The Sarina Wiegman England Women era began as the Lionesses recorded an 8-0 World Cup qualifying win over North Macedonia.
The former Netherlands boss is hoping for stronger opposition to allow her side to improve and better prepare for the major tournaments but for now, her team will focus on scoring as many goals as possible.
Victorious Opener for Sarina Wiegman England Women Era
England Women Cruise to Comfortable Win
Things could not have been more comfortable for Wiegman’s England side. She took over as head coach earlier this month and there is hope that her appointment can bring around success for England.
Wiegman lifted the European Championship with the Netherlands in 2017, before taking a runners-up medal at the 2019 World Cup.
Her reign began with Manchester United Women forward Ella Toone opening the scoring on Friday night. Toone was entrusted by Wiegman with her first England start and she took the opportunity with open arms.
Arsenal Women’s Leah Williamson was handed the captaincy in Steph Houghton’s absence, a dream for the 24-year-old.
England’s player of the year, Ellen White, scored a brace, taking her closer to the all-time goalscoring record. With 41 goals in an England shirt, she now sits five goals behind Kelly Smith.
Beth England also fired twice, with in-form Arsenal forward Beth Mead and two own goals responsible for the other three goals.
The Lionesses really should have scored even more on Friday night but it’s a welcome beginning to a Sarina Wiegman reign that promises to put England on the premises at the very top.
Sarina Wiegman Seeks More Improvement in England Side
Wiegman is clearly keen to put her own spin on the England team. She recalled Manchester United goalkeeper Mary Earps and handed her a start, a first appearance for the Lionesses since November 2019.
Beth Mead was also recalled by the Dutch boss having missed out last February when Hege Riise was interim head coach.
Sarina Wiegman admitted the need for stronger opposition to help her team to improve: “We only learned in an attacking way,” she told the media of her side that recorded 48 attempts in the game. “Against a top-ranking team, it’s going to be different. What we know is we need to finish better than we did today.
“We can be a little more composed, more connected, those little things. So we can learn from that and bring it to a higher level so that even against a better opponent, we can score too.”
Sarina Wiegman Proud and Leah Williamson Feeling Honoured
Leah Williamson told the media: “This is probably the biggest honour in football. I’m really happy that my family were able to be here as well. It’s been a great day & leading the team out will probably be the biggest honour of my life. I think I laughed when Sarina told me. I thought I was in trouble!”
Meanwhile, head coach Sarina Wiegman outlined her pride at the start her team has made: “The performance was okay, it was good, we created lots of chances, scored eight – well actually scored six as they scored two – so we need to score more. But it’s a very good start so I’m proud of the team.”
England star Rachel Daly played just days after the passing of her father. Her teammates joined her in wearing black armbands in his memory at St Mary’s Stadium.
Anyone who knows me, will know how much tonight meant to me. My team mates are family and wearing the black armband to pay respects to my dad is just a testament to how amazing they all are 💙 @Lionesses , thank you from the Daly’s x
— Rachel Daly (@RachelDaly3) September 17, 2021
Next up, England will travel to Luxembourg on Tuesday night, continuing their World Cup qualifying campaign.
Over 8,000 supporters attended Friday night’s game at the home of Southampton.
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