By Darrell Allen (6/7/22).
Above: The Lionesses team that started their recent friendly against Belgium in Wolverhampton. Photo: @Lionesses
England line up for Euro 2022 with a strong squad of 23. The headline makers being Steph Houghton from her absence and Fran Kirby for her inclusion.
From head coach Sarina Wiegman’s demeanour in her press conference announcing the squad, it was clear she wanted to include Houghton, but time was against them.
In my opinion, she has got this decision spot on, Kirby is a player who could win England the Euros. Houghton has had an incredible impact on the game in this country but Wiegman is right to go with her best available selection.
Defenders: Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), Jess Carter (Chelsea), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City), Demi Stokes (Manchester City), Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal).
Midfielders: Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Jill Scott (Aston Villa, loan from Manchester City), Georgia Stanway (Manchester City), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Keira Walsh (Manchester City), Leah Williamson (Arsenal).
Forwards: Bethany England (Chelsea), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Chloe Kelly (Manchester City), Beth Mead (Arsenal), Nikita Parris (Arsenal), Alessia Russo (Manchester United), Ellen White (Manchester City).
The Head Coach:
Sarina Wiegman took over England in September 2021 over a year after her appointment was officially confirmed due to seeing out her existing commitments with the Dutch national side. Wiegman, who is unbeaten in the England job, had a playing career that included a spell alongside superstars Mia Hamm, Kristie Lilly, and Carla Overbeck at North Carolina.
Wiegman won 104 caps for the Netherlands, scoring three goals between 1987 and 2001. She additionally won the Dutch Cup (KNVB Cup) with KFC ’71 in 1987 and 2001 with Ter Leede where she also won two Dutch championships in 2001 and 2003.
Her coaching career began at Ter Leede in 2006 before moving to Den Haag in 2007 to lead them in their first campaign in the new Dutch Women’s Eredivisie. She remained there for seven years, winning the league in 2012 and the KNVB Cup in both 2012 and 2013. Wiegman became only the third woman to take the full KNVB coaching licence in 2015.
After becoming interim head coach of the Netherlands national side in 2015, Wiegman was appointed as assistant to Arjan van der Laan who came in to take over the top job. van der Laan’s tenure lasted just over a year, before he was sacked and Wiegman took charge on a permanent basis.
Her first test was a home European Championships just over six months later, and the team went through the competition unbeaten, defeating Denmark 4-2 in the final. Wiegman would subsequently go on to lead the Dutch to the 2019 World Cup Final.
England have previously reached the final twice. The first appearance came in the Championships inaugural tournament in 1984 when, after defeating Denmark 3-1 on aggregate, they went down 4-3 on penalties to Sweden in the final after the two games ended 1-1 on aggregate.
Three years later, a fourth-place finish was achieved. A 3-2 loss in extra-time to Sweden was followed by a 2-1 defeat to Italy in the play-off. England were semi-finalists in 1995 before a barren spell.
The second final appearance came in 2009, when after seeing off Finland (3-2) in the quarter-finals and Netherlands (2-1) in the semis, Germany were too strong in the final, as England went down 6-2. In the last tournament in 2017, they reached the Semi-Final with France seen off 1-0 in the Quarter-Finals before current Lionesses head coach Sarina Weigman directed her Dutch side to a 3-0 win in the last four.
England qualified automatically as host nation.
England boast a squad full on talent with multiple options from the bench. This was demonstrated most notably in the recent warm-up match against Belgium when Wiegman was able to bring on Chloe Kelly, Alex Greenwood, and Rachel Daly, and all three had a massive impact on the game.
The team have a habit of missing chances to finish off opponents.
Ellen White. The Manchester City forward is capable of scoring any type of goal from acrobatic volleys to the simplicity of a tap-in. When Ellen White is up top you always have a chance.
Player To Watch:
Lotte Wuben-Moy. The Arsenal defender is in fine form and heads to her first major international tournament keen to make a mark.
Winners. Talent in abundance and multiple options from the bench. Coping with home pressure might be their biggest hurdle, but if they get through the opening night unscathed and with three points, I’m confident they will win it.
6th July: Austria, 8pm Old Trafford, Manchester.
11th July: Norway, 8pm Amex Stadium, Brighton.
15th July: Northern Ireland, 8pm St. Mary’s Stadium, Southampton.
Impetus has previewed a different nation every day over the past 12 days. Click below to read the previously published articles:
FRANCE – by Jean-Pierre Thiesset: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/25/euros-preview-france/
AUSTRIA – by Jorge Ceron: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/26/euros-preview-austria/
GERMANY – by Johnathan Stack: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/27/euros-preview-germany/
ICELAND – by Kris Goman: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/28/euros-preview-iceland/
SPAIN – by Nathan Edwards: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/29/euros-preview-spain/
FINLAND – by Jean-Pierre Thiesset: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/06/30/euros-preview-finland/
NETHERLANDS – by Kris Goman: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/07/01/euros-preview-netherlands/
SWITZERLAND – by Ellie Ramsauer: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/07/02/euros-preview-switzerland/
BELGIUM – by Jean-Pierre Thiesset: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/07/03/euros-preview-belgium/
SWEDEN – by Ellie Ramsauer: https://impetusfootball.org/2022/07/04/euros-preview-sweden/
NORTHERN IRELAND – by Abi Ticehurst: – https://impetusfootball.org/2022/07/05/euros-preview-northern-ireland/