Your Syndicate Daily is proudly presented by a most through look at 25 contemporary Italian female writers by a genuinely brilliant scholar.
An ultra-niché reference serves as the sponsor for our final Syndicate Chapter.
An unwaveringly deep commitment to deep research lives in an another, as does content that that comes straight from the heart.
Nel profondo del mio cuore, sempre.
Day 18: Recap
Straight up: 20-5-4
Another blowout involving the hostesses, mates. Unlike the 8-0 drubbing over Norway we witnessed in round two, however, there should be no need for anyone to debate the issue of whether this is good for women's football.
Alessia Russo's filthy-slick back heel finish is rather unambiguously 'effing well awesome for women's football. So too was just about everything associated with Fran Kirby's night before the England legend spotted Hedvig Lindahl off her line.
What a stupendous pair of goals! We're halfway there regarding the Final that we all truly want to see. If my Mädels can manage to take care of business tomorrow, we'll have a pair of women's footballing behemoths set to meet Sunday at Wembley.
S.S.S. Tactical Breakdown
Not all that much to talk about tactically tonight. The England-Spain fixture from the quarters, along with the Netherlands-France encounter from the same round, were the more interesting (and possibly last) tactics-laden matches of the tournament.
Not uncommonly at this stage, it's pretty much all about teams with set tactics digging deep to give what they have left. What transpired this evening basically amounted to a vastly superior England side dismantling a tanking team that we were all very concerned about.
Lineup—England—Match Five (4-2-3-1) (7/26/22)
If the bookie's eyes didn't deceive, the familiar midfield "split-stagger" wasn't there. For whatever reason, Wiegman wanted her girls in a rigid 4-2-3-1 this time. I'd hazard a guess that she wanted Stanway and Walsh to remain axially chained so as to allow Frank Kirby to drop back more often and safely to pick up deep balls on the build.
That's obviously pure guesswork based on how Kirby moved during the opening half hour. The Chelsea Ladies star really got herself into the match early, looking in confident form long before she scored that late capper. A couple of rather meek changes from the Swedish trainer did manage to give the more static shape problems early.
Lineup—Sweden—Match Five (4-2-3-1) (7/26/22)
Well. Damn. Your friendly bookie honestly hates to brag, but he did build a better one. Gerhardsson's two changes from last time were to start 32-year-old Sofia Jakobsson in place of Johanna Rytting Kaneryd and inserting Hanna Glas (who has almost literally played everywhere this tournament) in for Amanda Nilden at left-back. Hrmph. So much for "the plan". Bookie at least put together something audacious. This was weak sauce.
Not a bad start to the match from the Blaugults, who did test England keeper Mary Earps twice in the opening eight minutes. The early efforts from Jakobsson, Blackstenius, and Rolfö were nevertheless sloppily finished. England had to weather a Swedish storm for upwards of 23 minutes. Gerhardsson's girls were more creatively variable in attack. Big deal. This independent oddsmaker wasn't convinced that we'd get a result off the set Line.
Beth Mead's superb first-touch (not to mention salivating finish off the turn) on that opening goal in the 34th pretty much put it beyond all doubt what type of gap in quality we were dealing with. The bookie harbored very few worries for the Lionesses after that. They were pretty much in control after that, with Bronze and Kirby in particular fired up and leading the charge.
How nice that the above-mentioned duo both got a tally to show for their efforts in this romp. Bookie remains confident that he's chosen the right word to describe this affair. It was totally one-sided. That's why we later saw Russo and Kirby comfortably and confidently throwing out their flicks and tricks.
Might as well get straight to the grades.
Grades—England (Match Five)
Frankly sensational really. Bronze and Daly get slight a docking for early defensive errors. Stanway and White don't deserve much flak for finding it difficult to locate the right finish from difficult angles. Lauren Hemp came agonizingly close to her own tally, occasionally miscuing. No matter as she was instrumental in some of the other goals. A little bit of a quiet night from Walsh.
That's it. Everyone was damn near perfect. The icy stabs of fear aren't exactly molesting the bookie's heart just yet, partially because I have my own Mädels to worry about first. The strength of the opponent also plays an enormous role. Very, very pleased that the hostesses can claim this moment. They were absolutely sublime.
The team they were playing against still really sucked.
Let's bid farewell to this program that just fell apart in the last two fixtures.
S.S.S. Salute to Fallen Comrades
-5 Games played
-9 Goals Scored
Previous Sweden Coverage
Slightly embarrassed about the pre-tournament favorite status after these last two displays. Not to say that they had a poor tourney by any stretch of the imagination. For a brief moment after the group stage concluded, it looked as if they were about to pick up the pace and make a run.
It could have gone a different way. Instead, we've this set of grades to discuss. Ugh. Bookie maintains Germanized name spelling privileges for this bunch of stiffs. I'll misspell these names however the hell I want to.
Grades—Sweden (Match Five)
Wow. I don't have an "A-level" or even a "B+" player to tell you about. The wheels really came off for this team. Just like their Scandinavian Sisters Norway, they rounded out the tourney with two awful matches. Head-coach Gerhardsson isn't quite as much to blame as now unemployed Norwegian trainer Martin Sjørgen. He still made several wrong calls in the bookie's opinion.
Probably no need for a managerial course correction ahead of next summer's World Cup. If there were a time to consider it, it would be now as the country has already qualified. I think it's just a matter of getting Kaneryd, Hanna Bennison, and possibly Rebecca Blomqvist into the starting XI.
It's an aging team. Perhaps that's the main problem. Collectively, they didn't have the stamina for tournament football this time out. Regrettably, there aren't many youngsters other than Bennison coming through the pipeline.
They'll make a respectable showing in the next major competition, but one might as well scratch them off the list of true contenders for the World Championship. A positive that we learned that invaluable lesson here.
“Riffs of the Day”—Day Eighteen
Reader: Damn, you do know how to pick a Line.
Vicey: And don't you forget it, 5-M. Incidentally, the bookie has set his final line. I could have mentioned that in the last section. Seeing as how this is our final chapter and the all bets remain off for the Final, there is no more bookie business after tomorrow. That's nearly all, folks!
Reader: "Big Momma Hedvig" needs to retire.
Vicey: Bookie concurs, 19-M. Why do keepers feel the need to hang on so long? Who the hell wants humiliating shots of your 39-year-old ass picking the ball out of the back of the net sent around the world.
...and we'll throw that one up again just for good measure. This is about as bad as Patrik Schick's dressing down of David Marshall last Summer. All the cameras these days really capture the "fishnet keeper" shots for posterity. Oops again.
Reader: Does the U.S. Studio crew really need to use the "always a bridesmaid" analogy when it comes to Sweden?
Vicey: Thought it was fairly antiquated myself, 11-M. I thought we were all "woke" these days and women didn't need things like marriage. It's honestly fine by me as I never really needed a thing like marriage either. Dammit. I thought we were on the same page.
Reader: Sigh. This one didn't sell out either.
Vicey: Sure didn't, 19-M. Bramall Lane came in some 4,000 seats short of capacity. Of course, we are in Sheffield. Not a lot of people wish to travel to England's equivalent of Wolfsburg....only with far fewer chances of gainful employment.
Reader: Oh, that Russo back-heel. Long Live Football, Vicey.
Vicey: Long live football, my various amalgamated -Ms.
LONG LIVE FOOTBALL!
Reader: Such a sweet from Fran Kirby. Long live football!
Vicey: Specific shoutouts to 6, 74, 79, and 119-M here.
LONG LIVE FOOTBALL!
Reader: It's all shaping up for you Vicey. Will the syndicate end on a German victory?
Vicey: It will, 23-M. It surely will.
LONG LIVE FOOTBALL!
Deutschland vs. France
Not concerned. Sorry I'm not. Betting remain open for those who wish to take advantage of the bookie's higher line.
THE LINE: Deutschland +2 Goals (rolling up soft from +1)
GENTLEMEN, ENTER YOUR WAGERS