Sarina Wiegmann has been quite clear that the latest squad will be close the one she will take to the Euros so can we work out her squad?
She more or less closed the door to any last minute newcomer in the squad, saying, “We’ve used a group of around 27 or 28 players this season so most likely if they keep performing and stay fit – some others might come back from injury as they’re still recovering – but that might be the group or close [to it], otherwise they wouldn’t be in the squad.
“It’s all about staying fit and keep performing and keep showing what they are capable for. It doesn’t mean the door is closed for any other player, but if someone was to come in now then we would’ve probably made the wrong decisions earlier.”
Consistency in a squad is key and that’s why players find it hard to get into squad.
They have to wait patiently for someone to drop form for a long time or to get injured.
Let’s have a, look position by position, who are the candidates for a place in the final 23 squad.
We can also think that due to the Covid situation UEFA might be tempted to go for a 26-player squad, like they did for the men’s tournament last year?
Goakeepers (4) Earps, Roebuck, Hampton, MacIver
Earps is the number 1 choice for Wiegmann. She had to wait for a long time for her chance and got it when Roebuck was injured.
It is quite obvious that Earps and Roebuck will go to the Euros. The only question mark is if MacIver can overtake Hampton for the third goalkeeper spot.
Defenders (10) Bronze, Stokes, Bright, Daly, Carter, Charles, George, Greenwood, Wubben-Moy, Houghton
Wiegmann has been quite consistent with her selection, so if she takes eight defenders, she is likely to leave out George and Houghton who still has to prove her fitness and is not likely to play any club games before the season ends.
She has played 642 minutes this season, but not a minute on the pitch for England under the new manager.
Midfielders(8) Scott,Nobbs, Walsh, Stanway, Williamson, Zelem, Kirby, Staniforth
Same as in defence, the number of players selected for the position will determine who makes it.
I mean, she could call up all eight midfielders, but that would mean reducing the number of defenders or forwards available.
As England play in 4-3-3, you would expect six players to be selected and, therefore, Zelem and Staniforth are the most likely to miss out as long as Kirby is passed fit for the tournament.
Forwards (9) White, Parris, Mead, Hemp, England, Toone, Russo, Salmon, Kelly
This is the position where players are still fighting for a spot.
Who gets in will depend on how many players are picked: six or seven, eight would be a big surprise.
Salmon is clearly a back-up and is always called up for the u-23 side, where she plays well.
On the other side of the spectrum, White, Hemp and Toone have been regular in the starting XI for the manager. They will be in the squad 100% if not injured, of course.
Mead has been performing well with big numbers so you would expect her to make it too.
That leaves us with four players fighting for two spots: Parris, England, Russo and Kelly.
If we are talking about game changers and talent, Russo and Kelly would be the two choices, but we can also note that England is the only real 9 who could serve as a back-up for Ellen White.
All the England forwards can actually play in all three forwards positions, so it is a tough ask to select the right mix of profiles.
It is quite clear that the final 23 squad will be selected from those 31 players, unless there are many injuries/ Covid cases in the upcoming months.
Sarina Wiegmann has started to slowly move away from the squads selected by Phil Neville at the 2019 WWC and Hege Riise at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, but at a slow pace.
As the home team, England will be looking to win the Euros and also to compete next year at the 2023 WWC as it has been a long term target for the FA for a few years now.
Is there enough quality overall to win one or both of those tournament? Time will tell.