Sarina Wiegman: No chance Scotland will let England win to aid GB Olympic hopes

By Sports Desk December 04, 2023

England boss Sarina Wiegman has stressed there is “no way” Scotland are going to “give away” the game when the sides meet at Hampden Park on Tuesday in their final Nations League group fixture.

The second-placed Lionesses may need a high-scoring win against the already-relegated Scots to claim top spot in the group, the finish required to keep Wiegman’s team in contention to secure Paris 2024 Olympic qualification for Great Britain.

With England success on that front the only way Scottish players will be able to play at the Games, Andries Jonker, head coach of group leaders the Netherlands, described the situation as “strange” after England’s 3-2 win over the Dutch at Wembley on Friday.

Wiegman told a press conference on Monday: “I understand the conversations about it.

“But if you have seen our group, seen Scotland and know the history of Scotland and England, then there’s no way that they are going to give away this game. They really want to beat England and we want to beat them, of course.

“There’s such a rivalry that that is absolutely not going to be the case. We saw it when we played in England (a 2-1 win for England in September).

“I don’t have the solution. This is the first time we’ve played the Nations League, and how are you going to solve this situation? Maybe you don’t want them in the same group, but then if Scotland topped another group, we topped one and we went into the finals, you’d have the same situation.

“It’s just about fair play, about football, and in football everyone wants to win, and we know the rivalry.

“We have professional players here who really want to show up – England players and Scottish players. I think it’s going to be a good game where everyone wants to perform at their highest level.”

England midfielder Keira Walsh said: “Nobody is questioning the professionalism of this game.

“They’ve got some top players, so do we and we both want to win. I don’t think it’s a case of they’ll be thinking about anything else, I think we both want to play a good game and hopefully win.”

While England and the Netherlands, each on nine points from five games, are locked on head to head record, the latter have a goal difference that is superior by three. The Dutch on Tuesday host a Belgium outfit who lie a point behind in third.

Wiegman said of her players: “You don’t want to be erratic. We want to be controlled, but we really want to play our best game and create chances, get a lot of players up front, but do the right things, make the right choices, stay calm at all moments and score as a team, and again then don’t concede any.

“Lets start, play a possession game, try to get in behind the defence, create lots of chances and score.”

England battled back to triumph on Friday after being 2-0 down at half-time, with the second Dutch goal coming when Mary Earps got a glove to Lineth Beerensteyn’s shot but could not stop it crossing the line.

Earps afterwards said she had “really let the team down”, something Wiegman then said was not the case.

Walsh added: “Mary has saved us in so many situations. For me, she’s always been there in the big moments for us, so she really doesn’t need to take that on herself.

“It has to go past 10 other players before it gets to her and I think there were numerous mistakes leading up to that one.

“She’s in good spirits now I think. Even at breakfast this morning she was making jokes about it. Mary’s delivered before so I’m pretty sure she will again.”

Related items

  • Football rumours: Chelsea eye potential replacement for Mauricio Pochettino Football rumours: Chelsea eye potential replacement for Mauricio Pochettino
    What the papers say

    Big changes could be in the pipeline at Chelsea on and off the pitch this summer, according to various reports. The Daily Mail says Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim is a possible replacement for manager Mauricio Pochettino.

    On the field, the club are looking to sell defender Trevoh Chalobah, 24, and Albania forward Armando Broja, 22, according to The Daily Telegraph. England midfielder Conor Gallagher, 24, and Spain left-back Marc Cucurella, 25, could also leave in the summer.

    Summer changes are also expected at Manchester United. The Manchester Evening News says Brazil winger Antony, 24, is among the players they would be prepared to sell.

    Victor Osimhen is eyeing a move to the Premier League, according to The Sun. Arsenal and Chelsea are believed to be heading the race for the Napoli striker, 25, although Manchester United and Paris St Germain are also reportedly  interested.

    Social media round-upPlayers to watch

    Alphonso Davies: Real Madrid have reached agreement to sign the Bayern Munich and Canada left-back, 23, in the summer or next year, according to The Athletic.

    Joao Palhinha: Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Arsenal are chasing the Fulham and Portugal midfielder, 28, reports Football Insider.

  • On this day in 2011: Obafemi Martins scores late winner in Carling Cup final On this day in 2011: Obafemi Martins scores late winner in Carling Cup final

    On this day in 2011, Obafemi Martins scored a late winner for Birmingham to beat Arsenal 2-1 in the Carling Cup final.

    Nikola Zigic headed the Blues in front in the 28th minute before Robin van Persie found the equaliser with a volley.

    The game looked destined for extra time when a mix-up at the back from Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny proved costly.

    Szczesny spilled Zigic’s header after Koscielny mis-kicked the ball and the loose ball rolled into the path of an unmarked Martins.

    The substitute then tucked the ball home into an empty net to seal victory and he described his goal post-match as “the easiest of my career”.

    “I think this is the easiest goal I’ve ever scored in my career – and it’s very important,” Martins said.

    “I’m glad I scored today and I’m glad we won. I think it was my second touch. I’m very happy.”

    Reflecting on the costly mix-up, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed both Szczesny and Koscielny were left “destroyed”.

    He said: “Both of them [Koscielny and Szczesny] are destroyed. We have to lift them up again and help them, that is what a team is about, that is part of the game.

    “It was a lack of communication, determination a little bit as well. Like always, when the ball is in no-man’s land, someone has to take responsibility and go for it.

    “What was amazing [was that] no-one was going for the ball from Birmingham.”

  • Eric Ramsay leaves Manchester Utd coaching staff to become Minnesota Utd boss Eric Ramsay leaves Manchester Utd coaching staff to become Minnesota Utd boss

    Eric Ramsay has left Manchester United to join Minnesota United and become the youngest head coach in Major League Soccer history.

    The 32-year-old Welshman, who was a first-team coach under Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford, is the latest British coach to cross the Atlantic, joining the likes of Phil Neville and Dean Smith.

    In a statement issued by Minnesota United, Ramsay said: “I’m incredibly excited to be joining a club with such a strong football culture, a fanatic fan-base and a brilliant infrastructure.

    “I’ve spoken to a lot of the club’s staff throughout the process and you can’t help but feel everyone’s passion for moving the club forward.”

    Ramsay joined Manchester United as a coach under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2021 and also served as an assistant coach to the Welsh national team in 2023.

    He started his career working with junior levels at Swansea and also acted as interim head coach at his home-town club Shrewsbury before moving to work with the Chelsea Under-23s.

    Ramsay became the youngest British coach to earn his UEFA Pro Licence in 2019.

    Minnesota’s Chief Soccer Officer Khaled El-Ahmad said: “After an extensive search that included dozens of impressive domestic and international candidates, we are confident that Eric Ramsay is the best choice to lead our club.

    “His experience working with top-level players, coaches, and sporting staff at both the club and international level – as well as his alignment in playing style and development philosophy – all fit with the vision we have for the future of MNUFC.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.