Our Final Word On The 2011 Womens World Cup

In covering football tournaments on 200%, I have found it easy to see the good in them. Too easy for some tastes, I admit. But, honestly, the 2011 Women’s World Cup was a belter, wasn’t it? I was glad to be wrong about the winners. BBC analyst Lucy Ward’s suggestion during the final that current coach Pia Sundhage had rid the USA squad of much of its former arrogance was an eyebrow-raiser, although it was more possible to feel sorry for Abby Wambach after her largely-inspirational 2011 displays than it had been in 2007. Sundehage broke into song at one tournament press conference (Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Feeling Groovy’ if you MUST know) and reportedly reduces squad tensions by picking up a guitar and belting out some country-and-western classics. Oh for the arrogant days? Japan’s installation as the tournament’s ‘Barcelona’ now has a trophy alongside it. And for all the Catalan-based hype, Norio Sasaki’s side were worthy winners. They certainly learned more from defeat to England than Hope Powell’s team took from victory over them. That result makes England moral World Champions, of course. But even the uber-patriotic Beeb fought shy of that suggestion. To paraphrase football magazine When Saturday Comes after Euro ‘92, you could say England beat the eventual winners, but you don’t. Amid his ill-informed tournament comments, the Daily Mail’s Martin Samuel suggested women’s football should “be...

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