far, they defeated their fierce opponents Linfield and Wexford Youths with 2-0 and 3-0, respectively, and tied against group leader Ajax. The Women’s Champions League better brace themselves for some more Viking smiting, as Þór/KA successfully proceeded to the round of 32 as the runners-up with the best score. The unlucky team that will have to face the fierce Valkyries in September is Germany’s Wolfsburg. Sources close to the matter reported that Wolfsburg are considering quitting the competition altogether, fearing a merciless Icelandic smiting. NE
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