The profile of women’s football has increased massively over the past few years. The skill that is being demonstrated now in the ladies’ game compared to ten years ago is a big reason for that. Recently, the England Women were beaten in the semi-finals by the eventual winners and host nation in Euro 2017.
It all started so promisingly for the Lionesses but they were unable to perform on the day against the Netherlands. There are many positives to take from the whole tournament for the Lionesses. We will look at what the top five positives are for our women’s national side that we can take from this tournament as a whole.
A good bet for the World Cup
There is little doubt that Sun Bets will have England at a good price for the next World Cup in France in 2019. Our “Lionesses” came 3rd in 2015 in Canada. If we couple a 2015 World Cup semi-final and another semi-final finish in the 2017 Euro’s, it is clear that England will be in with a great shout in France in two years’ time.
Raising the profile of Women’s football in the UK
More than 4 million people tuned in to watch our ladies in the semi-final of Euro 2017. That was the largest ever UK audience for a women’s football match involving England. So it is clear that the profile of female football in the UK is rising fast. This will only help to bring fresh talent into the game and help England rival the super powers in women’s football. Based on their previous two tournaments, they are not far short.
Jodie Taylor finishing top goal scorer of the tournament
Despite not even getting to the final, Jodie Taylor was the leading scorer in Euro 2017. Her skill and cool head in front of goal is a good omen for the future. This just proves that when it comes to finishing, our girls are up there with the very best in the world in some departments, goal scoring being one of them.
England are currently ranked 5th in the world and are the third highest rated European team. Only Germany and France are ahead of our girls in Europe. Had the Dutch not been the host nation in Euro 2017, our ladies would have been firm favourites to reach the final. Getting to back to back semi-finals has cemented our place in the top five. England are now a full 43 ranking points ahead of sixth placed Japan.
Geographical location of the 2019 World Cup & Beating France
Just like in men’s football, the location of a major tournament has a big factor on who does well in it. Travelling distances and climate are two such factors. There were no such problems for our girls in Euro 2017. While they had an off day in the semi-final against the Dutch, they had a mightily impressive tournament.
The next World Cup is in France and so once again, travelling and climate will not be major factors for the English team. Great things are expected of the English ladies and a quarter-final place will be the minimum requirement. They have raised the bar on themselves and getting to the World Cup final in France is a definite possibility.
The final of Euro 2017 was somewhat of a surprise with Germany and France both failing to make it through. England can take great encouragement from beating France 1-0 in the quarter-finals. Many people tipped the French in that match seeing as they are ranked third in the World. England showed that they can beat the very best teams on their day. All they need is a little more consistency and a tad more luck and a major final could be just around the corner.
Carl Sampson is a full time poker player and sports writer. He can also be seen on his poker blog at www.pokersharkpool.co.uk