England’s World Cup campaign is now over. On Saturday night they won the 3rd place play off against Germany securing their first ever win against the Germans and were the best European team at the World Cup and I could not be prouder.
I’ve watched a lot of England men’s senior tournaments in the past. I vaguely remember the 2002 World Cup however I do remember Euro 2004, WC 2006, WC 2010, Euro 2012 and WC 2014 all of which I have come away from disappointed.
For me an international tournament is measured on a scale of disappointment and pride. After all of the men’s senior tournaments I have always felt more disappointed that proud of the way we have played as with every tournament we under achieve and always leave us expecting more. With Mark Sampson’s side this is totally different as every player played to their very best and gave it all for England.
Obviously every fan is disappointed with the way the semi-final finished. I’ve watched hundreds of football matches and I have never seen such a cruel end to a match it however every player can come away from that tournament with their head held high as they in my opinion out played Japan and other sides and did the country proud leaving every last ounce of energy on the pitch.
What I like about Mark Sampson’s side is that they play to the player’s strength. Everyone in the squad played a part in the tournament which is fantastic to witness. The first match against France was frustrating to watch however England grew into the tournament and did what they needed to do playing their way. England may not pass it about like some of the teams but the football we play is effective it wins games and Japan can come away from that being let off the hook. Playing you’re style and playing to your strengths is key. With the England senior men’s side all I have heard over the last 5 years is we need to copy what Spain, Holland, Germany and Italy are doing instead of finding our own identity which can be effective and be proud of our team.
I first watched the England Women’s team at the 2011 World Cup. I enjoyed the tournament, Jill Scott for me was the stand out player for England and mostly because she gave absolutely everything. Since then I have watched The Olympics, The Euro’s in 2013 weren’t that good and have been watching the WSL with the last season’s final day drama unbelievably brilliant!
As I only turned 21 just over a week ago I don’t have memories of an England team which I have been proud of after a major tournament. Like I said I remember 8 tournaments from England and this one I have been so proud of the team and is the best England team I have ever watched at a major tournament!
Every player and coach should be very proud of the achievements, the best from an England side since 1966! Incredible! Well done Lionesses!