Euro 2022 final: latest news and buildup to England v Germany at Wembley! | Women’s Euro 2022

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Wow just heard on radio that Tottenham’s U15/16 women’s setup had four places to fill during tryouts in May/June this year and *2,000* applicants

— Adam Crafton (@AdamCrafton_) July 31, 2022

Ah go on then, you’ve twisted my arm.

I’m biased because she plays for my team, but Russo, then. The first time I saw her, it felt obvious she was a playeran unusual blend of skill, physicality, imagination and attitude, and at just 23, she has so much scope for improvement.

I guess there’ll be those who’d like to see Alexia Russo replace Ellen White, but that’s silly on two grounds:

1) She may not be scoring goals, but White remains crucial to how England play. She presses, puts herself about, and clears routes to goal for teammates.

2) Imagine the physical and mental aggravation of facing White, Mead, Hemp and Kirby for an hour, then someone as brilliant, grooved and fresh as Russo turns up. Wiegman’s ability to affect games from the bench is a big part of what England got here.

Back on Sky, we’re wondering which XI Sarina Wiegman might pick to start today. I know! She’s made a grand total of 0 changes during the competition, even when England were through the group with a game to spare, so it’s not hard to predict what’ll happen today. And how refreshing that is: a manager picking her side, rather than compromising, feart of its opponents.

And here’s another piece on Popp that I enjoyed, touching on the sensation of watching someone as special as she is for the first time.

The first time I saw Alex Popp play live was one of the most eye opening experiences of my life. Six years later, she is still bulldozing through defences https://t.co/IoJpxaGhbo

— JPH (@jessyjph) July 28, 2022

I must confess, I’m a little surprised by how much Millie Bright has improved, but she – and Leah Williamson – have their work cut out today. Alex Popp has done unbelievably well these last few weeks, even if you forget the terrible luck she’s had with injuries. But if we factor in her missing Euro 2013 and 2017; that she got hurt again at the start of this year, before contracting Covid in June; then her work these last few weeks is just rrrridiculous. Here’s Anita Asante on her:

It’s a gray morning in norf Lahndahn, but Sue Smith and Karen Bardsley are on Sky brightening it up. “Its like Christmas,” says Bardsley, taking us through the strict standards of fish-finger preparation demanded by her England side by way of pre-match meal.

I’ll also share some of the best writing I’ve seen during the tournament – ​​and on women’s football in general – starting with this review and extract from our own Suzanne Wrack’s excellent book on the subject.

Preample

Are you sitting uncomfortably? Then we’ll begin.

Regardless of where you say the journey started, it’s been a long old time getting to here. But here we finally are, and what a celebration awaits us today. If only Grace Sibbert could see us now!

Sibbert founded Dick, Kerr Ladies in 1921, the team going on to play in front of crowds exceeding 51,000 while raising colossal sums of money for working-class causes …. so the FA, in hock to power, banned it, deeming football “quite unsuitable for females”.

But since then, the work, sacrifice and talent of heroic pioneers like Gillian Coultard, Marianne Spacey, Hope Powell, Anita Asante, Fara Williams and Kelly Smith has brought us to this point. Tomorrow, the challenge will be to move on – more girls playing, more girls watching, and from more diverse backgrounds – but today is all about today.

And we could scarcely have hoped for a better match-up to glorify it. Though Spain and France deserve our gratefulness – who knows where they’d be had the former not lost Alexia Putellas and Jenni Hermoso, the latter Marie-Antoinette Katoto – but England and Germany have been brilliant, expansive when they’ve been able to be and nails when they’ve had to be. They’ve earned the everything out of their presence at this stage, and anyone who claims to know what’s coming next is lying.

So over the next few hours we’ll look back at a sensational competition, forward to what should be a terrific final, and generally enjoy everything we’ve got to enjoy. Here we go!

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