I imagine many of you are quite bummed about the Lionesses’ defeat last night. We can make today’s Hoddle about them, and because we’ve made it to the semifinals, they get more than a paragraph.
Ramble of the Day
England came to the women’s World Cup for the first time as a team with a decent shot at the trophy, and therefore the pressure that comes with it. No one needs the reminder that they didn’t, but over the course of their six games, which will be followed by a seventh on Saturday, that perception of them did not change much.
They opened up their tournament with a stellar first half against Scotland, and though the second half saw the English get a little shaky, they managed to dominate most of their matches. Convincing wins over Cameroon and Norway in the knockout stages proved that, and so did an impactful second half against the United States. An attack-minded strategy was the team’s method to success, led by the likes of Ellen White and Lucy Bronze. As a result, the team was not far from a spot in the final; a few things here or there might have meant a relatively even match would’ve gone their way, but the mistakes sunk them.
The end was hardly fun for the English; a missed penalty and a sending off will not make for fond memories. That said, manager Phil Neville can cite the tournament as proof of his own coaching credentials, even if playing Nikita Parris in the center in the semifinal is an easy decision to pick on. However, he is certainly gaining a reputation outside of that as one with many comments and complaints, well poised to remain a divisive figure for the foreseeable future.
Regardless, the team’s on-field reputation remains an impressive one, and one can imagine that they will be contenders again should they continue in this fashion.
tl;dr: Bye, England.
Links of the Day
Switzerland and Young Boys forward Florijana Ismaili has died at age 24 after a swimming accident during a vacation in Lake Como.
Chinese side Dalian Yifang has hired Rafa Benítez as the team’s new manager.
Transfer updates: Arsenal has signed Gabriel Martinelli from Ituano; Paris Saint-Germain has signed Pablo Sarabia from Sevilla; Aston Villa has signed Matt Targett from Southampton; Inter has signed Diego Godín on a free; Borussia Dortmund has signed Mateu Morey from Barcelona; Bayern Munich has signed Sarpreet Singh from Wellington Phoenix
Today’s longer read: Caitlin Murray reports the disparity between the U.S. Soccer Federation’s World Cup bonuses for its men’s and women’s senior national teams for The Guardian