Home News Women’s World Cup 2023: ‘England’s coach Sarina Wiegman might still have a few tricks up her sleeve’ – A piece by Ellen White

Women’s World Cup 2023: ‘England’s coach Sarina Wiegman might still have a few tricks up her sleeve’ – A piece by Ellen White

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Based on my previous experiences of playing under Sarina Wiegman for England, I was already aware of her brilliance. However, she manifested this acumen in a unique way with her game strategy against China on Tuesday.

Speculations were rife about how Sarina would handle the absence of injured Keira Walsh, a key player in her squad. Yet, she proposed a system that seemed advantageous for every member on the field.

When the Lionesses’ lineup was revealed before the match started, their formation was not clear to me. It was later discovered that they used a 3-5-2 arrangement, enabling our players to flourish and allowing for the kind of liberating football we all love to witness.

We are now scoring a significant amount of goals, which is absolutely thrilling. Our current task is to channel this energy and assurance into Monday’s round-of-16 game against Nigeria.

‘Sarina’s deep comprehension of her players’

This particular formation could be used in the next game as well. However, any team we play against will likely be concerned about potential modifications she might introduce, possibly causing them to be apprehensive.

Under Sarina’s guidance, England typically uses a 4-3-3 arrangement. I’m uncertain whether teams are beginning to decipher it. There’s been a noticeable tactic of doubling up on particular players, though it inadvertently frees up others elsewhere on the field.

During our victorious run in last summer’s Euros, we were lucky to have minimal injuries, and we maintained the same starting lineup and system throughout our six matches. However, Sarina made minor adjustments during games, responding to the flow of the match.

In contrast, the game against China was a different story. She experimented with a strategy that England has seldom used before, catching everyone by surprise.

This reaffirms her prowess as an exceptional manager and reflects her ability to adapt and think strategically.

She meticulously evaluates the opposing team’s strengths before devising a plan to outplay them. She also deeply comprehends her players and gives them the freedom to exhibit their skills.

The fluidity and rhythm displayed by the team in the game against China were absolutely thrilling to witness. Although the games will get tougher, it’s exciting to contemplate what lies ahead.

‘I take great pride in the players’

Clearly, we invested a lot of time training this new system, but implementing it effectively in a critical international match is a whole different challenge.

The successful implementation of this plan from the onset is largely credited to Sarina and her coaching staff’s effective communication skills.

This clarity of instruction meant the entire team was clear about their roles and duties. Even when substitutions were made in the second half, the team’s energy levels didn’t wane.

However, the players deserve recognition as well for their flawless execution of the plan and their complete control of the game against formidable opponents. I’m immensely proud of them, especially considering the slight criticism they received for their performance in the first two games, even though we won both.

Many, including myself, expected better performance and more goals because we are aware of the team’s capabilities.

Inside the camp, there may have been a need to ignore external voices, but the team’s response in this game seemed to be saying: “Is this satisfactory? We’ve scored six!”

‘For England, it’s now a do-or-die situation’

Lauren James, who scored two goals against China, is demonstrating remarkable talent at this World Cup.

Her first goal’s technique was impressive, but her volleyed finish for her second goal was simply awe-inspiring. She is indeed a special talent.

I was equally excited to see other England players score. It was gratifying to see Alessia Russo notch up her first goal in the tournament, and Rachel Daly finding the back of the net as well.

I had messaged Rachel before the game saying, “I think you’ll score today,” and when she did, I was thrilled to see my prediction come true.

Sarina’s versatile game plan allows players like Rachel to take forward positions, something crucial for her natural style of play. Regardless of our formation, she is given the liberty to move forward, which was evident when she scored off Laura Coombs’ cross.

Moreover, we ensure our players maintain defensive discipline, even while giving them the freedom to express themselves. The same applies when we see Millie Bright advancing from defense.

Millie was instrumental in our first two goals against China and demonstrated a true leader’s performance in guiding our defense.

We are looking forward to more significant challenges, starting with Nigeria. They are a direct and dangerous team with a more flexible formation than China.

We must be prepared for this, ensuring our defense is adequately protected – a lesson we learned in our second match against Denmark when Lucy Bronze was left exposed on the right.

In the knockout stage, any mistake can be catastrophic and result in an exit from the tournament.

However, I’m confident that Sarina will devise a plan that can be tweaked depending on the course of the game. We now possess the tools to clinch victories that we may have lacked during the Euros final against Germany.

I’m anxious, but also believe we are prepared for any challenge. I’m certain the players share this sentiment – they’re ready for whatever comes their way!

Ellen White shared her thoughts with Chris Bevan from Sport Newes Center.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Sarina Wiegman’s Strategy

What formation did England use in their game against China in the Women’s World Cup 2023?

England used a 3-5-2 formation in their game against China, which allowed players to flourish and facilitated a free-flowing football game.

Who is the manager of England’s team in the Women’s World Cup 2023?

Sarina Wiegman is the manager of England’s team in the Women’s World Cup 2023. She is renowned for her strategic thinking and adaptability.

How did Sarina Wiegman adapt her strategy during the game against China?

Wiegman adapted her strategy by implementing a 3-5-2 formation, a strategy England has seldom used before. This approach was beneficial to every player and resulted in a significant number of goals.

What does Ellen White appreciate about Sarina Wiegman’s coaching style?

Ellen White appreciates Wiegman’s ability to evaluate the opposing team’s strengths and adapt accordingly. She also admires Wiegman’s deep understanding of her players, and her ability to allow them the freedom to exhibit their skills while maintaining discipline.

Who scored goals for England in the game against China?

Lauren James scored two of England’s goals against China. Other players who scored include Alessia Russo and Rachel Daly.

Who are England’s next opponents in the Women’s World Cup 2023?

After their game against China, England’s next match in the Women’s World Cup 2023 is against Nigeria in the round-of-16.

More about Sarina Wiegman’s Strategy

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FootballFan73 August 3, 2023 - 7:08 am

i really hope England keeps this up. been a long time comin’! cheers to ellen white for this brilliant piece.

SoccerEnthusiast August 3, 2023 - 11:35 am

Boy, Sarina’s a genius! Switchin up the formation, getting all them goals! Pumped to see what’s next.

PaulM August 3, 2023 - 12:46 pm

man i loved that game! and this insight from Ellen is just cherry on the cake. next up, Nigeria! lets go England.

John T August 3, 2023 - 4:38 pm

Awesome read! Wiegman’s a mastermind, ain’t she? proper excited for the Nigeria game. Let’s bring it home, ladies!

NinaB August 3, 2023 - 5:15 pm

How amazing is Lauren James! Two goals in one match! Hope she keeps up this stellar performance.

GazG August 3, 2023 - 6:32 pm

the game against China was just mint! Brilliant read by the way, good job Ellen. Up the Lionesses!

BeckyS August 3, 2023 - 8:33 pm

Absolutely adore how Sarina is getting the best out of every player on the pitch, the way she’s coaching this team is top-notch!

LisaH August 4, 2023 - 2:48 am

such a great analysis by Ellen. She’s right about Sarina’s adaptability. Hope the team maintains the same momentum.

DaveR August 4, 2023 - 5:13 am

fantastic read, loved the insider perspective. Keep up the great work Ellen & Sarina! C’mon England!


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