The players were obviously massively disappointed (understatement) but captain Casey Stoney & striker Ellen White were two of the players willing to reflect on a deflating time in Sweden...
England’s Euro 2013 campaign ended tonight with a 3-0 loss to France. The players were understandably disappointed as they left the Linkoping Arena for the last time, knowing as they did that they were now on their way home and out of the competition. Captain Casey Stoney and striker Ellen White were among those players to stop and speak to the media as they made their way on to the team coach. Here is what they had to say…
England captain Casey Stoney on how she feels:
Absolutely gutted, devastated, the first person I look at is myself , I’m captain of this team and we haven’t turned up for this tournament. So what can I do better as a captain, what can we do better as a team. I don’t think it’s through lack of effort, I think we tried out there, I felt like I gave absolutely everything tonight that I had to give, we just weren’t good enough.
France were a good side, they’ve been tipped to win it, and I’ve got to say playing against them tonight I do fancy them to have a chance to win it, but saying that, if we turn up and we play well, we can compete with teams like France and we know that. We just never got going in this tournament and we need to look at that and why, and as captain I’ve got to say have I let my team down in some way shape or form? What could I have done differently? Right now I’m so disappointed that I can’t put my finger on what went wrong.
On the European level showing England have reached their limits:
At this moment we are going home so it must have done. If we hadn’t hit our limits we’d be in the quarter finals so I think everybody in Europe has improved in the last four years and you can see that. But we’ve also got to think that we don’t become a bad side overnight. We played Japan before we came out here and drew 1-1. Japan are a good side. We played Canada in the Cyprus Cup and beat them comfortably and beat them in a friendly. It’s just hard right now to think what went wrong. We didn’t have enough to beat France tonight.
On the loss of performance after a good start to the second half:
I’ll have to look at the game. We did change formation after 60 minutes but regardless of that we started to get sloppy again and if you are sloppy at this level you get punished and they punished us twice. We are all disappointed but our players, their effort you can’t fault that. They’ve gone out and given absolutely everything and sometimes it’s just not your night and for some reason we’ve not been able to make it our night on any of three of the games.
England striker Ellen White on the tournament:
We are really disappointed, we haven’t performed to our capabilities, we’ve got a fantastic squad, we can’t put our finger on what we did. The one thing that is positive is we kept fighting. Our character shone through and we stuck together as a team. Toni [Duggan] performed magnificently when she got the chance, and I’m really proud of her for that but at this moment in time we’re just bitterly disappointed.
On what’s next:
We’ve got to go back to our clubs, we’ve got the rest of the season, World Cup qualifiers but I think we are all going to think about this for a few weeks, how disappointed we are. We need to look forward, see what solutions we can work on and learn the lessons we got taught in the tournament. It’s frustrating but ultimately we learn from it and it will make us better players in the end.
On how you lift yourself:
I don’t know, at this moment in time I’m just so disappointed that I can’t really think about going back to club too soon. Obviously we are flying home but we were hoping to get that win or at least a draw to be in that pot and to be staying here but we’re footballers and it’s what we do and this is why we are footballers and we’ve got to perform for our clubs to be picked for our country and this is an honour to be here.
Neither are workable or likely at present but hypothetically, would you prefer a more strict salary cap in the FA WSL OR should centrally contracted England players (that receive salaries from The FA) be allocated more evenly around WSL1 clubs?