The United States women’s national team—three World Cups and four Olympic gold medals to their name—will meet England—zero of either—tomorrow afternoon in Lyon to decide who plays in Sunday’s final, and the English seem rather perturbed with the brimming confidence shown by the Americans.
We begin with the Daily Mail—Pravda for people named Fauntleroy—whose Monday edition dedicated a full two-page spread to the question of whether or not the Americans were too arrogant. The article also posited that “complacency and hubris” could cost “Ellis’ team of all-conquering multi-millionaires,” which is either a hilarious misread or a confused call for equal pay.
The drama also extended to England manager Phil Neville, who became irritated with the U.S. for what he thought was an improper hotel visit. England are currently housed in the same hotel in Lyon that the two finalists will stay in ahead of this weekend’s final also in Lyon, and apparently, two USWNT staffers scoped out the hotel in case the Americans have to stay there.
Coach Jill Ellis called it standard preparation, but Neville attempted to make a mountain out of this particular molehill in what is either an effort to motivate his players to think the Americans are already looking past them or an incredible piece of whining:
“We were training, I hope they enjoyed the hotel but it’s not something we would do — sending someone round to another team’s hotel,” Neville said.
“I am sure that Jill probably wouldn’t have been happy with that arrangement. I wouldn’t have been if that was my team ops person going round. I am sure they will be dealing with their own infrastructure within their own discipline problem.”
“It’s not etiquette, really. It’s not something I would allow from our organization.”
Naturally, the USWNT also scouted hotels in Nice, where the third-place match is being played. Maybe they can give England some tips!