For the third major tournament in a row the England Women’s team has lost a semi-final. After losing to the USA, the Lionesses face Sweden in a third place play-off game to try and match their achievement of a bronze medal in Canada four years ago.
This piece should probably wait until after the aforementioned game against Sweden has taken place, but I won’t be able to post anything for a couple weeks from this weekend onward. I’ve opted to do this now rather than a few weeks after the end of the tournament.
Style of Play
Before jumping in and talking about how players performed, it’s worth talking about how Phil Neville wanted the side to play – to try and help guide what to look for and how well they executed the plan, or if the plan is a worthwhile one.
In this video he talks about his style of play with England. He mentions wanting to play from the back, before talking specifically about the tactics chosen for the game against France in the 2018 SheBelieves Cup. He talks about having full-backs push up, centre-backs moving wide and sometimes the left sided player (Toni Duggan) coming narrow to try and gain superiority in midfield and get the midfield players on the ball.
He continues to state that he does this to try and control the midfield, which often leads to the team controlling the game, particularly with the #6 (which he refers to as the #4) and centre-backs.
He then goes on to talk about the specifics of playing against a low block, but the bulk of the style is what’s mentioned above. He wants England to control the game and midfield in particular, while having full-backs push high and centre-backs wide – who will play out from the back.