England Women won their away game in Bosnia with a last gap Karen Carney goal and are in pole position to win their group and qualify for the Euros in Netherlands.
Following a disappointing home draw to Belgium, England struggled to break down a resolute Bosnian defense like they did in the home game back in November 2015. This is not a big surprise as England have functioned (very well) as a reactive side rather than a proactive one.
Less than half of the FA WSL sides play possession-orientated attacking football and it is not easy to translate it into England’s style of play. Especially as the last few years were mainly based on being able to adapt to the oppositions’ threats, nullify them and take advantage of their weaknesses.
So, it is a kind of transitional period where the manager is trying to move the team’s center of gravity from defensive to more attacking, something that will take some time to implement. It is quite clear that England can contain the best teams in the world but being able to hurt those is another matter and needs to be worked on.
The standing in the Euro 2017 qualifying group 5 are as follows:Top of the table Belgium with 11 points from five games. 2. England 10 points from 4 games.
Top of the table Belgium with 11 points from five games. England are in second with 10 points from four games.
England have Serbia home and away plus Estonia at home while Belgium have to play Estonia and Serbia away. Therefore, England should be two points ahead coming into the final game in the group away to Belgium on the 20th of September.
As Belgium will probably have to win to top the group, England will be able to sit deep and hit them on the break with the quick forwards and find space behind the Belgium defence.
Mark Sampson has about a year and a half to find the right balance between attack and defence and prepare his England team in order to win the Euro 2017 tournament.