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The topic of the week has got to be England’s heartbreakingly brutal exit from the Women’s World Cup. Laura Bassett’s own goal meant that the Lionesses narrowly missed out on a World Cup final as Japan took the lead.
However, Bassett’s own goal should not be the defining moment of this World Cup - as Karen Carney said to the BBC, the second ambition of the side was to inspire a nation, and they’ve done a damned good job of that.
Despite ratings in the Super League taking a while to heat up, an average of 1.74 million people (peak 2.4 million) tuned in to watch the Lionesses kick off their semi final at 12am on Thursday morning. The media have provided far better coverage of women’s football during this World Cup than any previous tournament, and for once I have seen positivity massively outweigh negativity towards the women’s game on social media such as twitter.
Unfortunately the women’s team now face losing the momentum they have worked so hard to gather as they are unable to compete in the 2016 Olympics due to disputes with the other home nations. While the English FA wanted to put forward both a women’s team and a men’s team - however the other home nations argued that to play in a joint team would undermine the individual bodies.
It seems ridiculous that after all the hard work everyone involved in the game has put in, in order to support the women’s game, that England women now have to miss out on one of the best opportunities to show what they can do - playing in Brazil, where women’s football is taken seriously.
16 year old Reece Oxford became West Ham United’s youngest ever senior player as the Hammers handed him a debut in their Europa League tie against FC Lusitans on Thursday evenings.
He was named the academy of the player last season and also captained England in the European Under 17’s Championships in Bulgaria.
I personally think it’s great to see homegrown youth being given opportunities to play football, in domestic leagues and international. The Premier League is notorious for being the world’s most elite and lucrative league, and therefore attracts a wealth of foreign players.
While foreign players undoubtedly enhance the overall quality of the league, bringing with them excitement and unseen flair, it does mean that homegrown prospects stand less of a chance of gaining Premier League experience.
In my opinion, this is one of the reasons that England fail to succeed internationally as many of our younger talents do not get the chance to gain the experience of playing in the Premier League, or playing against players they will come up against internationally.
It would be great to see more young players being given a chance to prove themselves.
As some of you will know I am a Blackburn Rovers fan, and this summer looks like it is going to be a long one. Having already lost pacy winger Josh King to Bournemouth, and most recently Tom Cairney to Fulham, the squad is already splitting at the seams.
I still believe Rudy Gestede will leave the club, and if the right amount of money comes in the club will be forced to sell Jordan Rhodes given the dire financial circumstances we find ourselves under.
Our transfer embargo puts us in a difficult situation, and I think we were foolish not to offer Chris Taylor a new contract straight away, as he is the fighting sort of player we need in the squad.
However, I would like to wish Josh King and Tom Cairney the best of luck with their new clubs, and thank them for the time they spent with us. It’s just a good job that I didn’t get Cairney on the back of my shirt..