England’s run to the final of Women’s Euro 2022 has generated a great feeling of pride among both male and female football fans. It’s been inspirational.
One of the most impressive things about the Lionesses is the way they have embraced the pressure of being hosts. More than any other team, I think they believed they could win.
That has helped get them through some difficult moments, like the quarter-final against Spain and the opening spell of their semi-final with Sweden.
Sarina Wiegman has been masterful in getting the most out of her squad. She has stuck to her guns over selection – and been proved right – and created a fantastic spirit.
Wiegman has a knack of getting her substitutions just right. No team can win without quality in depth and England’s has shone through in some brilliant performances off the bench.
The spine of the team has been so strong, starting in goal with Mary Earps. She is vocal, has not put a hand wrong and made some vital saves against Spain and Sweden.
Mille Bright has been a stalwart in defence while Keira Walsh has shone in midfield, spraying the ball about like Paul Scholes in his prime.
And up front Ellen White has set the tone with her willingness to run herself into the ground and unflinching appetite to compete.
She may not be as gifted as super-sub Alessia Russo but White’s spirit, determination and sheer amount of ground covered have helped get England to Sunday’s final with Germany.
Overall, I’ve been really impressed with the quality of football. The standard has developed at supersonic speed since the Women’s Super League went professional in 2018.
Hopefully the excitement generated by the Euros will translate into bigger crowds at the WSL and attract more girls and boys to take up the game.
Trevor Steven is a former England footballer who played at two World Cups and two European Championships. @TrevorSteven63.