Sub-edited by Edoardo Stella.
England women’s team struggled in breaking down Czech Republic’s organised defence, in a tough night at the Amex stadium, which could be a negative sign for the World Cup that will take place next July in Australia and New Zealand. Lacking creativity in the final third might be costly if England can’t break down teams who put 11 women behind the ball, hinting it might be a struggle to continue their goal scoring form.
After a famous victory against the United States, just last Friday, England women’s international break ended with many questions to come for the ensuing games against Japan and Norway next month, and their bid to win their first ever World Cup. England lacked creativity at the Amex Stadium, similarly to the men’s football team, who also seem to struggle against organised defences. England only made three changes to the side that beat the US on Friday night, but appeared like a team who didn’t know what to do when they entered the final third. Since Sarina Wiegman took over the women’s team, they have been dominant, unbeaten in now 24 games and winning the Women’s European Championship this year, with confidence high as ever.
However, a structured and well-disciplined Czech Republic showed England have some things to work on, even if they are ranked number 28 in the world. With England becoming a dominant force in women’s football, Wiegman and her players should expect more teams to come up against them with a defensive attitude. It was only the second time England failed to score a goal under Wiegman, after a 0-0 draw against Spain back in March of this year. With England coming up against Japan and Norway before the end of the year they will hope to bounce back from a disappointing night as they head into a World Cup year. England know they will have Alessia Russo back in these games that are taking place before the end of the year, which will boost their chances against former World Champions, Japan, where her presence will help England create and convert opportunities, which they were unable to do against Czech Republic. Chloe Kelly will be disappointed in not taking her chance in the starting 11 with Russo injured and Beth Mead on the bench. Kelly had one of England’s best chances in the game in the first half before she was taken off at half time, a header that just went past the outside of the post, which had Olivie Lukášová in the Czech Republic goal beaten.Embed from Getty Images
Lucy Bronze was able to celebrate her 100th game for England tonight, 9 years after making here debut against Japan. Since then, Bronze has made it two World Cup semi-finals, a European semi-final and this year a European Championship winners medal. Bronze will go down as one of England greatest players of all time and she is only 30 years old, Bronze has stated in interviews that she wants to emulate Brazil legend Formiga by playing until 43 years old. Despite England struggling to break down the Czech Republic defence they remained strong in defence with their centurion, Bronze, looking strong in defence on the few occasions they was tested by the away side. A positive for England in this international break was that they remain strong defence without their captain Leah Williamson due to injury. Since Wiegman took over England they have only conceded 6 goals in twenty-four games, and are yet to conceded more than 1 goal in a game under the Dutch manager.Embed from Getty Images
The main headline going into the game at the Amex Stadium was Wiegman dismissing the rumours that she has signed a new contract as the England manager. This is also surrounding an article in The Athletic suggesting the idea that she should replace Gareth Southgate as the England men’s manager. With Wiegman being the only manager to win a trophy for either the Men’s and Womens teams since Alf Ramsey in 1966. Wiegman’s impact on the Womens team has been huge where she has been the top three teams in the FIFA Women rankings in the last six month, USA, Germany and Sweden. Currently Wiegman has signed a deal till 2025 with the rumours that she has signed a 2-year extension till 2027. This come shortly after she won the UEFA Women’s Coach of the Year award after guiding England to the Euro 2022 title. Before joining England in September 2021, Wiegman was the Holland Womens manager where she led the Leeuwinnen (Lionesses) to the European Championship in 2017, where they beat England in the semi-final 3-0 while they were managed by Phil Neville. She also led the Dutch women’s side to the 2019 World Cup final where she lost 2-0 to the USA. Even if the rumours turned out to be false the FA will hope Wiegman will sign a new deal in the near future ensuring they keep England women’s most successful manager for a longer period of time.
Big crowds are continuing to turn up at England international matches with a good atmosphere in and outside the stadium which was seen at the European Championship earlier in this year, which lead to a sold-out Wembley Stadium for the final. This is completely different to the behaviour of the England fans when the men’s team reached the European Championship final in 2021 which led to England having to play a game behind closed doors and the FA was fined £84,000. Despite the disappointing result against a significantly weaker opposition the England women’s team are still showing the men’s teams are still showing the men how they can do things.
Wiegman and her side focus is now on Japan next month and preparing for next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, in the hope to win their first ever World Cup.