alessia russo

EM’s guide to watching England in the Euro 2022 final

Warning: in a completely off-brand move this blog contains positivity and a certain level of joy.

If you haven’t been watching the Euros that’s fine, nobody’s judging, but I don’t want you to miss out. So here I am selflessly gifting you with a completely uncalled for guide to watching England in the final.

Firstly, I’m going to immediately ramble off with an essential shout out… If you have been watching the Euros you will have seen Northern Ireland make history, make friends and make a big difference. I cannot praise the Northern Ireland team enough. What they have done for football in NI is incredible and even though it was a stalwart that scored their first goal in a major tournament, young ‘uns like Abbie Magee, Emily Wilson and Caitlin McGuinness make the future for the team very exciting.

Back to that England lot, here’s what you can look out for in the final:

The manager…

Sarina Wiegman has been described as a mastermind. However, if you have the nerve to take off both the tournament’s top scorer and the team’s all-time top scorer when one nil down in the final minutes of a knockout quarter final and go on to win 2-1, you’ve probably completed mastermind. Sarina Wiegman could win Mastermind while simultaneously kicking ass at chess, battleships and connect 4, explaining cryptocurrency and keeping herself busy by finishing a sudoku without a pen.

In defence… 

Right now there is a battle between Marvel and DC to sign Millie Bright and Rachel Daly to their franchise as heroes with the superpower of “just getting it dealt with”.  If either gets called away mid game to save the universe, Demi Stokes, Jess Carter, Lotte Wubben-Moy and Alex Greenwood fortunately have the same powers. Get past them (and Lucy Bronze and also Leah Williamson, see later) and you’ll be faced with Mary Earps. The fiercest end of level boss since, since… I don’t actually know anything about gaming but you get the idea.

In midfield…

Magicians, jugglers, puppetmasters, ninjas – too many talents to go on a talent show just once, Keira Walsh, Georgia Stanway and the wonder Fran Kirby could fill a whole series of Britain’s Got Talent. Wouldn’t be surprised if they had the voices of angels and could also read minds and train dogs to do cartwheels.

The subs/the attack…

Who doesn’t love it when a plan comes together? And many of England’s plans have come together because they seem to have two A-Teams. Watch Toone and Russo scampering onto the pitch together like a pair of Robins to Jill Scott’s Batman. Holy impact players! It must feel relentless having to defend against Lauren Hemp, Ellen White and Beth Mead knowing that Nikita Parris, Beth England, Chloe Kelly are all ready to come on. Playing against them must be how a chip feels like when facing a flock of urban seagulls. 

The captain…

Keeping the whole team more organised than a Marie Kondo sock drawer is Leah Williamson. A player capable of threading a ball through a needle in a poorly lit haystack. It would be patronising to say we could do with more leadership like this in our lives because I can find no comparison. There’s no debate here as to what a leader looks like. Reader, (that’s if anyone is still reading because let’s be honest, I’ve tried to write something useful here but I’ve ended up fangirling) please, if you can think of anyone in any area of life that has led with so much authority and composure under pressure, send me your examples. In the meantime, soak up the joy. 

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