HomeFPL ContentEngland Women's Team Balances Expectations and Uncertainty Ahead of World Cup

England Women’s Team Balances Expectations and Uncertainty Ahead of World Cup

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Sarina Wiegman, the coach of England’s women’s team, has a unique perspective on their recent loss to Australia. Despite the defeat ending their 30-match unbeaten run, Wiegman sees it as a valuable learning experience. She believes it highlighted areas that need improvement and emphasized the team’s need to do better. This positive mindset reflects the state of the England team as they enter the Women’s World Cup, being both tournament favorites and facing uncertainty after two years of relative stability under Wiegman’s leadership.

Following their European triumph on home soil last year, the Lionesses have experienced a surge in interest and support for women’s soccer in England. Record-breaking attendance figures, a thriving domestic league, and victories over strong opponents like the United States, Germany, Sweden, and Spain have raised expectations for the team. Wiegman acknowledges that everyone expects England to win, but the team faces challenges as they enter the World Cup.

Since their European success, the team has suffered key injuries, with three key players sidelined. Striker Beth Mead and midfielder Fran Kirby will miss the tournament due to injuries, while Leah Williamson, who captained the team during their European triumph, has also torn a knee ligament. In addition, captain Millie Bright recently recovered from a knee injury, casting doubt on her availability for the tournament. Recent results, including the loss to Australia and scoreless draws against Portugal and Canada, have further fueled concerns about the team’s form.

However, Wiegman remains pragmatic and focuses on the team’s game-by-game approach. She emphasizes the importance of defining roles and tasks within the team and making tactical decisions on a day-to-day basis. This flexibility allows opportunities for players to step up and showcase their abilities. Wiegman’s emphasis on living in the present reflects her belief that the team should focus on the next game rather than getting ahead of themselves.

While the team strives for success, individual players also have their own ambitions. Lauren Hemp, a forward for the team, acknowledges the desire to win and the hunger that comes from their recent triumph. Young players like Esme Morgan, a defender for Manchester City, recognize the fierce competition for playing time and the high standards set in training. Lucy Bronze, one of the team’s senior players, draws inspiration from her own experience, highlighting the unpredictable nature of the World Cup and the potential for players to make an impact.

Wiegman shares the squad’s high expectations but maintains a focus on the present. She avoids discussing potential future matchups and insists on taking the tournament one stage at a time. Her immediate goal is to navigate through the group stage, and only then will she consider the challenges that lie ahead. Regardless of the opposition, Wiegman’s ultimate goal is to win every game.

As the England women’s team prepares for the World Cup, they carry the weight of expectations and the uncertainty that comes with injuries and recent results. However, under Wiegman’s guidance, they remain committed to their game-by-game approach, embracing opportunities, and striving for success. The journey begins with the group stage, and the team is focused on taking one step at a time while aiming to come out on top.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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