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Analysis

After Nations League disappointment, change is in the air for England

2024 will be a year of fresh starts for England and head coach Sarina Wiegman

(Photo Copyright Alexander Canillas / SPP)

The first-ever UEFA Women’s Nations League has not lacked drama, particularly in Group A1. In the final round of matches, England hammered Scotland 6-0, only for the Netherlands to take the top spot on goal difference. The Dutch sealed progression to the finals courtesy of a 95th-minute Damaris Egurrola header against Belgium. This set of results also ensured that Great Britain will not be competing in the 2024 Olympics.

For England, this was a tough finale to accept. It saved its best for last, and it still wasn’t enough. England head coach Sarina Wiegman, formerly the Dutch head coach, could not celebrate her old team’s success. She was too busy consoling her England players, some slumped on the ground, some with a look of disbelief, some with head in hands.

So close yet so far — much like the 2023 World Cup, where England made the final, only to lose 1-0 to Spain. That was mere months ago, which no doubt added to the sense of incredulity at having played so well, only to receive heartbreak in return. As for not making the Olympics … it’s complicated.

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