It’s an interesting time for England’s women’s team. Qualifying for the Women’s World Cup is one of the favorites to win the tournament, but it’s also probably the most precarious after two years of mostly smooth sailing.
The Lionesses are European champions and this victory marked a major shift in women’s football in England in terms of popularity and expectations.
“Everyone in this England team expects us to win,” said manager Salina Wiegman.
But England are definitely the weakened champions at this World Cup. A few months after winning the European title, the match that began with the loss of one of the main starters and striker Beth Meade to injury went down to three. Midfielder Fran Kirby also underwent knee surgery and will miss the World Cup. Leah Williamson, who captained England during their conquest, also tore ligaments in his knee, as did Meade.
Recent results have proved equally alarming. England’s final pre-World Cup friendly against Canada ended in a goalless draw behind closed doors, making it the team’s third consecutive goalless draw.
But Wiegman remains pragmatic and down-to-earth. In her recent interview, she kept coming back to the same questions that were touchstones for her and her team. how do you want to play? What are your roles and responsibilities within the team? “