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England’s Euro winning squad: a player by player performance synopsis.

Updated: Aug 6



There’s rightfully been a lot of talk about the legacy and impact of the win, but what about the actual football?

 


STARTING XI:


1 MARY EARPS

Earps has had a bit of a rough time of it on the international scene.


But things have changed. The previous number 1 Ellie Roebuck was injured when Sarina Wiegman came in. Earps was given the opportunity.


Roebuck came back and played very well at the end of the season, but Wiegman committed to Earps - commitment which looks to have done her wonders.


She didn’t have much to do in the group stage but made a few great saves, particularly in the quarter-final and semi-final to keep England in those games.


She essentially did nearly everything right across the 6 games.



2 LUCY BRONZE

Bronze has been struggling to hit her Lyon heights since she left them in 2020. She’s still not quite there - although she’s still England’s best right back.


England’s full backs were left very exposed, particularly in transition which didn’t help her.


The group stage was relatively painless but there were some dodgy moments against Spain and Sweden - particularly against Sweden she was given the runaround by Fridolina Rölfo for the first half an hour.


She saved her best performance for the final though, where defensively, in particular, she was very good.



6 MILLIE BRIGHT

Would probably head a brick wall away. All action throughout the tournament, making some really critical challenges in times of need.


Bright looks much more comfortable on the right-hand side and her distribution has, as a result, improved a lot.


She, and others, were at fault for the two goals England conceded - but a some of her interventions probably saved a few goals.


Half of a very nicely balanced centre-half partnership with Williamson.



8 LEAH WILLIAMSON

Hardly put a foot wrong, played every minute of the tournament, her passing was excellent, she made 56 ball recoveries and remarkably not a single tackle - remarkable because at times England were under big pressure.


Williamson herself must’ve been under big pressure, after only playing 6 minutes at the 2019 World Cup, then being thrust into the spotlight as England captain at a home Euros.

It didn’t look like it though.


As mentioned the chalk and cheese partnership, with the all action Bright, worked very well for England.



3 RACHEL DALY

A bit of a surprise winner of the left-back competition over Stokes and Greenwood - and Carter to be fair.


Nice to see her finally be a starting player for England after working at the unnatural full- back position for years.


Had a bit of a nightmare against Spain -

Athenea Del Castillo in particular - but was solid in all of the other games.


Would be nice to see her get a go up front, but given she’s been in the squad for about 6 years now and has played at full-back for about 5 of those, it’s unlikely - the existence of Alessia Russo doesn’t help her case either.



4 KEIRA WALSH

Where to begin. You’d probably only notice how good she is if she wasn’t there.


Vicky Losada telling her Spanish teammates to make sure Walsh doesn’t have any space says it all.


Only Williamson and Kirby rival Walsh for her on the ball ability, but Walsh is often under a lot more pressure when she receives the ball. 88.5% passing accuracy across the whole tournament, playing very nearly every minute is exceptional, particularly considering that a lot of Walsh’s passes aren’t ‘safe’.


She received player of the match in the final, deservedly.


One of the best midfielders in the world and potentially the best in her position.


There’s not much else to be said.



10 GEORGIA STANWAY

Wasn’t expected to start in the in the number 8 role. Williamson’s last minute move back to centre half meant a big responsibility for Stanway.


She coped very well and was one of Englands standouts in the early stages of the tournament - and was very good throughout.


Her belter of a winner against Spain has to get a mention.


Stanway is known to be a bit hot-headed, but she perhaps summed up her growth through the tournament by playing over 65 minutes on a booking in the final.


Wouldn’t like to be her walking into her first day at Bayern Munich, having just beat Germany in the final though…



14 FRAN KIRBY

It wasn’t looking good for Kirby to even make the tournament when it was announced she would be out “indefinitely” in April with fatigue issues.


Miraculously she returned to the squad and started every game in the tournament.


She wasn’t at her absolute best and struggled to make an impact in some games, but still had a good return of 2 goals and 3 assists. She had her best game against Sweden when she played everyone else of the park really.


That was a glimpse of Kirby in full flow hopefully there is more of that to come in the near future.



7 BETH MEAD

6 goals and 5 assists - in 6 games.


Mead tailed off a bit towards the end of the tournament but those numbers are properly mad.


Being left out of the Olympic squad was clearly a very big hit for her, but she took it and has gone up about three levels since. The revenge tour is complete, everyone now knows how good she is.


She brought the goalscoring attributes of a former number 9 into a wide area, performing when in mattered.


Probably an early contender for Sports Personality of the Year.



9 ELLEN WHITE

Massively overshadowed by Alessia Russo - but White definitely contributed to Russo’s success.


She did a lot of work when she was on the pitch and set the games up for the substitutes to come on with England in a good position.


But she did miss quite a few chances and the games seemed to suit Russo’s attributes a lot more than White’s.


It’s likely that this tournament could have been her last foray as England’s starting striker - although with the World Cup qualifiers only a month away, it remains to been seen what Wiegman will do.



11 LAUREN HEMP

Hemp was one of ‘the players to watch’ going into the tournament.


She was hyped up massively after 18 goals and 10 assists across 32 games in all competitions for Man City last season.


Her actual tournament was underwhelming, particularly for her standards. Teams found ways to deal with her pace and she never really got going.


She looked most like her usual self against Sweden, when she caused Hanna Glas a bit of bother.


To be fair, she was probably knackered after almost single-handedly dragging Man City through half of last season. She still very much played her role - and is still only 21.



 

USED SUBSTITUTES:


23 ALESSIA RUSSO

One of England’s best players despite not starting a game.


Won goal of the tournament and was only behind Mead and Alexandra Popp in the golden boot race.


She has well and truly announced herself on the international stage, after going a bit under the radar due to a bad hamstring injury in November 2020.


Transfer rumours are already swirling and her PR value is sky rocketing.


Wonder if she’s had enough about talking about the back-heel yet though.



20 ELLA TOONE

Very often in tandem with Russo, and was nearly as impactful.


Scored 2 of the most crucial goals of the tournament for England, keeping them in it against Spain and opening the scoring in the final.


As well as those crucial contributions, Toone was always very involved when she came on, showing no reservations and always wanting to get on the ball.



18 CHLOE KELLY

Went from tearing her ACL to scoring the winner in the final in 14 months - making her (and England) perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the tournament being delayed due to COVID.


Besides the final, she did well every time she came on.


Wiegman clearly saw enough pre-injury to trust her - and even after only featuring in 7 games for Man City before being including in the Euro’s squad, her level hasn’t dropped.



5 ALEX GREENWOOD

Came into the tournament off the back of probably her best season ever. She was the victim of Williamson’s last minute switch back to centre-half and was unlucky not to start at left-back really.


However, Greenwood came on in all but one games, for the tiring Rachel Daly. Did nothing wrong whenever she played, added composure and balance, very much playing her part.



16 JILL SCOTT

Very wholesome to see Scott - and Ellen White - win a major tournament after the lengths they had to go to just to play football back in the day.


Scott clearly wasn’t just there for a good-will gesture though - Wiegman doesn’t strike as the kind of person that does that. Scott came on for Stanway, who was on a yellow card, in the final when the game was on a knifes edge going into extra time.


She left Man City on loan twice so that she would play and ultimately be selected for this tournament. It’s safe to say it was worth it.



17 NIKITA PARRIS

Made two very brief appearances to essentially waste time, during extra time of the quarter-final and the final.


Parris was a bit touch and go to make the squad, as she didn’t really get a game for Arsenal last year. She looks to be on the verge of joining Man United, hopefully she can get back to nearer her best.



12 JESS CARTER

Came on for 15 minutes when the game was already won against Northern Ireland.


Wiegman clearly seems to rate her and she can play competently across the back line.


Side note: With Chelsea signing Buchanan and Périsset it will be interesting to see what happens with her next season at Chelsea and internationally.



 

UNUSED SUBSTITUTES:


13 HANNAH HAMPTON


21 ELLIE ROEBUCK


22 LOTTE WUBBEN-MOY


15 DEMI STOKES


19 BETH ENGLAND

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