After Euro 2022, which groups look able to topple USWNT and win 2023 World Cup?

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With the 2022 Euros over, gamers have returned to their golf equipment forward of a brand new season beginning subsequent month for many European leagues, and the larger focus shifts to the World Cup subsequent yr, which will probably be staged in Australia and New Zealand.Within the final World Cup, seven of the eight quarterfinalists have been from Europe — the lone exception being the final word winner, the U.S. girls’s nationwide workforce — and as such, this summer season’s Euros gave us the best-possible sneak peek at who is likely to be contenders subsequent summer season.England, the brand new European champs, are apparent favourites, however even they’ve questions forward of the 2023 World Cup — questions that the upcoming Ladies’s Tremendous League season might not be capable of reply. So, with that, ESPN writers Tom Hamilton, Sophie Lawson and Julien Laurens take a more in-depth take a look at the highest performers on the 2022 Euros and assess what they every want to deal with earlier than the World Cup.England: Navigate a looming generational shiftWill England deliver a few of their veterans again subsequent yr for the World Cup? Martin Rickett/PA Photographs by way of Getty ImagesA mischievous banner in Wembley after England clinched the 2022 Euro trophy learn, “Sarina Wiegman, the Dutch Magician. Fancy the FIFA 2022 World Cup?”Whereas Wiegman will probably be a eager spectator when the English males look to finish their anticipate a serious trophy later this yr, moments after the ultimate whistle for the Ladies’s Euro you possibly can think about amidst the celebrations the good Dutch supervisor would already be fascinated with the longer term and the worldwide gathering subsequent yr. Wiegman was requested post-match about whether or not she was assured England would construct on their euros triumph and go once more subsequent yr, however her reply was sometimes pragmatic.”It is not simple to win this event and this is similar within the World Cup,” she mentioned. First up for Wiegman is a camper van vacation, however then comes planning for subsequent yr. The England workforce she’ll take to Australia and New Zealand will probably be totally different. You’re feeling a few of the veterans of the workforce like Jill Scott — who has performed in eight main tournaments — and Ellen White might not nonetheless be within the combine by then, regardless of their heroics on the Euros.2 RelatedBut count on to see the likes of Fran Kirby and Lucy Bronze there. The latter was requested about her hopes of constructing the World Cup postmatch Sunday, and responded: “I am solely 30 years outdated. Bloody hell! What number of gamers retire at 30?” So, mark down Bronze as a particular. It’s going to be fascinating to see how Wiegman transitions this workforce from one event to the subsequent. Wanting on the 5 gamers who have been final to overlook out on a spot on the Euros, you need to really feel it is uncertain Wiegman will hand a recall to the legend Steph Houghton, however Sandy MacIver, Niamh Charles and Katie Zalem are all both of their prime, or approaching it. She’ll even have Jordan Nobbs out there once more, and Lucy Staniforth absolutely match so they may gatecrash the squad.However taking a look at this present group — Lauren Hemp is barely going to get higher, as will Ella Toone and Alessia Russo. The long run’s wanting vivid and by this time subsequent yr, count on to see acquainted faces lining up for England as they appear to take the subsequent step.”The Euros is incredible particularly in dwelling nation, however there slightly star lacking from our crest on the minute on the England shirt,” Bronze mentioned. “That is undoubtedly a mission of ours to get that star there.” –Tom HamiltonGermany: Discover extra adaptability for video games like Euro finalGermany have been noticeably much less potent when Alexandra Popp needed to be held out of the Euro closing. Marc Atkins/Getty ImagesBased on what we noticed on the Euros this July, there are undoubtedly groups which have numerous work to do earlier than the World Cup kicks off subsequent summer season — however relating to Germany, there are issues that have to be tweaked slightly than fully dismantled and thrown within the recycling bin.Arguably, the most important challenge Germany confronted on the Euros was dropping starters to COVID or harm, which is tough to price range in opposition to. Nevertheless, when Alex Popp dominated herself out of the ultimate having pulled a muscle in coaching the night time earlier than, Germany endeavoured to maintain enjoying the identical approach, as if Popp was within the field to obtain crosses.For the fluidity of the workforce within the matches main as much as the ultimate, there was not fairly sufficient flexibility of their strategy with Lea Schüller fairly a special attacker to Popp. Equally, it in a short time grew to become obvious that Sydney Lohmann was once more wanted in midfield with Sara Däbritz not the fitting participant for the English process and though coach, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg did make the change, she did so later within the sport.One of many greatest challenges for a coach is realizing when to make modifications and the way lengthy to present techniques and concepts to settle with these on the pitch — and naturally, in a serious event closing, being too rash and tinkering an excessive amount of is of little assist — however one tweak is a shade extra proactivity from Voss-Tecklenburg. The identical additionally applies relating to making an allowance for event fatigue, the coach understandably with the favoured starters however it is rather clear when some gamers are starting to flag, Voss-Tecklenburg must be comfy going to her bench when the workforce want it.Likewise, she must place confidence in her complete squad, that regardless of who she throws into the combination, that they are going to be capable of do the job requested of them. –Sophie LawsonNorway: Begin with forgetting the humiliation of Euro 2022The return of Ada Hegerberg could not carry a Norway workforce mismanaged by Martin Sjogren. Will new coach Hege Riise be the repair they want? Christopher Lee/Getty ImagesThe problem for this group is to exorcise the ghosts of that 8-0 drubbing to England as shortly as attainable. After which rebuild.4 days after that heavy defeat, the dejected group ended with a whimper with a 1-0 defeat to Austria. After which simply 4 days on, their supervisor Martin Sjogren resigned — all this only a yr after he signed a brand new deal that was going to take him by to the World Cup. Briefly, any plans for the subsequent yr or so are up in smoke. However there are advantages from hitting the underside of the barrel. From this nadir, change should occur and Norway will inevitably have some overhaul and a brand new voice will help deliver the most effective out of this group of gamers.That new voice is Hege Riise. The Norway legend gained an unbelievable 184 caps for her nation, however her managerial journey has seen her spend time as assistant coach for the USWNT from 2009 to 2012 whereas she additionally took interim management of England after Phil Neville left, and guided Group GB by the 2020 Olympics.The fact is, Sjogren ought to have gone after the final World Cup — he hasn’t managed to get the most effective out of this squad, and that is Riise’s problem. There are world-class figures in there, like Ada Hegerberg and Caroline Graham Hansen and a stable backbone in Guro Reiten, Julie Blakstad, Maria Thorisdottir and Maren Mjelde. What was stark for Norway by the event was the poor particular person choices they made and the way they did not react to a menace mid-match. This was all the way down to the teaching however heading ahead, Riise’s principal focus needs to be on shoring up their defence and bettering the workforce’s concord throughout the match.This summer season, Norway seemed like a workforce of people, slightly than a collective unit. This may’t all be solved throughout the 14 months main as much as subsequent yr’s competitors, however a place to begin could be to heed Hegerberg’s phrases after their defeat to Austria: “There must be brutal honesty in evaluating all the pieces that is occurred in the previous few weeks so as to truly bounce again from this.” –Tom HamiltonFrance: Use best-ever Euros end as a confidence boostFrance will in all probability want Marie-Antoinette Katato in Australia and New Zealand to contend for the World Cup. Picture by Jose Breton/Pics Motion/NurPhoto by way of Getty ImagesReaching the semifinal of Euro 2022 made for a profitable event for the French. However possibly crucial — and the factor to hold onto 2023 and the World Cup — is the spirit that the workforce confirmed.The connection between head coach Corinne Diacre and the gamers seems to be higher. The environment throughout the camp in England was incredible and the psychological power to interrupt the curse of the quarterfinals in opposition to the Netherlands was an enormous step ahead too. This has to maintain bettering if Les Bleues wish to preserve their momentum and do effectively on the World Cup.On the pitch itself, this can be a workforce with a excessive ceiling. There’s numerous room for enchancment individually and collectively. First, let’s hope that Marie-Antoinette Katoto makes a full restoration of her knee harm and is absolutely match and prepared for the World Cup. Together with her at her finest, France are a lot stronger that they have been on the Euros with out her. Then the likes of Delphine Cascarino (25), Kadidiatou Diani (27), Clara Matéo (24) or Grace Geyoro (25), who did so effectively on the Euros, will proceed their development. Eve Perisset (27) will study lots at Chelsea within the WSL. Then there’s the brand new era, the likes of Melvine Malard (22), Selma Bacha (21) or Sandy Baltimore (22) who will push for a spot within the beginning line up.So, there will probably be competitors and ambition going into subsequent yr. The French weren’t removed from a spot within the closing on the Euros for the primary time of their historical past. Diacre has prolonged her contract till after the 2024 Olympic Video games in Paris. This can be a large two-year interval for the French nationwide workforce and they’re in a significantly better place than they have been a yr in the past. –Julien LaurensSpain: Discover a approach to end in entrance of goalWithout Alexia Putellas, Spain by no means fairly lived as much as their potential on the Euros, and supervisor Jorge Vilda should get extra out of the gamers he has. Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty ImagesGiven Spain performed the Euros with out their finest participant, Alexia Putellas, and one other seemingly beginning ahead, Jenni Hermoso, they did effectively to adapt to come back so near knocking out hosts England within the quarterfinal. However a closing eight end is just not what Spain — the pre-tournament favourites — got here to attain, and the stress is on supervisor Jorge Vilda to rework them right into a workforce worthy of taking down the World Cup subsequent yr.For a lot of the Euros, Spain have been a workforce the place they’d loads of model, but little finish product. Their finest objective, by far, was the one engineered in opposition to England as Athenea del Castillo lower previous Rachel Daly to place it on a plate for Esther Gonzalez to stroke dwelling. However given they’d dominated possession and territory, they mustered simply 4 pictures heading in the right direction. And their finish product from the Euros noticed the workforce rating six objectives, however from 4 headers.The idealistic approach Vilda needs his workforce to play must evolve the place the trouble and focus results in an end-product. He maybe tinkered an excessive amount of with the beginning XI throughout the Euros, and performed some out of place. However they’ve a younger batch of gamers coming by which reveals they’re excess of this present so-called golden era, and can certainly win a serious title at some juncture.”There is a vivid future based mostly on what we have seen at this event,” Vilda mentioned after their exit. “We will enhance.” Given Vilda has a contract by to 2024, the stress will probably be on for him to ship subsequent yr. –Tom HamiltonThe Netherlands: Hit the mark with Parsons’ replacementVivianne Miedema mentioned afterward that she had a poor Euros, however she wasn’t the one one as supervisor Mark Parsons shortly parted methods with the Dutch federation forward of subsequent yr’s World Cup. Getty ImagesIt was at all times going to be a mammoth process to fill the large sneakers left by supervisor Sarina Wiegman. She had led the Netherlands to the 2017 European Championships and World Cup closing in 2019. Her legacy was unsurpassed. Mark Parsons was the person the KNVB turned to, however simply 17 days after their quarterfinal exit from the Euros, he stepped down as coach, leaving with a win proportion of simply 55.56% — simply 10 wins in 18 matches. With the World Cup below a yr away, the Netherlands are again to sq. one.Parsons was dealt a tough hand for the Euros — they needed to deal with accidents, just like the one to Lieke Martens, and a COVID-19 outbreak which halted the prolific Vivianne Miedema in her tracks — however you are feeling Parsons did not get the most effective out of the group. Jill Roord, after their exit, spoke about how the workforce had struggled to change to Parsons’ mind-set and supply, in comparison with Wiegman.All of it proved to be an excessive amount of for each the KNVB and Parsons. Within the exit assertion, the KNVB highlighted the Netherlands’ “disappointing” model of play and outcomes on the Euros they usually seemed a far cry from the formidable, well-organised, ultra-intense providing which Wiegman moulded. There have been unusual choices, just like the one to play Dominique Janssen at full-back, as a substitute of within the coronary heart of defence, whereas Miedema did not get the fitting service.The query now’s who they flip to subsequent. The apparent contender, and the person they need to transfer heaven and earth to recruit, is somebody who is aware of the workforce inside out, and is aware of what it takes to win main trophies. And that is Wiegman’s assistant supervisor, Arjan Veurink. –Tom HamiltonSweden: Formulate a Plan B (and possibly a Plan C)They began sturdy, however by the tip of the Euros, Sweden seemed run down with a scarcity of a viable Plan B a obvious downside. Naomi Baker/Getty ImagesToo typically on the Euros, Sweden seemed out of sync and unbalanced. For coach Peter Gerhardsson, the primary downside gave the impression to be attempting to play a system designed for different gamers with the starters he had out there, leaving the workforce unable to muster their higher soccer in opposition to higher-ranked groups.Gerhardsson has a system he likes to play that permits his workforce to get ahead and assault, however the inclusion of a Plan B and even only a tweaked Plan A that harnesses the power of whoever is on the pitch is paramount. Sweden, like different groups on the Euros, gave the impression to be dropping the gamers they could not afford to because of COVID and harm, which once more highlights the necessity for the supervisor to have the ability to usher in his second-string gamers and alter the best way they assault to maintain them as incisive as they have been on the Tokyo Olympics. With a handful of his most well-liked beginning XI on the downswing on their careers, Gerhardsson must make some robust choices over who’s in his long-term plans and search for back-up choices, each in offensive constructions and personnel.Clearly operating out of fuel of their quarterfinal in opposition to England — once they had 48 hours much less time to get well than their opposition — once more, basic event administration gave the impression to be a problem, with gamers who have been drained nonetheless being requested to do numerous heavy lifting. There’s not a lot that may be carried out in regards to the size common season with further cup commitments, however an extended relaxation for the gamers who play from September-Could earlier than their pre-tournament camp might be an possibility for the SvFF to discover. –Sophie LawsonBelgium: Discover a approach for assault to match defensive prowess Nicky Evrard led a succesful Belgium protection on the Euros. Can the squad enhance going ahead earlier than subsequent yr’s World Cup? Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty ImagesBelgium created one of many surprises of the Euros by reaching the quarterfinals after beating Italy within the final group sport. They have been anticipated to complete backside behind France, Italy and Iceland and as a substitute narrowly misplaced to the French, drew with the Scandinavians and beat the Squaddra Azurra. It was an enormous consequence to qualify for the final eight, even when then Sweden proved too sturdy.However the event has introduced nice hopes for the longer term, validating the massive enhancements of the previous few years. Ladies’s soccer in Belgium is barely at its starting. The nation is nowhere close to as superior as the primary European international locations, and it’s nonetheless very a lot on the growth stage — however the nationwide workforce’s outcomes on the Euros are a fantastic encouragement.Now, they must continue to grow in 2023 and who’s their progress on the World Cup. Head coach Ives Serneels has carried out a fantastic job since taking on in 2011, however he wants extra of his gamers to go overseas. In the meanwhile, solely Davina Philtjens and Diede Lemey are at Sassuolo, Janice Cayman at Lyon, Justine Vanhaevermaet at Studying, Tine De Caigny at Hoffenheim, Tessa Wullaert at Fortuna Sittard, Julie Biesmans at PSV and Elena Dhont at Twente. However there’s a sturdy collective, effectively organised, good defensively with Nicky Evrard in objective, who saved two penalties on the Euros. They’ll work at stating onerous to interrupt and to beat.However they must enhance with the ball going ahead, to turn into a much bigger attacking menace. They’ve gifted technical participant like Vanhaevermaet and De Caigny and good finishers like Wullaert and they are going to be extra environment friendly if they’ll play nearer to the opposition objective. So there’s nonetheless numerous work to do to get nearer to the most effective groups. Qualifying for his or her first World Cup will probably be one other huge achievement in itself and a fantastic step ahead of their growth. –Julien LaurensItaly: Handle the stress of rising up the world ranksWhen speaking about fixes, the query is, “What went flawed?” For Italy popping out of the again of the Euros, the higher query is what went proper and extra importantly, how can the workforce get well in time for his or her World Cup qualifiers subsequent month?The gorgeous sport lives right here. Stream prime leagues, tournaments and groups.Join ESPN+WEDNESDAY, AUG. 17• Sheffield United vs. Sunderland, 3 p.m. ET • Melbourne Metropolis vs. Wellington Phoenix (FFA Cup), 5:25 a.m. ET • Chelsea vs. Olympique Lyonnais (ICC), 9 p.m. ET FRIDAY, AUG. 19• Espanyol vs. Rayo Vallecano, 1:50 p.m. ET • Borussia M’bach vs. Hertha Berlin, 2:20 p.m. ET • Norwich Metropolis vs. Millwall, 3 p.m. ET • Sevilla vs. Valladolid, 3:50 p.m. ET
When there’s a clear downside with form or ways, there are easy options, however every Italy match in England was riddled with uncharacteristic particular person errors in addition to failings on a workforce stage. Coach Milena Bertolini repeatedly spoke of the workforce struggling with the burden of expectation on them which might go some approach to accounting for the mistake-strewn matches and would make the obvious plan of action, intensive work with a sports activities phycologist.While stress is a standard a part of the sport, the three-game lengthy collapse from Le Azzurre would recommend a deeper-rooted downside and one that may not be so fast to repair, however it’s obvious there’s loads of work that must be carried out off of the pitch.Like different coaches on the Euros, Bertolini opted for expertise over youth which labored higher on paper than on the pitch. With Serie A a hotbed of excellent younger gamers and lots champing on the bit to make their mark for his or her nationwide workforce, shifting to a workforce with a decrease common age might very effectively be the best way ahead for Le Azzurre. Ought to Italy handle to qualify for the 2023 World Cup, they can’t afford to have one other event as humiliating as this one. –Sophie Lawson

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