On Monday, England head coach Mark Sampson named the 23-player squad for the upcoming Euro 2017 tournament. Richard Laverty breaks down the roster below.
Euro 2017 Roster
- Karen Bardsley (Manchester City)
- Siobhan Chamberlain (Liverpool)
- Carly Telford (Notts County)
- Laura Bassett (Notts County)
- Lucy Bronze (Manchester City)
- Alex Greenwood (Liverpool)
- Steph Houghton (Manchester City)
- Jo Potter (Notts County)
- Alex Scott (Arsenal)
- Demi Stokes (Manchester City)
- Casey Stoney (Liverpool)
- Millie Bright (Chelsea)
- Isobel Christiansen (Manchester City)
- Jade Moore (Notts County)
- Jordan Nobbs (Arsenal)
- Jill Scott (Manchester City)
- Fara Williams (Arsenal)
- Karen Carney (Chelsea)
- Toni Duggan (Manchester City)
- Fran Kirby (Chelsea)
- Nikita Parris (Manchester City)
- Jodie Taylor (Arsenal)
- Ellen White (Birmingham City)
Rachel Daly Is the Big Omission
I personally spent a lot of time over the weekend trying to dissect Mark Sampson’s pool of players and work out his squad of 23 announced on Monday afternoon.
Getting 22 correct wasn’t a bad outcome but few expected Houston Dash’s Rachel Daly to be the one who missed out. Since being called up for last summer’s Euro qualifiers — and scoring on her debut — Daly has been a constant in Sampson’s squad and shown her versatility by playing as both a striker and a wing back.
Taken into account Sampson’s liking for versatile players it was a surprise to see Daly miss out but it also proves the quality Sampson is dealing with in trying to announce a squad.
The manager told Our Game Magazine, “It’s a tough one for a number of players and they could all argue a strong case – I wouldn’t deny that.”
“Unfortunately, Rachel will be one of those incredibly disappointed but she’s played an important role in helping our team but we’re absolutely confident the 23 we’ve got are the right 23 for the European Championships.”
Experience Is the Key Value
Sampson has never hidden the fact this squad would not be picked on form and the number of players over 30 or those with more than 100 caps was noticeable as the names were read out on Monday morning.
Of the 23 players heading for the Netherlands, 19 went to Canada and Sampson said pre-announcement that he had to “respect” the journey the team had been on, hence the likes of Laura Bassett, Casey Stoney, Fara Williams, and Alex Scott all keeping their spots since gradually seeing themselves play less and less minutes for their country.
On the one hand it makes sense, Sampson has continued to put his trust in players he knows he can trust and have good characters and the necessary experience needed to keep their cool when we get to the business end of the tournament.
Carly Telford’s selection emphasizes the point. While the 29-year-old has spent most of the past 12 months on the sidelines watching Mary Earps flourish, it’s clear who Sampson would prefer to call upon in a big game should his first two choices fall by the wayside.
2015 Influenced 2017 Squad
It was clear as soon as Sampson started discussing his squad on Monday morning that the 2015 World Cup had a big influence on his selection for Euro 2017; you’d have been forgiven for wondering if he actually picked his squad on the flight home from Montreal…
It was a moment in which Sampson saw he was onto something, and however up and down results have been since, the squad he has now was largely responsible for everyone coming home from Canada with a bronze medal around their necks.
But let’s hope it doesn’t have a negative influence. While England’s major rivals have introduced exciting new talent to their squads over the course of the past 24 months, only four new players have ushered out previous squad members. It means younger players like Fran Kirby have two years more experience, there may be question marks over the capability of some of the older players to still cut it at the top level.
It once again comes back to how Sampson values character. Laura Bassett was nothing short of sensational in Canada but has barely stepped on the pitch since. But if she’s needed, Sampson knows she can be trusted and if she’s not needed, Bassett is a much-needed character to have around the squad when the going gets tough.
Sampson will live and die by these big calls (and he knows it). The knives will be out should England flop this summer.
A Few Players Have a lot to Prove
Though there’s much discussion about those who have kept their places from 2015, there also has to be keen eyes on those returning from long-term injuries.
Though time away should leave the likes of Carly Telford, Alex Scott, Alex Greenwood, and Fran Kirby fresh as daisies, they now have to prove that Sampson may be right to not bow down to form when it comes to selecting his squad.
Sampson has the luxury of players coming back from injuries rather than going to the tournament with several unfit players (as was the case two years ago), but it’s been almost a year since several of those players played regular football for their clubs. There’s no denying the talent someone like Fran Kirby holds at her feet but we have to hope there are no signs of rustiness once Scotland come out to play.
But There’s One Eye on the Future
If there was one small thing to appease any restless fans on Monday, it was the announcement of four currently uncapped players to the squad for this week’s friendlies against Italy and Austria – two of them in the squad for the first time.
Manchester City’s Melissa Lawley and Birmingham City’s Jess Carter have received well-earned call-ups while goalkeeper Sophie Baggaley and defender Hannah Blundell have been in several squads over the past few months.
Whether or not any of them get their debuts this week with Sampson likely to focus himself on the 19 going to the Netherlands, it shows behind the scenes there’s a knowledge that there are several players in the Euro squad that won’t be around for too much longer.