England have announced their squad ahead of the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France. The tournament starts on the 7th June and will end on the 7th July. At the 2015 World Cup, England finished in third place. Now, the Lionesses will be hungry to get into the final, especially after missing out in such heartbreaking circumstances in their last semi-final.
England Lionesses World Cup Squad List Announced In Unique Way
An international squad list usually generates excitement, but the format remains pretty straightforward. However, England have announced their latest squad in a unique way on Twitter, with famous figures recording a brief message and announcing each member one by one. This includes the Duke of Cambridge, Raheem Sterling and Katarina Johnson-Thompson.
Champion to champion ?
— Lionesses (@Lionesses) May 8, 2019
Phil Neville, England head coach explains the intentions behind this dramatised reveal: “We have to make these players visible, we want everybody around the world to buy in to what will be the biggest Women’s World Cup of all time.” Thus, there is an intention to generate greater publicity and awareness of the women’s football game.
A social media stunt isn’t necessarily going to make any real inroads, though. The key to transforming the women’s football game is to have the same mind-boggling sums and transactions that the men’s game has. It isn’t just a token gesture, but similarly, the foundations of the game need to change for any real impact.
There needs to be more co-operation between the men and women’s game. Raheem Sterling and Jordan Pickford announced two of the squad members which does suggest how there might be more of a working relationship rather than two distinct spheres of football. Again, any attempts at resolving the disparity between the two via social media are superficial. But, change has to start somewhere.
A Difficult Group
Phil Neville has expressed his concern for a “really difficult group with three dangerous teams in Scotland, Argentina and Japan.” Indeed, Group D cannot be underestimated. Scotland will make their major tournament debut, and thus will not have as much experience as England. However, there will be a rivalry between these two nations which can easily transcend any extra experience that England have. Argentina did not qualify for the past two World Cups, but have tournament experience entering Sudamericano Femenino since 1995. Japan, 2015 runners-up, will provide the greatest challenge. Most recently, England defeated Japan in the SheBelieves cup with a resounding 3-0 victory. So, whilst Neville has stressed the difficulty of the group, it is a group that England can nevertheless win. The pressure of expectation is not always a helpful force, though, and Neville’s words may just help to allow fans to get behind the team, rather than expect them to win every game.