Today is a new day and England’s exit from Euro 2013 is still bitterly disappointing, but is it really that surprising?
I watched this tournament with hopeful optimisim but with a nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach that this was going to be a short summer of football for England WRITES CLAIRE FORRESTER.
My opinion comes not from a lack of belief in the players in the squad but from a fear that tactically the team are frozen and everyone else has moved on, adapted and improved. Last summer I wrote about Team GB’s exit from the Olympics and now I am that annoying person biting down on my fist trying not to scream “I told you this could happen!”
This time, however, the media are involved and their interest may force a change that many feel is long overdue. Suddenly, largely thanks to the BBC coverage of this tournament, questions are being asked because people are genuinely interested in this team. Coverage is no longer ‘Oh look at the girls trying their best, didn’t they do well’ but is now ‘This team have talent so why is it not shining through?’
Maybe now it is a case of be careful what you wish for? With media coverage comes a spotlight of truth that is hard to hide from. As someone who previously worked in the press office of a men’s premier league team I know how brutal media coverage can be when things go wrong. It is even more intense now with social media and the instant reaction of fans and pundits via twitter. How harsh it must be for players to be innundated with messages minutes after being embarrassed on the international stage whilst they are still struggling to grasp what went wrong.
So, here we are again. Desperately disappointed and going home not only empty handed but very early. If before the tournament England not getting out from the group would be a ‘disaster’ why is it suddenly not being treated as one when it happens?
This is a perfect opportunity to have a complete overhaul of the England women’s set up. Take a good look at how things are done, what can be improved and how to move forward. No-one is questioning Hope Powell’s commitment to the cause or the improvements she has made, but that doesn’t mean that she is the only person who can do the job or be given the chance. All of us who have ever played football know that competition for places is what really brings out the best in a team, why should it be any different for the manager?
I will refer back to my previous article and again end with this, those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. We have a talented group of footballers in this country, proven by the fact that so many of them have slotted easily into top club sides all over the world. We need to find a set-up that gets the best from them on the international stage. I am feeling pretty disappointed that England are no longer in Euro 2013 but that will be nothing compared to how it would feel to still be writing this type of blog after Canada 2015, or worse still before then after failing to qualify.
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?