How we think League 2 will look at the end of the season...

The League two season is finally back and it is looking like it is going to be an interesting one for us fans. There has been plenty of movement this off season with some teams really improving whilst others have lost some key players and have maybe surprised fans with who they have brought in as replacements. I am hoping we are in for a season where it really goes down to the wire again for who takes the league title and who ends up in the playoffs but at the same time I think this season we could end up with a real fight for avoiding relegation too that could even possibly go to the final game of the season for the final relegation spot. When you look around the league with those who were relegated and promoted at the end of last season I think we could see those teams coming into the league and cause a few shock results but I guess only time will tell. After having a look around the league here is what we think the table could look like at the end of the season...

Stockport County

Bradford City

Northampton Town

Leyton Orient

Salford City

Stevenage 

Tranmere Rovers

Crawley 

Colchester United

Doncaster Rovers

Walsall

Mansfield Town

Swindon Town

Crewe Alexandra

Newport County

Harrogate Town

Gillingham 

AFC Wimbeldon

Rochdale

Carlisle

Sutton United

Hartlepool United

Grimsby Town

Barrow

As we said at the start of the post we think it could be a very close season especially at the top of the league however, on paper newly promoted Stockport have really strengthened their squad ready to take on the new season and honestly they could cause some big upsets in the league and I think it they gel quickly and start the season on the right foot they could end up winning the league. I do wish I could have put Bradford City in the top spot but unfortunately I think they will get beat to this spot but will hopefully be promoted automatically this season, Hughes has brought some quality into the squad and they look way better than past seasons. Let's just hope this season is a good season to be a Bradford fan as after recent seasons we certainly deserve it. As for the remaining automatic promotion spot I really do think Northampton could push for this and again if they have a good start to the season I can see them just beating those around them to that final spot. 

The playoff spots are going to be widely contested with plenty of teams capable of putting in some great performances to gain the chance of being promoted to League 1 but I think at the end of the season we could be looking at Leyton Orient, Salford, Stevenage and Tranmere fighting it out for that final spot with Stevenage being the team to go up. As for at the bottom of the table I just can't shake the feeling that Barrow are going to struggle this season but also I feel like Grimsby and Hartlepool will be battling all season to stay above the drop zone with Grimsby losing out in the closing few games and heading back into the National league. 

Obviously these predictions have been made without a team kicking a ball yet this season so I am really looking forward to seeing how the season actually progresses and there will be a midway check in to see if these predictions are looking likely or way off plus a full round up at the end of the season with how far off the predictions were or if I got anything spot on. All I can say is I am really looking forward to this season as it has the possibility to be a great competitive one all round and fingers crossed it is the start of something good at Bradford City as that has been a long time coming.

Who do you think will finish in the top 3 and bottom 2 of League 2 this season? 

A quick round up of the Euro 2022 semi finals...

 


We now know who will be playing in the Euro 2022 final at Wembley on Sunday 31st of July and I think it is safe to say we are going to be in for a treat during this final as we are going to be a team playing better than I have ever seen them play against a team that has already won the competition plenty of times but are relying on specific players to get them to that stage so if something happens to those players I think they could easily be finishing as runners up of the competition. We saw two great games in the semi finals and one of those certainly had a surprise result and here is a quick round up on those semi finals...

England vs Sweden

First up we had the hosts taking on Sweden at Bramall Lane trying to secure their spot at a home final and they did it in a spectacular fashion. We were lucky enough to get tickets for this game before we even knew who would be playing so for us to be seeing England taking on Sweden, one of the nations we have watched and supported throughout the tournament was fantastic. The atmosphere on the fan walk was sensational and that carried on into the stadium and lasted well beyond the final whistle. The hosts were determined to break their semi final curse and finally beat the Swedish in a major tournament especially after they beat them to 3rd place in the 2019 World Cup. For me England have really stepped up this tournament and shown us all what they are capable of and the 4-0 victory over Sweden just summed that up. Sweden started the game well but once they went 1-0 down that was is it England started running riot and Sweden looked totally off colour compared to previous games we had seen them play. Every single player in an England shirt put in a real shift though and they have shown that they shouldn't be underestimated anymore and their unbeaten record under Wiegman continues, let's just hope the continues past the final too. Seeing the players like Ellen White, Lucy Bronze and Jill Scott who have had plenty of heartbreak in recent competitions finally get to their well overdue final.

Germany vs France

France looked great against the Netherlands last week but unfortunately Germany proved that bit too strong for them and we will be seeing Germany take on England in the final. German Popp has had a brilliant tournament so far and is a real threat for the team, you just can't help feeling happy for her reaching the final though with the injury struggles she has had to go through to get to the tournament in the first place. Germany initially took the lead in the game but France didn't give up and it didn't take long for them to draw the score level once more. France just couldn't seem to control Popp though and she got her second of the game to take Germany through to the final. France didn't give up even after going 2-1 down but they just couldn't find that goal to send the game to extra time. I am impressed with how France have played throughout this tournament, with a young team and some big name players missing they still put up a fight and showed everyone that even without those big names they are still a force to be reckoned with and I think we could see them do well in the next World Cup too if they carry on the way they are going.  Germany played well but if it wasn't for Popp's form this competition I don't think they would be heading to the final. 

It is safe to say that us fans whether at the stadium or watching at home are going to be in for a treat on Sunday's final and we will be at Wembley cheering on the Lionesses but they definitely need to prepare for what could be the toughest game of the tournament as both teams have their own strengths. Can Germany stop England's unbeaten streak and spoil the hosts party? Or will England show up with another spectacular, resilient performance like we saw from them in the semi final? All I can say is... is it Sunday yet? 

Our Euro 2022 Semi Final Predictions

 

Well here were are into the final week of the Euro 2022 competition, where has the month gone? We have seen some great football and now at the semi final stage of the competition we are getting the chance to watch two great games with four great teams competing for a spot in the final at Wembley on the 31st of July. The four teams left in this competition are all pretty strong teams in their own ways so we are in for two games that honestly could go either way so it is going to be all about who turns up and wants it most on the night, I can see at least one of the games heading to extra time. So here is how we think the games are going to finish...

England vs Sweden 

This is the game I am most looking forward to, not just because it is the home nation but also because these two teams always provide us fans with a great game. This was one of the first England games we ever went to and we are looking forward to being back in the stands on Tuesday night to see the two sides fight for a spot in the final. Sweden beat England in the 2019 World Cup 3rd place match so it is safe to say England are going to be out for revenge plus with them still not losing a game under Wiegman's management they definitely wont want their first to be during this game. England have looked strong throughout the competition and we have seen how they can change the game around after their game vs Spain. As for Sweden, they have done well but they certainly haven't looked their best, as an England fan I am hoping they haven't saved their best until this game because I think if Sweden play like they did against Belgium in the semi's England have a very strong chance of being the team that progresses into the final. 

Germany vs France

Unfortunately due to when Germany have played their previous games I haven't had the chance to sit and watch them properly yet, I have had to rely on group chats and highlights to see how their games have turned out, all I know is they do really well in this competition and have a squad full of talent that is very capable of putting France to the test. France for me though have been one of my favourite teams to watch this tournament and even without their big name players the squad is full of talent and I can see them being the team to beat Germany and progress to the final. Watching France face the Netherlands the other day just showed the quality they have and the depth of squad they have. Not once did they look tired and they pressed and pressed throughout the whole game and honestly that only went to extra time due to the brilliance of the Netherlands goalkeeper. If France turn up and play like they did in their semi final I think we could be seeing them at Wembley in the final.

With how the tournament has gone for these teams so far the semi final games could easily be the toughest ones we have seen so far. Fingers crossed we are seeing the host nation England in the final against France as this could provide a very exciting final for us fans but I guess we will see later on in the week if that actually happens or if Sweden or Germany end up being victorious, I am definitely going for England and France victories.

Who do you think will be victorious in their semi final game?

A quick round up of the Euro 2022 Quarter Finals

 


I think a lot of people will agree when I say that Euro 2022 seems to be flying by, it doesn't seem like 2 minutes ago we were at Old Trafford watching England in the opening game and now we are into the final week of the competition. This tournament has definitely one of my favourites in recent years to watch as nothing has been clear going into games, who would have thought England would beat Norway 8-0, I know I never expected it. There has been some shocks and some expected results but every minute has been great to watch and the quarter finals of the tournament are certainly no different. The knockout stages are always one of my favourites and this tournament has been a bit of a roller-coaster for me whilst watching as the results could honestly have gone either way with no clear cut winners until very late on in the game for 3 out of the 4 games. Here is a quick round up with our thoughts on each of the quarter finals...

England vs Spain

The first quarter final and a chance for the hosts England to progress into the semi finals and lets just say they didn't give us fans an easy ride. Spain looked good in the first half and it was Spain who broke the deadlock, it really looked like England were going to be crashing out of the competition until 6 minutes from the end of normal time when Ella Toone put the hosts level. The substitutes for England definitely made an impact on the game and it rolled over into extra time. Stanway stepped up and scored an absolutely fantastic goal in the 96th minute to put the hosts through to the semi final. This game was definitely one of those that had you on the edge of your seats as it was a bit touch and go for England at times. Spain certainly had a great tournament and they put up a fight against England but they just couldn't see out the lead they held out for the majority of the second half. England definitely look a strong side and I am looking forward to going to watch the semi final live.

Germany vs Austria

Unfortunately I was out for this game so didn't get the chance to watch it but after chatting in a few group chats and watching some highlights it seems like Austria put up a fight and had plenty of chances before falling to a 2-0 defeat by Germany. I think Germany are one of the quieter teams this tournament as there aren't many people chatting about their chances of winning but they are putting in some great performances and their opposition is going to be in for a tough game in the semi final. As for Austria I think they have really put their name out there this time around as a country not to be taken lightly in the game, they certainly challenged England in the opener and did really well to get to the quarter final stage, some of the Austrian players have surely put their names out there for the transfer market.

Sweden vs Belgium

We were lucky enough to get tickets to the Sweden vs Belgium game in Leigh and it was a great experience. We joined in the Swedish fan walk and it was a great experience with a great atmosphere. As for the game though I think people will agree Sweden didn't play at their best and there were times where it looked like they could end up out of the competition. Belgium certainly put up a fight and goalkeeper Evrard had a brilliant game to keep Belgium in the game, it actually looked like we were going to be heading to extra time in this game but Sweden broke the deadlock in the 92nd minute to progress to face England in the semi final. Belgium have really surprised me this time around and if they continue to improve at the rate we are seeing I think in the next few tournaments they could provide some upsets. As for Sweden they definitely didn't look the best in this game and honestly I think they got lucky with the result. 

Netherlands vs France

We also managed to go to the Netherlands vs France game in Rotherham and it is safe to say the experience at that game is the best experience we have had so far. We joined the Netherlands fan walk to the stadium after being in the fan zone and it was a fantastic build up to the game. Once in side the stadium the atmosphere continued to be great with both sets of fans getting behind their team. France certainly looked the strongest on the day and had plenty of chances to take the lead but they just couldn't get the ball over the line, there were some great off the line clearances from the Netherlands and goalkeeper Van Domselaar made some absolutely brilliant saves to keep the Netherlands in the game. Van Domselaar has had a fantastic competition and to say she went in as second choice 'keeper she has really made a name for herself. Some how the Netherlands managed to keep France out for the full 90 minutes and the game went to extra time. The extra time was another chance for France to really push for that goal and it all paid off in the 102nd minute when VAR awarded them a penalty and Chelsea's Perisset scored. Both teams continued to push for a goal after the penalty but in the end the reigning champions have crashed out of the tournament and France have progressed to face Germany in the semi final. 

So there you go that is a round up of the quarter finals, check back tomorrow as we will be doing our semi final predictions. So far the competition is great and the quarter finals certainly didn't disappoint us fans, I think we could definitely be in for a treat in the semi finals. With the quality of the players on offer in these later stages of the tournament anything could happen. 

What did you think to the quarter finals? Is there anyone specific who stood out to you?

The players to keep an eye on over the Euros


 The Euros are now underway and us fans are definitely in for a treat with the quality of players we are going to be seeing each month. The quality has really improved since the last Euros and each group looks too close to call on who is going to progress due to each team having standout players who can really make an impact in the game. Today's post is a look at the players we will be keeping a close eye on throughout the tournament as we think they are going to play a bit part in how their team does in the competition. So here are those players we will be keeping an eye on... 

England 

Mary Earps

Since joining Manchester United I think a lot of people will agree Mary Earps has really improved in her position as goalkeeper and that improvement looks to have sealed her the number 1 spot for England. Right now Earps is one of my favourite players to watch and I think with some of the saves we have seen her pull off recently we could see her being a crucial part of the England Squad. 

Rachel Daly

I couldn't settle on just one member of the England team, in fact I could have picked 4 or 5 players who we should all be keeping an eye on but of course I had to add Daly in as a little extra one to watch. Those who don't follow the NWSL won't know much about Daly but her attacking and defensive ability will play a big part for England throughout the tournament and I am really going to enjoy watching her get the international game time she deserves. 

Austria

Manuela Zinsberger

The Arsenal goalkeeper is one who can really keep Austria fighting for progression. There will no doubt be plenty of shots fired at her during the games in the group stages but she is up there are one of the best European women's goalkeepers in my eyes and I think she will help keep Austria in with a chance during the groups. 

Northern Ireland

Rachel Furness

 Furness is a player who has been around for a while now and who gets overlooked far too often. At 34 year old she is a player to keep an eye on, after being told at a young age she wouldn't be able to play professionally but just look at her now playing in the Euros for her country. We have seen from her time at Liverpool that she can be a real attacking threat and I am hoping that we get to see her full potential this tournament. 

Norway 

Gruro Reiten

Reiten is a player that is often overlooked at both club and international level and honestly I think it is her style of play that has led to this. You never realise just how many plays she is a part of but she really is a crucial piece of the team no matter who she is playing for. Reiten is certainly a play maker on the pitch and she can get her team in some great positions along with scoring herself at times. I am definitely looking forward to seeing how Reiten impacts that Norway side.

Denmark

Pernille Harder

Harder has been a name people have been watching for a while now and honestly I get more and more impressed every time I watch her. Before joining Chelsea Harder was already a fantastic player but I really think she has excelled with her time under Emma Hayes so far. Denmark are in a tough group but I think if Harder plays anywhere near as well as she has for Chelsea the past few seasons that she will keep Denmark in with a chance of progressing.

Finland

I will be honest with this one I really don't know much about any of the Finland players so instead of doing a one to watch, I will just be watching the full time and I am really hoping they surprise me. They are definitely in a tough group but who knows maybe they might pull of a shock or two. 

Germany

Sara Dabritz

Lyon player Dabritz is the German player I will definitely be keeping a close eye on and the opposition defenders really need to do the same. Again Dabritz is a player I really enjoy watching play and we have seen in previous competitions she is capable of getting goals for Germany and a fair few of them are poachers goals, being in the right place at the right time for any rebounds. I wonder how many goals she is going to end up with this time around? It is going to be a tough group for Germany but Dabritz could play a big part in if they progress or not. 

Spain

Ona Batlle

I managed to watch a fair few Man Utd Women games last season and one player that always seemed to jump out at me was Ona Batlle, yet there doesn't seem to be many others talking about the quality she brings to the team especially outside of that Man Utd fan base. The full back is no doubt going to play a big part for Spain in this tournament and I hope that her performances help her become a more talked about name as she definitely holds the qualities of a fantastic player.

Netherlands

Jackie Groenen

Another Man Utd player that I think is under rated is Jackie Groenen, she really doesn't get the recognition she deserves and I am actually really looking forward to seeing her play for the Netherlands in this tournament and just like with Batlle I really hope it gets her the recognition she deserves. When we saw her play against England in the warm up game she played really well and I really think she is going to be a key player for the Netherlands for as long as they are in the tournament. 

Portugal 

Just like with Finland, I don't know too much about any of the Portugese players we are going to be seeing in the competition however, I am really looking forward to seeing how they are going to do as they are the team that are Russia's replacement so they have had less time to prepare than others plus they are in a very tough group.

Sweden

Magdalena Eriksson

It is no secret that I think Sweden could end up doing really well in this tournament and I think they have a lot of very impressive players in their squad however, the one I will be keeping my eye on is Magdalena Eriksson. She has really shown us what a solid defender she is at Chelsea and how she can get the team motivated and firing on all cylinders so I think her leadership qualities are really going to help Sweden progress through a tough group and further into the competition. 

Switzerland

Lia Walti

Arsenal's Lia Walti is a player I am definitely going to be keeping a close eye on during the Switzerland games. She might not be a goal scorer but she is certainly a play maker and I think her midfield capabilities are going to help Switzerland get into some dangerous positions. They are up against tough competition in this group but I am looking forward to seeing how Walti's performances help her nation.

Belgium

Tessa Wullaert

There are a few players I have missed watching since they have left Man City and one of those players I have definitely missed is Tessa Wullaert. We all know she can score goals and we have seen how she can move the ball around the pitch to help team mates get into some great positions. I think Wullaert will play a big part in how her country does in this tournament and I am looking forward to seeing how she performs. 

France

Kenza Dali 

The 30 year old French midfielder is a player I have enjoyed watching over the past few seasons. Again she might not be a goalscorer but she is able to put in some great challenges and works the ball around well to create her team some opportunities. Everton didn't have the best season last season so I think she will be wanting to show us all what she is capable of this season. Plus with some big names missing due to things going on behind the scenes I think it is a great time for her to be able to show everyone just what she is capable of.

Italy

I don't know why but over the years I haven't really followed any of the Italian players progress and I haven't followed their leagues but no doubt that will change after this tournament. I am going to be keeping a close eye on the whole Italian team as I have heard good things about them and I am just looking forward to watching them play and hopefully being surprised by them.

Iceland

DagnĂ˝ BrynjarsdĂłttir

Whilst watching the WSL over the years I have been able to pick a few players out who have stood out to me due to their performances and one of the players who has stood out to me for West Ham has been Brynjarsdottir, I loved watching her for the Portland Thorns when she played over in the States and I enjoy watching her at West Ham now she is there. We know she is capable of grabbing some goals for herself but she can also play a big part in creating them for her team mates. I am definitely looking forward to seeing if she has an impact on Iceland's performances in this competition. 

I think this might be the first tournament where it was so hard to narrow down the ones to watch just down to how the players have improved in the past few years. The standard in the women's game is just getting higher and higher and looking at some names missing due to injury or behind the scenes issues it is quite scary to think what some of these squads could have been like and who would have had to be cut.

This tournament is definitely going to be one of new names breaking through and making players household names and these are our ones to watch but who are your ones to watch?

How we think the groups will look at the end of the stage

It is Euros time and it is safe to say we are excited here at Edge of the Area. The next few weeks are going to be filled with plenty of football which has certainly been missed in this off season, I can see most evenings involving us glued to the TV screen to see who is picking up those much needed points to progress out of the group stages of the competition. It is safe to say each group should be entertaining with a lot of groups being too close to call due to the talent each team has however, at the end of the day only two teams from each group can progress and here is our prediction of how the groups are going to look after the group stage games have been played...

Group A 

England 

Norway

Austria

Northern Ireland

You would really like to think that the hosts England were going to walk away the winners of this group but it is football so you never really know what could happen. With England's recent performances though we can't help but think they will top this group to progress to the quarter finals. With the quality of the Norway squad I think they will be the team progressing along with England but you never know Austria or Northern Ireland could surprise us all but on paper it should be England and Norway progressing. It would be nice to see Northern Ireland progress in their first Euros but I think the group might be too strong for them. 

Group B

Spain 

Germany 

Denmark

Finland

This group is could very easily be too close to call. There are some fantastic teams in this group with some brilliant talent available for selection so it really could go any way. Unfortunately I think the rest of the group could be a bit too strong for Finland but who knows they could surprise us. In terms of at the top of the group I have said recently how I think Spain are going to pull off a surprise during the competition and I am really hoping to see them top the group. In terms of who is going to progress with them I think it is going to be a very close call between Germany and Denmark but I think Germany could just beat Denmark to the second spot. Denmark have a pretty strong looking team but so do Germany. This second spot could very easily come down to the final game of the group stage but we are in for a treat watching this group. 

Group C

Sweden 

Netherlands

Switzerland

Portugal

With group C being help up north of course we had to get tickets to what is going to be the game of the group, the Netherlands vs Sweden, this game is bound to be the one where the winner ends up topping the group but I can see it being a fantastic game to watch. This group the top two spots are pretty hard to call but I think Sweden's recent performances will really help them and they will progress as winners of the group. I can see the Netherlands beating Switzerland to the second place spot if they play like the Netherlands we are used to seeing but they are going to have to play much better than they did against England the other week if they want this to be the case. Portugal have had much less time to prepare after it took UEFA so long to say if Russia were being replaced or not so I think that lack of preparation is going to leave them at the bottom of the group. 

Group D

France

Belgium 

Iceland

Italy

Group D is the group that I am really not sure about, I would love to see France topping this group. They are without some big name players due to things going on behind the scenes but with the talent that country has I think we could see them progressing as winners of the group. Now I don't know much about the Italian team so for that reason alone I am placing them at the bottom of the group but I am looking forward to watching them play throughout their time in the competition and learn more about them as it goes on. I have placed Belgium as second in this group just because I like watching them play and I would love to see them do well during the competition.

So there you go that is how we think the groups are going to be looking once the group stage has ended but as we say with football you never really know way results are going to go on the day. If the teams we have predicted do end up progress I think it is safe to say we are in for a great knock out stage. Now it is time to get lost in a month of football.

Who do you think will progress from each group?

Two teams I think could surprise everyone at the Euros

 


When you look at the teams participating in Euro 2022 I think it is safe to say we could be in for a very close competition this time around. A lot of country names are circulating for who could be walking away the winner but honestly it feels like it is too close to decide and I do believe that there could be some shock results that derail the most talked about favourites and that an underdog (or at least less talked about) team could swoop in and steal the Euro trophy come the 31st July. You just have to look at the strength of the squads participating and the groups they have been put it to see that it really is anyone's chance to shine. For me though there are two tams that haven't been talked about as much as they should as I can see them really pushing for a place in the final and who knows they might just end up winning the whole thing and for me those two teams are...

Spain 

I think that Spain are often an overlooked nation in this tournament but with the improvement we have seen from them over the years I think we could see them be a real threat this time around. I think they really started showing off their capabilities in the 2019 World Cup where we saw some very strong performances from them but since then they just seem to have got better and better. I think we are going to see them be a really strong goal threat and with a lot of people over looking them I think they have nothing to lose so they will go all out in terms of performances to show people they need to beware of what they can do.  They have a lot of players who can make an impact Ona Battle & Maria Leon are just two of the people I will be keeping a close eye on throughout the month plus with Ballon D'or winner Putellas on the team who will play a big part I think we are in for a treat when watching Spain play.

Sweden

Could this tournament finally be the one where we see Sweden take home the winners medals? I have a strong feeling that they could finally go all the way and win the competition after being so close in previous ones. They have some absolutely fantastic players in their squad that are often overlooked at club level due to those around them, they really do have the capability to make a name for themselves going into the new season though. Sweden have looked very good in previous competitions and they played really well in the Olympics just missing out on winning like they did in the 2017 Euros but surely their time has to come soon? The team can move the ball around really well and provide some great attacking threats plus to me their football is just really enjoyable to watch. I enjoy watching Sweden play that much that we have actually got tickets to Netherlands vs Sweden which is bound to be an absolutely brilliant game as it is a replay of the Euro 2017 final. I have to say if I was to put money on my Euro winner it would be going on Sweden this time around, I am even tempted to get a shirt for when we go to the game plus I am just really looking forward to seeing Asllani playing live once again rather than it being on a TV screen. 

As I said earlier I really do think this tournament is going to be one of the closest we have seen in a while and lets hope we get to watch plenty of entertaining football over the course of the month. Maybe one of these two team will end up taking home the trophy but I think there are multiple teams in the running for it, these two just deserve a little bit more recognition as they aren't getting as much as they should be currently.

Who do you think could be an underdog team in these Euros? 

Our thoughts on the England Euro squad


One thing that has been nice since Wiegmans appointment as England manager is that we are finally seeing different players breaking into the squad. For so many years we were just seeing the same players called up no matter what their club performances had been like but now we are seeing choices based on how the players play throughout the season which is just how it should be. This Euro squad announcement has gone to show that this is now the case as we are seeing a nice mix of experience and youth for a change and we know that players are really going to get a chance to prove themselves and make a name for themselves either from being in the starting 11 or even coming on as a substitute. The squad is definitely one with a lot of potential and really does highlight the standard of the English talent at the moment and it is really one that other countries should be looking at and worrying about as this squad has a lot of potential. So here is a look at the squad for the Euros and what we think to each player...

Mary Earps - Earps really stood out to me in the 2021/22 season and I think see has really improved over the past few years. It would be nice to see Earps as the first choice 'keeper as she can certainly bring a lot to the team and if she plays anything she did last season England are in safe hands. 

Lucy Bronze - After all these years I still love watching Lucy Bronze play. She can bring a lot to the team on that right hand side and her surging runs can get England into some dangerous positions and we have seen how she can score herself too, we always seem to see one fantastic goal each tournament from Bronze so lets hope we see at least one if not more this time around. 

Rachel Daly - I don't think it is any secret that my favourite player is Daly, I just love seeing her play and to see her finally getting the recognition she deserves. If people are new to the game or don't follow the NWSL they might not realise just what Daly is capable of but I am really looking forward to seeing her get her name out there this tournament. Playing at the back she is brilliant but as we have seen for the Houston Dash she is a fantastic attacking player too and I am really hoping to see her name on the score sheet. 

Keira Walsh - Walsh is one of those players for me that can seem to hide away in a game but when you look back she makes a much bigger impact on the game than you think. Her spacial awareness and passing ability will really help the team out in the middle of the pitch and I am looking forward to seeing how she does in the Euros. 

Alex Greenwood - Since moving to Man City Greenwood has really started to make an impression on me, at first I wasn't too interested but she seems to be doing really well now at club level. She has had to adapt at club level due to injuries and I think her move to centre back has actually been a positive one as she really helped Man City get the finish they did in the season. I am looking forward to seeing how she does at centre back during the Euros as it looks like that could be where she spends the most of her time. 

Millie Bright -  Bright has really stood out to me in the NWSL for the past few years with her defensive skills. For me she really is a no nonsense old school type of defender who not only is a fantastic defender but can be vital at set pieces too. If she plays like she plays for Chelsea us England fans could be in for a treat.

Beth Mead - I really do believe Mead is a massively underrated player. She often gets overlooked when her crossing ability is brilliant and she can get the team into some fantastic positions on the pitch. It is going to be interesting to see if Mead starts games or is brought on as an impact sub but I really do think the super sub later on in the game could be a real threat to the opposition.

Leah Williamson - Captain Leah, I am so glad that Williamson has got the captaincy for this competition as I think she is the perfect choice for the job. Williamson has really made a name for herself the past few seasons and she is finally getting rewarded for this. I am hoping we see her playing in a defensive midfield role as I think this is best suited to her and her ability to make out the perfect pass but she can also play really well in the centre of defence if needed too. 

Ellen White - White always shows us exactly what she is capable of in tournaments so I am looking forward to seeing how well she does this time around. With competition up front high it is going to be interesting to see how much game time she gets especially after recently getting Covid, let's hope that doesn't have too much of an impact for her and we will see her have yet another good tournament. 

Georgia Stanway - Stanway is a bit of a controversial player but honestly I love her I think her ability on and off the ball is fantastic, let's just hope she can keep card free and not put in any silly challenges as I think she could be crucial in the middle of the pitch. I would love to see her on the score sheet a few times too. I just still don't think I am over her leaving Man City yet either. 

Lauren Hemp - Hemp was one of my favourite players last season for Man City and I think she is a young player with a whole lot of potential. Hemp and Daly on the left could create a fantastic partnership throughout the competition and I think we could see Hemp creating and scoring a few goals throughout the month too.

Jess Carter - It is really nice to see Jess Carter being called up for this tournament as I think it is safe to say it has been a long time coming for her. Carter had a standout season at Chelsea in the 21/22 season and it has helped her really break into the England squad which maybe under old managers she wouldn't have done. I hope she does get plenty of game time in the competition as she definitely deserves it. 

Hannah Hampton - To say how young Hampton is she is already showing the potential to be an absolutely fantastic 'keeper. It would be great to see Hampton get some game time but with Earps being in the squad I am not too sure how much time she will get if any but even having her as an option on the bench is great and it will give her some big tournament experience, it certainly won't be the last we see of her in England tournaments if her career keeps going the way it is.

Fran Kirby - Kirby has had her health problems lately but it is great to see her being called up once again as the past few seasons she has really shown us what she is capable of and she has cemented her place in the Chelsea squad. If we can keep Kirby fit and use her correctly I think we could end up seeing her making a big impact on the results.

Demi Stokes -  I honestly aren't sure about how much time Stokes is going to have on the pitch as I think the left back spot is surely going to go to Daly as long as she is fit. But having a player with the capabilities of Stokes as back up isn't half bad. It would be nice to see Stokes on the pitch but honestly I am not sure how much we will see.

Jill Scott - Now I am very glad to see Scott get called up for this tournament as I think her past experience could really come in handy plus she really is a character which will help behind the scenes too. Scott might not get as many minutes as I would hope but those minutes she does get will be great to watch and she will definitely be a huge asset to the team.

Nikita Parris - With the quality of attacking players we have to offer this tournament I think playing minutes for Parris could be in short supply. Now don't get me wrong Parris is a good player but there are youngsters who have performed well consistently who might get the game time over her but if she does get on the field I think her experience could come in very handy.

Chloe Kelly - I am so glad that Chloe Kelly has managed to recover from her injury in time to feature in this competition. I am excited to see how she performs in the Euros as I think she could really benefit this team in the long run with her pace, skill and overall footballing ability. She did well on her return for Man City so lets hope we see some more great performances in the England shirt this summer.

Beth England - England is a player that has really grown on me these past few seasons and I think it is safe to say she is really starting to make a name for herself in the game. I am hoping we see plenty of England in the tournament as she is going to be a fantastic attacking asset but again she is up against some strong competition for game time so let's just hope she does get plenty of chance to prove herself.

Ella Toone - Toone is one of the best young players out there for me at the moment. Since joining Man Utd she just seems to be getting better and better. I am really hoping to see her get her name on the score sheet a fair few times throughout the competition and I really think she is going to end up being a player that a lot of people have their eyes on for years to come.

Ellie Roebuck - I am glad to see Roebuck's name in the squad but again I don't know how much of her we are going to see in the competition, I honestly think the only time we would see her is if England have the group wrapped up or if Earps gets injured (fingers crossed she doesn't). Roebuck spent a lot of last season injured and I think if that wasn't the case she might have ended up as number one but at the end of the day as a Man City fan I just want her to return to next season fully fit.

Lotte Wubben-Moy - I managed to watch a bit more of Arsenal last season and Wubben-Moy really caught my attention. At just 23 years old I think we are still to see just what she is capable of but her development lately has been fantastic so I am excited to see just how good she is going to be a few more years down the line. Again I aren't too sure that we are going to see loads of minutes for Wubben-Moy but I think just being at the tournament will be a great experience and help her prepare for possible future tournaments.

Alessia Russo - I know I have said a few times in this post that a few young players have stood out to me in the past season but honestly Russo has probably stood out to me lately more than any others. Again at 23 years old I think the best is still to come from Russo but I think we are going to see her play a big part in England's progress through the Euros with her fantastic attacking ability. Russo is definitely going to be a player I will be keeping a close eye on throughout the competition and I am really hoping she gets plenty of game time and gets her name on the score sheet a few times.

So there you go that is what we think to the England squad for the upcoming Euros. The past few competitions I think England have had a strong side but for some reason this squad is definitely giving me a lot more hope than in previous years and I actually think we could progress quite far into the tournament and show the rest of the world what could be heading their way in the next World Cup. With the squad being a nice mix of youth and experience I think this could be a squad that we see a lot more frequently but I will be honest I think I am just looking forward to watching the youngsters this time around as they are going to be key to England's progression. 

What do you think to England's squad for the euros?

Could we see the rise of the Lionesses during Euro 2022?


Are we finally going to see the rise of the Lionesses during the 2022 Women's Euros? For so long the team seemed to have been up and down performance wise like they were riding a rollercoaster but with Sarina Wiegman in charge the national team finally seems to be settling down and the results have been going in their favour, the are rising back to show us what they are capable of but is this going to last a long time or is the honeymoon period with Wiegman in charge going to bring things to a grinding halt? 

We started watching the England a lot more closely during the 2015 Word Cup and with this being the first time we had personally watched them play in a competition it was an eye opener for us and it was a joy to watch them unlike the pain their male counterparts put us through it actually looked like they could go on to win however, they were beaten in the semi final due to a very unlucky own goal, they still came third in the competition though which was definitely good going. They showed some great quality and showed some great progress on the pitch. That all came to a bit of a halt though when then manager Mark Sampson came into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, with all the chaos off the pitch going you could see the toll it was taking on the team and after some great years of progress performances just weren't up to scratch and we save Sampson leave the club in September 2017 not long after getting the team to another semi final finish in the Euro 2017 competition. 

Mo Marley stepped in as interim manager whilst the country found a permanent replacement for Sampson and we saw the team start to get back on track with some pretty good results. In early 2018 they finally found their permanent replacement though and we saw Phil Neville stepping up to take charge of the nation. Now I will be 100% honest here I was never a fan of the Neville appointment, he didn't have experience of the women's game and honestly it just felt like they were bringing in a fairly big name from the men's game to try increase the fan base. Granted whilst he was in charge we were still seeing results but games just felt flat and lackluster. We saw the teams world ranking begin to drop a fair bit too which in the grand scheme of things shouldn't have been happening, we had the quality to be in the top 2 in my opinion but we have now found ourselves out of the top 5. Under the appointment of Neville though we did win the She Believes Cup in 2019, an important year as we were heading into the World Cup but honestly we only seemed to win that as other teams weren't performing as you would expect from them. 

As we were approaching the World Cup performances started to look a little bit better but they still seemed a way off from what we had been seeing in previous years. We did surprisingly well in the World Cup though and once again made it to the semi finals but were unfortunately beaten by the eventual winners the USA, that game certainly was an interesting one but for me you could definitely see the differences in quality between the USA and England, it certainly highlighted areas to work on.

In 2021 Neville stepped down from his role to persue a position over in the MLS and the reaction over on social media seemed to be that people were happy for a change in management, every time an England Squad was announced or a game was played there wasn't much praise for Neville it was negative a lot of the time so that change was much needed and we definitely seem to have landed ourselves lucky with new manager Sarina Wiegman taking the reigns. 

Weigman left her role at the Netherlands to take up the position with England and if her time with the Netherlands is anything to go by we are definitely in for a treat. Wiegman was announced as the new manager in September 2021 and since then we have not seen England lose a game (this is correct at the time of original post date), and overall the team just seems to be working together a lot better on the pitch granted there are somethings that need working on but every team has their weakness and I really do think during the Euros and next years World Cup we could really see an England team that shows us their potential and hopefully breaks that semi final curse. 

The thing I am loving the most so far about having Wiegman in charge is the fact she isn't afraid of adding new faces to the squad and leaving others out if they haven't been performing their best, she has been experimenting with the squad and it has been working. For so long we were just seeing the same players getting called up no matter how they had performed at club level but at long last there has been change in the squad and it is really working in England's favour. It is nice seeing the younger players getting the chance to make a name for themselves too and I think there is now a nice balance in each squad announcement of experience and youth something that is always going to be essential for the growth and progression of the national team. 

We saw England win the 2022 Arnold Clarke against some tough opponents, Germany, Canada & Spain, granted they won 1 and drew 2 in this competition but for me it showed growth within the squad, they weren't playing easy teams like they would in other competitions and it was a chance for them to prove themselves which they certainly did. To face those teams without losing a single game is some good going. 

It is safe to say that these Euros should be a big test for Wiegman and the Lionesses but lets hope they can put in some fantastic performances and who knows this might be their year to finally break that semi final curse and reach the final on home turf but I guess only time will tell. Either way I am really excited to see how the team does in the Euros and I think it is safe to say we are going to be in for a treat watching England play this summer. With the World Cup coming next year too there is certainly a quick turn around between the tournaments so let's hope even in that short space of time we see England going from strength to strength as it could certainly be a good few years for the nation. Now bring on the 6th July I am so ready for the Euros to start.