Football News

England’s Arnold Clark Cup squad: Leah Williamson named captain but Lotte Wubben-Moy drops out

By Harry Edwards

Published: 13:35, 17 February 2022


Sarina Wiegman has named her 23-player England squad to participate in the inaugural Arnold Clark Cup in February, facing Canada, Germany and Spain.

The February international break is usually the time for Women’s teams to play friendly tournaments, with the SheBelieves Cup possibly the most popular and well-known one. England have previously taken part in that United States-hosted tournament, entering five times and winning it in 2019. However, this year they have decided to host their own tournament.

The Arnold Clark Cup will see Wiegman’s side take on Olympic champions Canada as well as eight-time European champions Germany, and Spain, who are rising the ranks in Europe aided by their Barcelona talent. With three tricky games ahead and the European Championships in the summer, there was some speculation on how Wiegman would fill her squad, going with the more established stars or handing first call-ups to those in form.

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It has been a case of the former with no new names in the squad, but there are some returning faces. Ellie Roebuck is back after missing the start of the season due to injury, also recently returning in goal for Manchester City. She has been joined in the squad by Man City teammate Lucy Bronze, also back from injury and Arsenal defender Leah Williamson, but Steph Houghton has once again been ruled out due to injury and Lotte Wubben-Moy has dropped out due to injury.

With Houghton out, Williamson has been chosen to captain England for the Arnold Clark Cup, and the Arsenal defender is looking to end a run of underachievement for the Lionesses.

“I think the dynamic of the team has changed a little bit [under Wiegman],” she said.

“We’ve realised ultimately, we’ve potentially underachieved the last few tournaments and I think everybody wants to turn that around, so it’s more of a collective push to reach the next standard, which is bringing out the best in everybody.

“This is some of the most competitive training I’ve been involved in for a long time here. The fight for positions, the fight to reach your potential, it’s all tying in nicely. Then obviously this week, we get an opportunity to learn more about ourselves which is a gift really, just to focus on the summer.”


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Man City do once again dominate the squad with a total of nine players involved, including Jill Scott who is spending the second half of the Women’s Super League season on loan at Aston Villa. There is also a spot in the squad for Arsenal midfielder Jordan Nobbs, who many believed had been unfairly left out in the past when fit, given her quality in controlling the midfield.

Speaking after her announcement, Wiegman revealed she was working towards the European Championships hosted by England in the summer, which might explain the lack of fresh faces.

“I’m looking forward to playing against three world-class teams. It will be the perfect way to begin a big year, and we will get a lot of important information from training and the matches ahead of the Euros,” she said.

“The rhythm of three games in ten days will also help us, offering more opportunity for rotation, to understand more about our squad and the way we want to play. I know the players will be excited to test themselves against strong opponents.

“This tournament can only help us on our way to being ready for the opening match of the EUROs. That is what we are all working towards. It will also be special to go to three top stadiums in different parts of the country and I am sure the fans will give us great support once again.”

England get their Arnold Clark Cup campaign underway on February 17 at Middlesbrough’s Riverside stadium, hosting Olympic champions Canada in the first of three group games with the winner of the round robin taking the trophy. They then face Spain on February 20 at Carrow Road before closing against Germany at Molineux on February 23.

Germany, Spain and Canada will also take on each other in the format, with each day and stadium hosting a double header. But who is involved in those squads?

Canada

Olympic champions Canada will be without international football’s all-time top scorer Christine Sinclair following the death of her mother but former England assistant manager Bev Priestman has still been able to name a strong squad including Jessie Fleming, Ashley Lawrence, Deanne Rose and Kadeisha Buchanan. They are also the only nation to name four goalkeepers with Devon Kerr joining Kailen Sheridan, Erin McLeod and Sabrina D’Angelo.

Germany

Germany do have a number of big names out including Dzsenifer Marozsan, Alexandra Popp, Melanie Leupolz and Tabea Waßmuth but they still boast a lot of talent in their squad. Jule Brand, who has recently secured a summer move to Wolfsburg, Svenja Huth and Lena Oberdorf are all ready to feature, with the latter likely to play in defence despite featuring in midfield for Wolfsburg.

Spain

Barcelona are the best team in the world right now and they naturally dominate the Spain squad, which makes Jorge Vilda’s side a frightening prospect. Alexia Putellas, Jenni Hermoso and Aitana Bonmati are joined by the likes of Manchester United star Ona Batlle and Real Madrid’s Esther.

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