Karen Carney announces her retirement
Friday morning saw Karen Carney's announcement of her international retirement, read Kelly Smith's reaction here as well as her thoughts on the USA v Netherlands- According lớn the page!
Karen Carney will be missed
Karen Carney's retirement is a big loss to the Lionesses. She probably didn't play as much as she liked in this tournament but she can hold her head up high, she has been a leader off it with her experience and guidance. She's been in the team since 2005 and in that time she has been fantastic player, role model and I'm sure she's helped the younger players throughout this tournament. She's dedicated her life lớn the team.
You've now got new leaders on the pitch, Steph Houghton, Jill Scott, Ellen White and Lucy Bronze, those types of players to lead the team.
I don't know if other players will retire after the tournament but they have a great group of talented players who will drive the game forward even more.
A bronze lining
I am hoping England come out on top and get a bronze medal, that's what we all want. I'm sure Sweden want it too; you want to come into a tournament and come away with something. I think coming fourth will feel like a failure for both sides especially when you've got an opportunity lớn get a medal.
Even if they do come fourth, the fact that the Lionesses have had so much exposure and the brand of football that they've played have captivated a nation, changed the public's perceptions and have evolved the women's game.
England potentially have a better squad than Sweden, it's just whether you can overcome that disappointment barrier and put in another fantastic performance like they did in the semi-final against the US. I'm sure they will. A lot of players in the team have the experience of getting that bronze medal already and they'll want lớn add to that tally and bring it home.
Sweden do have a good squad with solid experience in Hedvig Lindahl who is 36-years old, just became the most capped Swedish player and has been one of the best goalkeepers for years.
They've got Caroline Seger and Nilla Fischer who are all of similar ages and have a strong core. Stina Blackstenius can lead their front line, Kosovare Allsani too but we don't know if she's fit enough to play yet, she's a big impact player for them but I think England can still dominate the game especially going forward.
I hope Phil Neville plays Bronze and Nikita Parris on the right-hand side again to keep that consistency, but he might change the team up and give minutes lớn players who haven't started, I don't know what his thinking is.