England’s refusal to be bullied by Cameroon cannot hide concerns


This post is by Louise Taylor in Le Havre from Football | The Guardian


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Jodie Taylor earns plaudits as England seek World Cup momentum


This post is by Louise Taylor in Le Havre from Football | The Guardian


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Manager Phil Neville admits he needs to work on improving service to his striker, who was top scorer at Euro 2017

Jodie Taylor’s first goal in an England shirt for 14 months served as a reminder of the adage about form being temporary but class permanent. It was the Seattle Reign striker’s second goal from open play since Phil Neville became England manager but it was enough to consign Argentina to a 1-0 defeat in Le Havre on Friday, guaranteeing the Lionesses a place in the knockout rounds.

Injuries have played their part but Taylor, winner of the Golden Boot at Euro 2017 in the Netherlands, has frequently seemed possibly the biggest casualty of Neville’s continuing switch from the more direct, counterattacking style used by his predecessor, Mark Sampson, to a possession-monopolising, patient passing game.

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We are playing history and Argentina at the World Cup, says Phil Neville


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• This is a proud football nations, adds England’s head coach
• Jade Moore likely to start in midfield as rotate squad

England’s challenge on Friday night in a city designed by the architect Auguste Perret – supposedly the “poet of reinforced concrete” – is to deconstruct an Argentinian backline suddenly looking as unyielding as cement.

“We’ll face man-to-man marking from defenders who want to defend and be aggressive,” said Phil Neville. “It will be hard to break them down.”

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Lionesses lean into Phil Neville’s gruelling new England philosophy


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Neville’s players see the bigger Women’s World Cup picture beyond his demanding, ball-monopolising tactics

For a manager whose team had just won their opening World Cup game, Phil Neville looked distinctly disgruntled. In a telling cameo, he gathered England’s players in a post-match huddle, appearing distinctly stern, almost scary, as he deconstructed a disappointing second-half performance in ruthlessly admonitory fashion.

No matter that the Lionesses had beaten Scotland 2-1 in Nice, leaving them top of Group D as they prepare for Friday night’s game against Argentina in Le Havre – they had strayed from their manager’s pass‑and-move mantra.

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England’s Fran Kirby fears VAR handball law offers cynical way to win penalties


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• England profit from ‘unnatural position’ rule in Scotland win
• Kirby says players could be tempted to aim at defenders’ arms

England’s Fran Kirby fears cynical players and managers will be tempted to exploit the new handball rules to win penalties.

Related: David Squires on … the Women’s World Cup and arms in unnatural positions

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