Saturday, October 1, 2022

England vs Canada: Sarina Wiegman says Arnold Clark Cup will provide vital preparation ahead of home Euros

Sarina Wiegman says this month’s Arnold Clark Cup will provide England with a crucial acid test ahead of the home European Championships in the summer.

England return to action for the first time in nearly three months when they take on Olympic champions Canada at the Riverside on Thursday, before games against Spain on Sunday and Germany next week.

All three of England’s opponents are ranked in the world’s top 10, which is in stark contract to the sides Wiegman has faced in her six games since starting the job as head coach last September.

England won all six of those World Cup qualifiers by an aggregate score of 53-0, and Wiegman said: “We need these games because we want to be exploited in everything – in defense, in possession, in transition moments.

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Leah Williamson says she can learn from other leaders as she prepares to captain England against Canada friendly on Thursday

“You need these opponents to play against, so that’s really exciting. After this tournament we will know better where we are at this moment, and that’s good to prepare for the Euros.

“Since the moment I came in, we have had games where we are really in possession all the time and I think we did really well in those games. The pressure was high, but not as high as we expect in the upcoming games.

“We have subjects we will be working on, and that is in possession and in transition, and also of course, out of possession. We’ll see where it goes – we have our tactical plan and we’re trying to develop our style of play.”

Wubben-Moy ruled out for England

Lotte Wubben-Moy will not join up with the England squad for the Arnold Clark Cup.

The defender will continue to work on her rehabilitation program with Arsenal, leaving Sarina Wiegman with a squad of 23 players.

There are no plans to call up a replacement.

England Women squad: Earps, Hampton, Roebuck, Bright, Bronze, Carter, Charles, Daly, Greenwood, Stokes, Williamson, Kirby, Nobbs, Scott, Stanway, Walsh, Zelem, Hemp, Mead, Parris, Russo, Toone, White

Williamson: Good to ‘catch up’ with Chelsea counterparts

Leah Williamson will again captain the side in the absence of the injured Steph Houghton, and the Arsenal defender says the international break has offered a good opportunity to discuss last week’s Women’s Super League clash with her Chelsea counterparts.

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Highlights of the Women’s Super League match between Chelsea and Arsenal

“We had a bit of a catch up with the girls when we arrived,” Williamson said. “One of the best games of the season and one of the toughest teams to play, but when you arrive in camp they’re your team-mates and I’m happy to be on the same team as them.”

The clash between title rivals Arsenal and Chelsea ended on a controversial note thanks to Williamson, with the Blues not awarded a stoppage-time penalty despite a cross hitting her outstretched arm in the area.

Asked if describing her meeting with the Chelsea players as a “catch up” was a diplomatic description, she said: “A little bit!”

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Chelsea manager Emma Hayes was frustrated her team were not awarded a penalty in added time after Arsenal’s Leah Williamson appeared to handle the ball inside the box

The decision to hand Williamson the armband has been backed by Manchester City and England midfielder Keira Walsh, who described her pride at seeing her “best friend” awarded the honour.

“When I was younger and we played at U17s, U18s and U19s she was always the captain of the youth teams,” explained Walsh. “It’s always a role she has naturally assumed anyway, whether she is wearing the armband or not. We have a team of leaders.

“But I’m so proud of her and seeing how far she’s come. She’s had a few injuries recently so just seeing the strides she’s made in her game. She’s at the forefront of that now.

“As her best friend and team-mate it’s such a proud moment for me. I know her family really well too so I know they will be so happy for her. It was a nice moment for everyone.”

Bronze ready to put ‘frustrating’ period behind her

England and Manchester City right-back Lucy Bronze is determined to put a “frustrating” period behind her and get back to her best after recovering from knee surgery.

Bronze is training with the squad ahead of the start of the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup after missing the first half of the Women’s Super League season after undergoing the fifth knee operation of her career and is looking forward to making up for lost time.

“The year before was more frustrating than being injured. I played a whole year being injured and just had to carry on and not be at my best,” Bronze said.

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England and Manchester City right-back Lucy Bronze says she wants to get back to her best after a ‘frustrating’ period on the sidelines

“Both physically and mentally it was quite draining so actually, as much as it was disappointing to miss out on England games and it was disappointing not being able to help my club team with all the injuries that happened there, it was something for myself. needed to do and have the operation.

“Now I’m just slowly building back up, performances are coming, match fitness is coming and hopefully I can get back to the very top and the very best of my performances in the next few months.”

View from Canada camp

Canada boss Bev Priestman – who served as Phil Neville’s assistant during his time as England Women’s manager – is expecting a “great battle” when her side take on the Lionesses at the Riverside.

“This will be the best representation of England,” she said. “The last two times I played them there was a very interim feel to it.

“I think they’ve now got a manager they’re on a longer term journey with and I expect them to look sharp.

“She’s [Weigman] a great manager and she’s achieved great things in her career. Her players will be out for a spot, to make themselves available for a home Euros – there’s no bigger occasion in your own country.

“I expect them to be sharp, to be strong and very organized. It’ll be a great battle.”

What is the Arnold Clark Cup?

The Arnold Clark Cup is a new round-robin tournament taking place this month between England, Germany, Spain and Canada.

The competition will take place in England, with matches taking place at Middlesbrough’s Riverside, Norwich’s Carrow Road and Wolves’ Molineux.

Each side will play each other once, with the side sitting top of the four-team table after all six fixtures crowned the victors.

The cup will also serve as useful preparation for England, Germany and Spain ahead of this summer’s European Championship, which is taking place in England.

TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 06: Team Canada celebrates after defeating Team Sweden in penalties to win gold the women's football gold medal match between Canada and Sweden on day fourteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at International Stadium Yokohama on August 06, 2021 in Yokohama, Japan.  (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Canada beat Sweden on penalties to win last summer’s Olympics

When are England playing?

Germany vs Spain – February 17, 2.30pm kick off

England vs Canada – February 17, 7.30pm kick off

England vs Spain – February 20, 3.15pm kick off

Canada vs Germany – February 20, 8.15pm kick off

Spain vs Canada – February 23, 2.30pm kick off

England vs Germany – February 23, 7.30pm kick off

Follow England in the Arnold Clark Cup this month with Sky Sports’ dedicated live match blogs.

Follow the WSL on Sky Sports…

Sky Sports – All 35 games will be available across Sky Sports’ flagship channels, including Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event.

Sky Sports digital – Follow all the latest from the WSL across and app, including exclusive features and interviews, plus dedicated live blog coverage and in-game clips from games live on Sky Sports. You can watch free match highlights from every WSL game this season on Sky Sports’ digital platforms and YouTube channel.

Sky Sports News – Running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, WSL fans can enjoy Sky Sports News’ (channel 409) rolling editorial coverage of the league and its storylines throughout the season.

Inside the WSL – Hosted by award-winning broadcaster and journalist Jessica Creighton, Inside the WSL is a comprehensive round-up of all things Barclays FA Women’s Super League and women’s football. Airing weekly from Thursday, September 9 on Sky Sports Premier League, the half-an-hour show will review and preview matches, include in-depth analysis and exclusive player interviews. Viewers can expect gripping behind-the-scenes access as well as a summary of all the action both on and off the pitch.

Sky Sports Social – Alongside coverage and visibility for the league across all Sky Sports’ main social media channels, a new bespoke Twitter channel @SkySportsWSL will be the home of all Barclays FA WSL content on Sky Sports.

To add all the Barclays FA WSL fixtures to your calendar, click here.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
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