TUESDAY’S BIG STORIES
If you snoozed your alarm this morning more times than England found the net against Norway, we won’t blame you. Sunday was big. Two-day hangover big. You only needed a fleeting glance at the stage in Trafalgar Square to confirm this. Sunglasses galore.
'We want to create real change' - Lionesses urge future PM to build on Euro 2022
And it’s wonderful.
Jill Scott said she pulled an all-nighter, favouring rap battles with Millie Bright over pillow time. Lucy Bronze, practically wearing ski goggles to shield her fragile face, announced that England also fancied winning the World Cup next year. Ella Toone was still devastated that she scored her sensational chip without her eyelash extensions.
“I got my lashes done, and they fell out, now I’m at the final with no lashes,” said Toone, revealing she was off to Ibiza. “It’s a nightmare. I’m actually really gutted. My nails have come off.”
There is a barrier that exists between the men’s team and the fans. So many interactions feel like a PR checklist – keeping everyone happy, rolling out your favourite clichés. But with the Lionesses, it’s different. Maybe that will change as the game soars in its new dawn, but we really hope it doesn’t.
"What we've done for women and young girls that can look up and aspire to be us..." said captain Leah Williamson on stage.
"I think England have hosted an incredible tournament and we've changed the game in this country, and hopefully across Europe, across the world. But we said we wanted to make our legacy about winning and that's what we did."
It’s also nice to know that football can be experienced without fear of being chinned by a revved-up topless lad. Or taking your kids to a game without the threat of them learning the art of hatred and an entire dictionary of swear words. OK, that final point isn’t entirely true with Jill Scott around.
But if men’s football can showcase the worst of society – by nowhere near everyone involved, but enough to make the experience toxic – then the women’s game is the antithesis to that.
So if you’re a nice person, and our Warm-Up readers typically are, it’s down to you to help grow the game. Normalise women’s football. Go to a game. Or 10. Let’s keep this exceptional group of role models in the public eye.
Trafalgar Square best bits
The day began with a confession from a bleary-eyed Williamson:
As Freed From Desire – or more aptly, Beth Mead Is On Fire – blared out, Scott seize the microphone to interview a surprise guest on stage: an unavoidably fashionable Euro 2022 trophy. We would give this 10/10 but Scott opted for the cliché “how do you feel?” opener and that simply can’t go unpunished.
Eyelash-loving Toone cheekily claimed that she taught England men's captain Harry Kane how to finish like her.
And stop worrying, here’s your morning dose of Sweet Caroline.
The Warm-Up has reservations about having a foreigner in charge of national teams. Not because we’re awful humans, but because the point of international football should be the best from that nation – managers included.
But we’re now torn after Sarina Wiegman’s heroics. She’s not only proved that getting rid of Phil Neville is always a good option (sorry Phil), but helped raise the profile of the women’s game in this country and beyond immeasurably.
Girls can now go ‘I want to play for England one day’ or even ‘I want to manage England one day’. We should warn them: the Warm-Up wanted this too, still wants it in fact, and it’s yet to happen. But at least the dream is finally visible for everyone.
Which is why we’re throwing our support behind a bumper new contract for Wiegman, whose current deal expires in 2025. Let her have it until a youngster she inspired in 2022 is ready to take over.
As praise continues to flood in for Chloe Kelly’s iconic celebration at Wembley, let’s go back to 1999 and Brandi Chastain’s trailblazing moment after scoring the winning penalty at the World Cup.
IN THE CHANNELS
Sorry Tancredi pal, the Puskas has already been awarded to Alessia Russo’s backheel, but this can be a close second.
Just more basking in the sweet, sweet nectar of 0 years of hurt. Have a wonderful day.
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