The ex-captain and centre-half of Manchester City were deemed a viable replacement for Leah Williamson, who could not play due to injury, owing to her prior experience.
The exclusion of Steph Houghton from England’s World Cup squad by Sarina Wiegman has resulted in significant disagreement, although it was not entirely unexpected.
This type of decision can be controversial and have significant consequences for managers. Wiegman’s allies will likely perceive this as an example of the coach’s typical sound decision-making, which is not influenced by emotions.
During this period, supporters of the English national football team may express concern that the individual who guided the Lionesses to victory at Euro 2022 held at Wembley Stadium last year and previously achieved success at Euro 2017 with her home country of the Netherlands has committed her significant initial error, Steph Houghton.
During the previous year’s Euros, Beth Mead expressed her appreciation towards the supporters of England.
The following is a list of players comprising England’s Women’s World Cup squad. Beth Mead has been excluded, while Beth England has been included.
The decision to sideline Houghton at a time when there is a strong case for the former captain’s recall appears to be a self-destructive move. The 35-year-old Manchester City centre-half, who has 121 caps, seemed to have ended her international career. However, her replacement as captain and in central defence, Leah Williamson, suffered an anterior cruciate ligament rupture and could not participate in the upcoming tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
Considering Houghton’s successful recovery from an Achilles rupture that prevented her from playing for a year, she has demonstrated exceptional performance for Manchester City this season, making her a suitable candidate for replacement. The player’s exceptional performance in the central defensive position alongside England’s Alex Greenwood, coupled with her extensive experience representing the Lionesses in four major tournaments, including three semi-finals, makes her an obvious choice Steph Houghton.
According to the city manager, Gareth Taylor, Stephanie exhibits some of her finest football skills. The individual in question possesses important leadership qualities and consistently exhibits high professionalism.
The rationale for transferring her to Australia gained more support when Chelsea’s Millie Bright, a centre-back who played a crucial role in England’s victory in Euro 2022, had cartilage surgery in March. Bright, who is set to lead the Lionesses, has been inactive since her last game. However, Wiegman is optimistic that she will recover for England’s first match against Haiti in Brisbane on July 22nd.
The coach of England has made a likely accurate statement. However, it still poses a potential hazard. The absence of an insurance policy in the form of Houghton is perplexing. Can it be confirmed if Lotte Wubben-Moy, who has been capped ten times, is a superior defender for Arsenal? Can Maya Le Tissier, a 21-year-old player with two international caps, be considered a more appropriate backup option for Manchester United?Steph Houghton
Is it, not a concern that the squad is relatively inexperienced, with only six players – Bright, Lucy Bronze, Jordan Nobbs, Keira Walsh, Georgia Stanway, and Rachel Daly – having prior World Cup experience?
The issue may be attributed to insufficient communication. According to Phil Neville, the predecessor of Wiegman, he holds Houghton in high regard. However, Neville faced difficulties in establishing a strong connection with Houghton initially. Only after an extended conversation over coffee in Manchester that the two could truly “bond”. At that moment, Houghton informed him that her spouse, Stephen Darby, who previously played as a defender for Liverpool, was diagnosed with motor neuron disease Steph Houghton.
Neville stated that Steph’s experience is terrible, but she shows no signs of it. The individual in question possesses both bravery and elegance. The individual in question exhibits exceptional skills in their respective field while demonstrating exemplary personal qualities.
The exchange of harsh words between Wiegman and Houghton, resulting in the latter’s exclusion from England’s Euro 2022 squad, may have caused irreparable damage. Despite this, it is regrettable that the player who was voted as the Women’s Super League player of the season by many will not be representing the Lionesses in July, Steph Houghton.
Similarly, Fran Kirby, another member of England’s injured group, is also affected. The attacking playmaker of Chelsea is among a select few Lionesses who are currently world-class. Her capacity to operate between the lines will be sorely missed.
Kirby became a part of the attacking dots, whereas Jill Scott consistently showcased her impressive skills in England’s midfield. Wiegman referred to her ability to maintain off-field morale during extended periods away from home on the international road as her “social intelligence” and humour. Following Euro 2022, Scott and Ellen White, the Lionesses’ all-time leading scorer, retired. Additionally, White gave birth to a daughter in April.
Steph Houghton England’s central striking trio, comprising Alessia Russo, Rachel Daly, and Bethany England, poses a formidable challenge for any defence. However, Ellen White’s exceptional ability to hold the ball up, tire out defenders, and create opportunities for her teammates is often overlooked Steph Houghton.
White’s participation in Euro 2022 contributed to the success of Beth Mead, who was awarded the golden boot. Regrettably, the Arsenal winger, who provided six goals and five assists in six matches during the previous summer, has failed to recuperate from her ACL rupture within the allotted time. The objective is for Lauren Hemp, Chloe Kelly, and others to demonstrate that Mead’s role is not irreplaceable Steph Houghton.
Lucy Bronze has successfully recuperated from her sixth knee operation and resumed her right-back position. Additionally, Keira Walsh, her dominant teammate from Barcelona, remains present to manage the central midfield.
England must have Bronze and Walsh performing at their optimal level. Following a seemingly uncomplicated group stage, the team is poised to encounter either Canada, the reigning Olympic champions, or Australia, who handed Wiegman her first loss in 31 matches in April. This may be followed by a quarter-final match against Germany and a potential semi-final match against France Steph Houghton.
It may be challenging to win the trophy without the presence of Mead, Kirby, and Williamson. Additionally, there is concern that by disregarding Houghton, Wiegman has further increased the difficulty of achieving this goal.