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2023 Women's World Cup

Analyzing the subtle, but significant, changes Wiegman has made with England

Photo: Keith McInnes / SPP

England head coach Sarina Wiegman is usually the coolest head in the stadium. Even when her team is under pressure, there are no hasty decisions, and no panicked touchline antics.

She has guided the Lionesses to the FIFA Women’s World Cup final for the first time in the national team’s history, one year on from leading them to their first-ever EURO victory. Along the way, she has made a number of significant calls.

Wiegman is renowned for her consistency. Understandably, considering that, during last year’s sensational EURO run, she stuck by the same starting line-up for each game. Alessia Russo and Ella Toone continuously changed games from the bench, but she refused to give into temptation to start them. In the quarterfinal win over Spain, Toone came on to score the late equalizer. In the semi-final win over Sweden, Russo scored the game-sealing third goal. Then, in the final win over Germany, Toone grabbed the opener with a superlative chip.

Still, despite her desire to stick by winning teams, Wiegman hasn’t shied away from changing the system or the personnel when she deems it necessary. Perhaps her first big decision was making Mary Earps her No. 1 goalkeeper, sticking by her even when Ellie Roebuck returned from injury. Earps, traditionally a solid, domestic-level shot-stopper, has since reached another level of performance, her confidence and focus elevated by her manager’s faith.

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