The Yorkies went mad.

The Lionesses’ surge to the final of the Women’s Euro’s may be a genuine phenomenon and a boon to the game across the UK, as opposed to just England. (Let’s hope). Despite The Authorities yet again underestimating and under-valuing these women themselves, and the importance of what they can and now are doing. Plainly, last night’s game could have been based at a venue at least twice the size of Bramall Lane; the players and the profile of the event arguably deserved that. No surprises that the Sports Admin Posse failed to rise to, anticipate or respect the inevitable Good Vibes Boom: that would mean understanding both the game and the population around it.

Having said that, of course England fed off the energy of the crowd in that ‘new’ Northern cauldron. A crowd that again seemed distinctive, with different voices, maybe fresher voices carrying the team home after another mixed start.

Spain absolutely slaughtered England in terms of style points and possession, for more than an hour. They found acres of space in front of Lucy Bronze and toyed with her at least as much as they did with her fellow full-back – yaknow, the one The Pundits called for to be dropped. Sweden could never outplay England in quite the same way that Spain had, but Bronze, increasingly looking like one of those worldies who’s started to believe her own publicity, was awful, defensively, early-doors. Slow to press and slack with her passing. In short, Sweden should have been 3-1 up inside ten minutes.

In the context of a 4-0 win in the other direction, this may not matter. It may indeed be churlish to be ‘concentrating on this’. But I do so because France and/or Germany will be. Either of these sides seem nailed-on to score against an England defending poorly out wide and so easy to pass through in midfield. Even the brilliant doughtiness of Bright and the wise, calm, cultured nature of Williamson may not be sufficient to hold the proverbial fort should their next opponents be offered space to race or pass into and time to cross or cut back.

There is universal acclaim for Wiegman, the manager; understandably so, for her record and her care. Players are apparently extraordinarily well-prepared and seem to be trusted to a high degree to both ‘stick to the plan’ and adapt. This is the great and generous way – the holistic way. Enable players and let them grow. It is in this context that the team selection should be seen.

Some of us might have dropped Hemp or even Kirby; both were below par in the early rounds. Others might have shed Daly. Many of us are even now wondering what Wiegman might be saying to Bronze, before the final: an old-fashioned bollocking, perhaps? Unlikely. Asked about the period in which England were again somewhere between ‘mixed’ and under the cosh, the England manager shrugged and said simply “again, the team found a way”.

At every level, you’re in Dreamland as a coach if your players show initiative, guts and ‘trust the process’ (that is delivery of their skillset). Mead epitomised this. Her form and use of the ball has been patchy, in my view and, despite the deluge of fawning over her goal-rush – 6, now and out in front for the Golden Boot – she will know that (or should). So what? After having a quiet early period, she neatly gathered a cross, swivelled automatically and struck the shot sweetly across the keeper. One nil. And England were off.

The goals were extraordinary. Good, from Mead, bit odd, from Bronze, as her decent-but-not-more-than-speculative nod bounced through. Russo’s backheel was manifestly an electrifying outrage; so much so that the bewildered Lindhal was woefully ‘megged. Kirby’s chip was nearly an absolute peach… but again the ‘keeper has to save it. Four bloody nil. No wonder the Yorkies went mad.

It’s already been a kind of triumph. It may be the kind that proves irresistible. But it may not. For all England’s brilliance in attack, they have looked nervy, looked bad in the early knockings too often for their support to be unconcerned. The formidable athletes in the French side may have a field day: England might be gone before they’ve started. It could happen.

Serena Wiegman will know this. She will have A Plan. But she will also be gifting her players – the same players – the right and the responsibility to sort it out.

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