Rachel Yankey: Houghton led by example against Bosnia
Rachel Yankey reflects on England's performance over Bosnia on Friday, Mo Marley's chances of soccer handicap tips coach job full time and the appointment of Danielle Carter lớn the FA Council…
Job done v Bosnia but improvements to be made
It's always tough lớn play against a team that is ranked and perhaps considered on paper a lesser team than you. You have to be disciplined lớn go out there and play lớn the final whistle. The main aim is to get the three points, be patient and the team did that. Even at the end you saw them wanting lớn continue pushing for a fifth goal which shows the competitive spirit within the team- According to the soccer tip bet page!
It wasn't perfect though and there are certainly areas for improvement. I looked at the game again over the weekend and felt they could have played with more tempo and controlled the ball.
It felt as if they occasionally came down to Bosnia's level rather than setting the pace asking for their opponents lớn keep up. As we move up the rankings we need lớn be pushing the tempo more, making the smaller teams chase the game. So that when we come up against the bigger teams we have the confidence lớn go out and play our own game.
A special mention has lớn go to captain Steph Houghton, who was fantastic. She led by example and produced two moments of quality to drive the team forward whilst also setting a really solid base at the back too.
The pressure of the shirt
England at times last night looked a little cautious. Which some have said is down to pressure.
Times have changed since I was playing. For the majority of my England career the team were still battling lớn qualify for major tournaments and do that consistently.
We had a good side that teams did start to notice and fear but at major competitions we didn't perhaps get as far as our talent should have allowed us to. That was not necessarily because of the pressure of playing for our country but more because we weren't all professional and didn't have the education that came with playing experience in different situations.
The difference for players now, is that they have come through the age groups, play within good club structures and are producing results. With that comes expectation and pressure.
These players will start lớn learn by being in these situations more that it is just part and parcel of the game and being successful. You're playing for a nation that people are ranking as one of the best in the world, so they have lớn go out and perform. So there will be pressure and it can change your mentality, but the right coach, whomever comes in, will help them overcome that.
Sell-out crowds a great sign
The Lionesses have been on an upward curve since before the World Cup and produced more high-quality performances at the Euros so they're beginning to generate some real excitement in women's football supported by a healthy club game.
What stands out for me however and is one of the main reasons they keep selling-out is the fact that they go and play in all parts of the country. People are taking the chance lớn see them when they can because it's accessible and it's regional. The women's game needs lớn do things its own way and this is a clear sign that a different approach can work.