England manager Gareth Southgate speaks during a press conference at St. George’s Park, Burton upon Trent November 10, 2022. — Reuters pic
LONDON, Nov 15 — Sarina Wiegman has wished the England men’s team “very good luck” at the World Cup in Qatar as they bid to emulate her Lionesses by winning a major trophy.
Wiegman guided the England women’s team to victory at Euro 2022. It is more than 56 years since the England men’s team last won a significant piece of silverware — the 1966 World Cup.
England’s men begin their Qatar campaign against Iran on November 21 as they look to improve on their World Cup semi-final showing of four years ago and an agonising penalty shoot-out loss to Italy in last year’s Covid-delayed Euro 2020 final at London’s Wembley Stadium.
“We have spoken a little bit — not very recently, but we have,” Wiegman told Sky Sports of her conversations with men’s team manager Gareth Southgate.
“I would just like to wish them very good luck,” said the Dutchwoman, who played 99 times for the Netherlands and then coached her native country before joining England.
The Premier League only came to a halt for the World Cup on Sunday, leaving Southgate with little time to prepare his squad ahead of their arrival in Qatar.
“It is pretty hard, having players just playing this weekend now going out with such a small time to prepare but, still, they are very good players,” said Wiegman.
“I just hope they do really well and they are able to enjoy it too and get through to lots of stages.”
Wiegman’s team face Norway in their final international match of 2022 in Spain. England hammered the Scandinavians 8-0 when the teams last met in a pool match during the Euros in July.
“We expected a different Norway when we played them (in July), I think we played really well and they didn’t have a good day,” Wiegman said.
“So then it can go to 8-0. I think now they have changed.
“They have changed coaches and they have changed their style of play, they’re a little bit more defensive — or they put a little bit more emphasis on the defence.
“That game (in the Euros) was really nice because it made us qualify for the next round and that was a good moment.
“This is a totally different situation. They have some other players, they have another coach, they have a little different style of play, another shape we expect, so it’s going to be different.” — AFP