The battle smoke drifting over the Stade du Hainaut in Valenciennes obscured a disquieting reality. England are currently not playing well enough to win this World Cup. Now that the Great Rotation has delivered them to a quarter-final against Norway in Le Havre, all known logic suggests Phil Neville needs to decide on his best starting XI and work with them intensively. It may already be too late to bring England up a level from toughness, tenacity, and grinding out wins, which they have been doing throughout four games in France, because Norway present a formidable challenge. The quarter-finals, though, would be a good time for Neville’s squad to acquire the rhythm and accuracy of passing that characterises the best teams at this tournament. After a chaotic 3-0 win against Cameroon, many of England’s followers repaired to local bars to watch France knock out Brazil in a game that displayed a level Norway’s opponents on Thursday have yet to consistently match. Strike … [Read more...] about England are not playing well enough to win this World Cup – when will Phil Neville decide his best XI?
England world cup win
VALENCIENNES, France (AP) — As the Cameroon players protested and play was delayed, England’s staff and players watched in disbelief. “I didn’t know what was going on,” England coach Phil Neville said. “Are they going to walk off?” Twice, the English couldn’t be sure if Sunday’s Women’s World Cup last-16 game would resume as the opposition lost its cool in the humidity of northern France and complained about decisions that went against them. Anger erupted when video reviews on offside decisions allowed Ellen White to send England to a 2-0 lead before halftime and then denied Cameroon the goal that would have brought them within one after the break. Referee Quin Liang struggled to maintain control, or resume the game as Cameroon players seethed. “It’s never happened to me before in a game of football,” England forward Fran Kirby said. “We had to keep our heads and stay in the game.” England won 3-0 … [Read more...] about England beats seething Cameroon 3-0 to advance in World Cup
VALENCIENNES, France (AP) — After all the rage and rebellion in the stadium, England players received a far more convivial reception back at their hotel they shared with Cameroon. It came remarkably from Cameroon supporters who were far more graceful than some of their dissenting national team players earlier on Sunday evening in the humid cauldron of Stade de Hainaut. England players who had denied their country a place in the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals by winning 3-0 were applauded back into the Royal Hainaut Spa and Resort Hotel. The England traveling party led by Phil Neville welcomed the unexpected reception. The manager had concerns the moment he was informed by the team operations manager that they were sharing with the opposition in the small city of Valenciennes. “I thought, ‘No, that’s not right,’” Neville said. “Then we went to hotel and it’s been amazing. We saw them go out to training (on Saturday) and they had a … [Read more...] about After World Cup rage, Cameroon faces demands for punishment
Anthony Watson says he will not watch England’s World Cup final defeat for as long as he is playing rugby. The Bath fullback was one of the star performers in Japan, ending more than a year of injury hell with a series of top class displays. He earned rave reviews in the semi-final against New Zealand, as England turned in one of their best ever displays. Yet Watson will not be watching that again - just as he won’t be tuning in to see how England got it wrong against South Africa in the final. “I won’t go back and relive those games, whilst I’m still playing anyway,” said the 25-year-old, who lines up against Harlequins in the Champions Cup on Saturday “Definitely the full 80 minutes I won’t watch. It’s been and gone. There’s more to do, more to achieve.” The final is understandable, given the hammering inflicted by the Springboks that day in Yokohama. Surely, though, the All Blacks game is one to see again? “No, … [Read more...] about Anthony Watson won’t watch England’s World Cup final loss as he focuses on the future
The Conservatives have promised to spend £550 extra on grassroots football in a bid to bring the 2030 World Cup to Britain. The package would create 2,000 new astroturf pitches and repair 20,000 grass surfaces to ensure that within 10 years “every family in England will be, on average, 15 minutes from a great football pitch”. Boris Johnson last night (Friday) said the cash would help win the UK and Ireland’s bid for the 2030 tournament, which he promised would in turn create a legacy equal to that of the 2012 London Olympics. A recent audit of playing facilities found that only one in three grassroots football pitches in England are up to standard. This has been blamed on the cancellation of... … [Read more...] about Boris Johnson pledges £550 million for grassroots football in bid to secure 2030 World Cup