Tag Archives: England Women

Should Lucy Bronze now be considered the best England player of all time?

This week England full back Lucy Bronze returned to the Women Super League, signing a two-year contract with her previous club, Manchester City. 

Bronze concluded her three-year stay with Olympiqe Lyon Feminine by lifting the Champions League last month as the French side secured the trophy with a 3-1 win over Frauen Bundesliga Champions VlB Wolfsburg in San Sebastian. 

During her remarkably successful time with the French Champions, she won all that was available to her: claiming three Champions League titles, three league titles, two Coup de France Feminine and a Trophee des Championnes.

Indeed, the 28-year old also secured a number of individual allocates, including the UEFA Women’s Player of the Year in 2019. 

On Bronze’s return to Manchester, Head Coach Gareth Taylor said:

“She is an unrivalled talent and her endless individual and team awards only scratch the surface of what a superb player she is, not only at Club level, but also internationally with England.”

For the Three Lions Bronze has also produced some memorable moments, one that immediately springs to mind is that stunning goal against Norway in their last 16 game back in 2015.

This, however, begs the question, should she now be considered the best female player that England has ever produced?

Well, when you think of great England Women footballer’s one name that immediately springs to mind is Kelly Smith.

Smith was able to successfully represent the Three Lions for the best part of two decades earning 117 caps. She was one who arguably blazed a trail for future England footballers such as Bronze. 

During her club career she scored a remarkable 125 goals in 144 games for Arsenal Ladies over three separate spells with the Gunners. 

Smith also played for a number of American football teams such as New Jersey Lady Stallions, Philadelphia Charge and New Jersey Wildcats in her eight years in the USA. 

Ultimately, Smith ended her career with 20 trophies in three separate, which included starring in Arsenal’s amazing 2006-07 season where they secured the Quadruple.  She played a key part of this success by scoring 30 goals in 34 matches across those four competitions.  She was also presented the FA Player of Year award twice. 

BBC Match of the Day commentator Jonathan Pearce said:

“She had power, strength, a lovely eye for a pass, finishing of course and was so dynamic in the penalty area. 

“She was a leader because of the way she played, that she demanded respect from her opponents and team-mates.  She was the first England women’s football superstar.” 

In short, what Smith was able to achieve while the English game was not fully professional was terrific but Bronze is certainly on the right path to either match or surpass her.

It is, however, difficult to compare the two players directly as they play different positions.  Bronze is the epitome of the modern day full back, while she can also be utilised in midfield and at times the centre of defence, where as Smith applied her trade typically further forward as a striker.

Overall I would still consider to be Smith to be the greatest player to come from these shores having been able to perform at a consistently high level for a number of years, added to that Bronze has still to win a European trophy with an English club. 

The 28-year old, however, certainly is on the right path and comes back to the WSL at a time when the League has a chance to establish itself as the world’s finest women’s division.  

What do you think? Should Lucy Bronze be considered England’s greatest ever player? Would Kelly Smith still get your vote? Feel free to post in the comments below….

England’s Jodie Taylor moves to French side Lyon

England’s Jodie Taylor has joined French side Lyon until the end of 2020, the club have announced.

The former Arsenal striker moves to France on a short-term deal from OL Reign in the United States.

The 34-year-old who has also had spells in Australia, Sweden, Canada and the USA will join fellow Lionesses Lucy Bronze, Nikita Parris and Alex Greenwood.

Lyon are currently in the Champions League and face Bayern Munich in a quarter-final in Bilbao on the 22nd August, where  Taylor will be eligible to play.

She told Lyon’s website:

“I can’t wait to play with my new team. I just finished my season with OL reign in the USA, but I kind of stay in the same family.

“I talked a lot with my English teammates like Lucy Bronze who has been at the club for a long time, and I couldn’t refuse the opportunity to play for one of the best teams in the world.”

Taylor has represented her country in the last two World Cups and was the top scorer at Euro 2017.

It has been quite a journey for the Birkenhead born player, who made her debut for Tranmere Rovers in 2002 at the age of 15. She scored in a 5-1 win over Wolves in the FA Women’s Cup fifth round and has never looked back since.

When Tranmere were relegated in 2004 Jodie accepted a four-year scholarship to Oregon State University. When she left Tranmere, she had an impressive record of 29 goals in 38 appearances, despite missing six months with a broken leg.

After playing for a host of sides in the States, she returned to England in 2011 and signed for Birmingham City but moved on to Lincoln Ladies on loan. Lincoln wanted to keep Taylor but she returned to her parent club Birmingham following a stint with Melbourne Victory.

Following spells with Sydney FC, Washington Spirit and Portland Thorns FC she joined Arsenal where she made twelve appearances for the North London Side.

Less than two years later Taylor left Arsenal to sign for Melbourne City on a short-term contract. OL Reign came in for her services in 2018 where she spent two years in America having made 22 appearances and scoring nine goals.

On the international front Taylor made her debut for England in August 2014 in the sides 4-0 friendly win over Sweden at Hartlepool. At the Euros in 2017 she won the highly acclaimed award of the Golden Boot with five goals in the tournament as England reached the semi-finals.

JT

Friendly International: England vs Germany

Match Preview – Kick-Off 5:30pm Wembley

England’s women are aiming to put their recent poor form behind them by securing a first win on home soil against the two-time World Champions, Germany.

Saturday’s friendly at Wembley Stadium could see a record attendance for a women’s match in the UK with the 90,000 stadium expecting to be a sell out.

The FA will also use this fixture as an opportunity to honour former England women footballers at England’s home of football, where they never got a chance to play on. These players are expected to include former England Captain and current Manchester United Manager, Casey Stoney.

Previous Meetings

The Germans have largely dominated the rivalry between these two sides.  There have been 25 meetings in total and the Lionesses have lost 20 of them.

In the past four years however there has certainly been cause for optimism as England defeated Germany for the first time in a World Cup Third place playoff match 1-0 in Canada.

Phil Neville’s team have also achieved two draws in the past four years against Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s side including a 2-2 draw in the SheBelieves Cup back in March 2018.

Form of both teams

Post the World Cup England’s form has dipped.  Since their Third-place playoff defeat to Sweden Phil Neville’s side drew with Belgium 3-3, having at one point been 2-0 ahead mid way through the first half.  England subsequently lost back-to-back matches 2-1 to both Norway and Brazil.    They did however return to winning ways against Portugal last time out, on October 8th, thanks to a goal from Arsenal’s Beth Mead.

The German’s form by contrast has been formidable, since their World Cup Quarter-final loss to Sweden.   They have scored 31 goals already in their four European Qualifying games including a 10-0 win against Montenegro at the end of August.

Team News and Players to watch

England welcome back star forward Ellen White – who shared the golden boot with Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, scoring six goals.  They will however be without Chelsea’s playmaker Fran Kirby and centre back Millie Bright through injury.  Other key players such as Jill Scott, Toni Duggan and Georgia Stanway will also be unavailable due to various injury problems.

The Lionesses will have to keep an eye on Freiburg’s Klara Buhl. The young forward has scored 6 goals in four matches in Germany’s Euro campaign, including a hat trick against Ukraine back in October.

Lyon’s Dzsenifer Marozsan is also regarded as an important player for this German side.  Marozsan has scored 32 goals in 96 appearances for the national team and has consistently proved to be one of the best playmakers in the women’s game over the past few years.

Key Stats

  • The first match between the two sides was played in 1984
  • England achieved their first draw with Germany in January 2007 – a goalless draw played in China.
  • Germany won the last match at Wembley 3-0 against England back in November 2014 in front of a then record crowd of 45,619.
  • Germany has won eight European Championships – six of those titles were achieved between 1995-2013 before World Cup runners-up, The Netherlands broke that dominance by winning the title in 2017.

Prediction

England 1-3 Germany

Can see a similar result to that of 2014 – the Lionesses still have a few important players missing and Germany’s form particularly in the past few months has been exceptional.

 

 

Women’s Super League Round Up: Week Five

Chelsea became the new leaders of the Women Super League following the completion of the fifth round of fixtures.

Emma Hayes’ side claimed a hard fought 3-1 win at West Ham United’s Rush Green Stadium.

Arsenal meanwhile bounced back from their defeat against Chelsea last time out, by overcoming title rivals Manchester City at Meadow Park 1-0, ensuring that City lost their perfect winning start to the campaign.

A bad week for Nick Cushing’s side was compounded in the Champions League, where Spanish side Atletico Madrid eliminated City 3-2 on aggregate.

Elsewhere, Casey Stoney’s Manchester United made it three wins in a row by claiming a 2-0 victory over Reading.

Merseyside club, Everton returned to winning ways against Hope Powell’s Brighton and newly promoted Tottenham Hotspur emerged victorious in the West Country against Bristol City.

The final games of the day saw Liverpool’s early season struggles continue as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat against Birmingham City.

Sunday 27thOctober results

Everton 2-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

 Manchester United 2-0 Reading

 Birmingham City 2-0 Liverpool

 Arsenal 1-0 Manchester City

 Bristol City 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur

 West Ham United 1-3 Chelsea

 Ji So-Yun fires the Blues top

Chelsea had to come from 1-0 down to defeat their London rivals, West Ham United.

Canadian striker, Adriana Leon gave the Hammers a shock lead with her first touch after coming on as a 58thminute substitute.

Welsh Captain, Sophie Ingle however equalised for the West London club ten minutes later with her second goal of the season.

Two minutes later, Ji-So Yun completed the turn around, firing in a stunning 20-yard strike past American goalkeeper Courtney Brosnan, before Drew Spence secured the victory in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

First league defeat for Manchester City

Vivanne Miedema scored her first ever goal against Manchester City with a clinical right-footed finish just before half time. This goal consigned Nick Cushing’s team to a first league defeat of the season.

The Gunners were worthy winners and could have added more to the one goal that they scored as Scottish international, Lisa Evans struck the cross-bar in the second half, while midfielder Jordan Nobbs and Beth Mead also wasted good chances.

The Red Devils make it three in a row

A Kirsty Hanson volley and a composed one-on-one finish from substitute Jessica Sigsworth, five minutes from the end secured victory for Manchester United over Reading.

Casey Stoney’s newly promoted team continue to impress in their first Super League campaign as they now gained nine points out of a possible 15 as well as a 2-0 victory over fierce rivals, Manchester City in the Continental Cup.

Pressure mounts on two time Super League winners

Birmingham City earned their first league win of the campaign at Damson Park against former two time winners of the Super League, Liverpool.

The Blues secured a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from defender Kerys Harrop, who headed in England midfielder Lucy Staniforth’s free kick. Stainiforth then completed the scoring with curling left footed finish seven minutes from the end.

This latest defeat for Vicky Jepson’s side sent them bottom of the table and they are still without a win in the WSL, with only one point from their opening five matches.

Toffees return to winning ways and Spurs triumph in the West Country

The final two matches saw Everton end a two match losing run as they beat Brighton 2-0 thanks to a fourth goal in five matches from striker Chloe Kelly and a header from on loan Manchester City defender, Esme Morgan.

Finally Tottenham Hotspur secured their third league victory of the season with a 2-1 win over Bristol City.

Abi Hasson had initially put the hosts, Bristol City ahead in the ninth minute following a goalmouth scramble. The West Country Club however are still looking for their first win of the season, thanks to two goals from Tottenham’s new striker, Kit Graham

What next?

The Women Super League takes a break for the next few weeks with the next round of fixtures not due to take place until Sunday 17thNovember. 

There are however tantalising England international fixtures.  The Three Lionesses first take on former World Champions, Germany in a sold out match at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 9thNovember. This is followed by a trip to face the Czech Republic on Tuesday 12thNovember.

England Women’s International fixtures

Saturday 9thNovember

England vs Germany Kick-off (5:30pm)

Tuesday 12thNovember

Czech Republic vs England (7:15pm)

(Photo – Chelsea FC)

Women’s Super League Round Up: Week Four

Emma Hayes’ Chelsea inflicted reigning champions Arsenal’s first defeat of the season in front of a 4,149 crowd at The Cherry Red Record Stadium. This resulted in the Blues moving above the Gunners to second in the table, following their 2-1 win.

 The league leaders, Manchester City, meanwhile continued their impressive start to the campaign with a 3-0 win over Birmingham City.

Elsewhere, Manchester United secured their first away win in the Women Super League with a comfortable 3-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur’s Hive Stadium, while Reading triumphed over Everton in a 3-2 thriller.

 The weekend’s final two contests saw West Ham win 3-1 against Hope Powell’s Brighton side on the South Coast and Liverpool gained their first point of the campaign as they drew 1-1 with fellow strugglers Bristol City.

The Blues secure crucial win in the London Derby

It was Chelsea who emerged triumphant in an absorbing contest with title rivals Arsenal.

The Gunners got the better of the early exchanges and took the lead in the ninth minute through Danielle van de Donk.  The Dutch midfielder scored her third goal of the season, following a quality through ball from star striker Vivianne Miedema.

The Blues however gradually improved and equalised shortly after half time through in form striker and last season’s top scorer, Beth England, who tapped in fellow England international, Fran Kirby’s cut back.

Both sides had chances to win the match but it was substitute defender Maria Thorisdottir, who curled in the late winner, five minutes from time to ensure that the home side emerged with the victory.

City continue to set the early pace in WSL

Manchester City meanwhile continued their 100 per cent winning start to the season following a convincing 3-0 victory over midlands side Birmingham City. The pace setters are still to concede a goal in their four league matches in this campaign.

England midfielder Keira Walsh put the home team in front through a deflected strike in the 27thminute.

Belgium’s Tessa Wullaert then turned in Janine Beckie’s cross just after half time to double the hosts’ advantage and the scoring was rounded off by substitute South Korean forward Lee Geum-min.

United made two wins on the spin

Casey Stoney’s Manchester United side secured their second victory of the Women Super League season against fellow newly promoted side Spurs.

United opened the scoring through Kirsty Hanson’s deflected strike in the 13thminute, before Leah Galton’s cross was turned in by Tottenham defender Ashleigh Neville, to double the Manchester side’s advantage shortly after half-time.

Manchester United’s striker, Lauren James was then sent off for a second yellow in the last minute of normal time, however United still managed to add a third goal through substitute Jane Ross to secure the points.

The Royals emerged victorious in a five-goal blockbuster

Reading’s Fara Williams played a key role in the Royals’ 3-2 victory over Everton.

The experienced England midfielder assisted all three of the Royals’ goals from set pieces; Jade Moore scored two of them while Lisa-Marie Utland headed in the winner from a corner midway through the second half.

The Hammers win on the South Coast while Liverpool and Bristol City play out draw

West Ham United bounced back from their disappointing loss to London rivals Tottenham with a convincing 3-1 win over Brighton.

The goals were scored by summer signing Martha Thomas, a penalty from their French midfielder Kenza Dali and youngster Alisha Lehmann scored the third. Megan Connolly provided the late consolation for the hosts.

Liverpool meanwhile scored their first league of the season as they came from behind to draw against Bristol City; Ebony Salmon had given the West-Country club the lead before Mel Lawley slotted home a penalty 18 minutes from the end.

What next?

The featured contest for game week round five sees another battle between two title contenders as Arsenal host Manchester City at Meadow Park, a game that can be viewed on BT Sport from 2:30pm. 

Chelsea meanwhile will hope to take advantage when they travel to face London rivals West Ham United. 

Manchester United will be aiming to make it three wins in a row when they host Reading, elsewhere Everton will look to return to winning ways when they host struggling Brighton.

The remaining two matches see midlands side Birmingham City play at home to bottom club Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur travel to face Bristol City.

Dates of next WSL Fixtures

Sunday 27thOctober

Everton vs Brighton & Hove Albion Kick off (12:30pm)

Manchester United vs Reading (12:30pm)

Birmingham City vs Liverpool (2pm)

Arsenal vs Manchester City (2:30pm)

Bristol City vs Tottenham Hotspur (3pm)

West Ham United vs Chelsea (3pm)

(Photo Credit – 90min)