Match Reaction: Featuring Beth Mead26 Jun, 2022
In their last home game before the Euros England welcomed reigning champions the Netherlands to Elland Road. An exciting fixture on paper but I’m not sure anyone could’ve predicted the outcome we got.
At halftime Beth Mead entered the game and made an instant impact; scoring twice and earning herself the Player of the Match trophy. She is well on her way to being one of the team’s best players going into the summer.
Playing against some familiar faces in the Dutch team Mead looked like she was having a lot of fun on the pitch. She opened the second half scoring with eight minutes played, just a minute after the Netherlands had missed a penalty to send them ahead.
In front of nearly 20,000 fans the Lionesses ran riot and at the death Mead doubled her tally, in doing so she broke the record for the most goals scored in one season for England. With 14 goals she overtakes Jimmy Greaves, who set the previous record of 13 in the 1960-61 season.
After making such an impact from the bench it is clear to see how much she is enjoying her football right now.
“It’s always a nice feeling, some days you have bad days and some things don’t fall right but tonight they did for me. It’s been a lot of hard work on the pitch but it’s a lot of sweat and tears going into training as well.”
“We were disappointed with our first-half performance today, we got told that at halftime, and we came out second half a different team and played some good football. Credit to some of the subs today, I thought the girls were exceptional when they came on,” she added.
With the amount of talent in the squad Wiegman is going to have a hard time selecting her first 11 when they get to Old Trafford in less than two weeks time; but Mead has been working hard to ensure her name is in the mix for that starting shirt.
“Competition always makes you play better and it makes you compete. This season I’ve had to compete for my position for club and country and it’s made me better as a player.
“I’m enjoying the challenge, I know that I’ve got to do every session to the best of my ability and try and bring that onto the pitch as well.
Mead added: “Of course I’d love to be starting on that first day but that’s Sarina’s decision at the end of the day.”
As they remain unbeaten under Wiegman, having scored 80 goals and conceded just three, many people are starting to peg England as favourites for the Euros. However, with the added pressure of it being on home soil the players can’t let anything go to their heads.
“We stay level-headed. We’ve got the quality and depth in the squad to do really well. But like tonight we didn’t play very well first half, that could happen in games [in the tournament]. We’re confident in the direction we are going in and we’re enjoying our football so that’s the best we can do.”