IAN HERBERT: Has Sarina Wiegman met her match in ‘David Brent’? It’s chalk and cheese as Mrs Cool collides with bonkers Matildas boss Tony Gustavsson in World Cup semi-final

It was strictly Pom and Aussie enterprise 20 years in the past when Eddie Jones and Sir Clive Woodward despatched groups of their compatriots to the Rugby World Cup last. Today in the identical stadium there’s a curious teaching conflict between Swede and the Netherlands. Chalk and cheese, you say.

The theater of the pre-match press convention can typically appear to be a severe inconvenience to Sarina Wiegman, who, in direction of the top of a half-hour dialog yesterday, appeared startled to be requested if the eve of a World Cup semi-final was a time to ‘enjoy the joy’.

She left it to her captain, Millie Bright, to reply, earlier than the query stubbornly got here again to her. ‘Do you want me to…?’ she mentioned, lastly stating, “If we win, I enjoy it very much.”

Her Swedish counterpart, Tony Gustavsson, was the one having all of the enjoyable, throwing just a few grenades on the England ladies’s soccer staff receiving extra money than Australian soccer as an entire.

It was then revealed that two England gamers have been efficiently focused in Australia’s 2-0 pleasant victory over Wiegman’s staff in April.

Sarina Wiegman’s England staff will tackle Australia within the semi-finals of the Women’s World Cup

Wiegman takes on Australia’s Swedish coach Tony Gustavsson (pictured)

The Lionesses have been making ready for the sport at Stadium Australia in Sydney on Tuesday

One of the 2 can be defender Jess Carter, whom the Matildas repeatedly remoted when winger Hayley Raso gave her a troublesome time on the suitable flank.

There was one thing equally carefree about Gustavsson’s keeper, Mackenzie Arnold, being requested if Australian streets have been named after her.

“I’ve had to block it because I know if I play like shit tomorrow it could be a completely different reaction,” she mentioned. You thanked somebody for meting out with the standard warning of those staged occasions.

There is definitely one thing from the David Brent to Gustavsson, who was a sport away from being dismissed 17 days in the past when Australia performed Canada.

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Wiegman appeared to let go of some emotion for a second when the concept of ​​Australia’s biggest menace emerged.

“Australia isn’t just Sam Kerr,” she replied. But her about half an hour within the digital camera’s gaze was very completely different from her predecessor Phil Neville, who may very well be self-deprecating, inspirational, emotional, unintentionally comedic and wasted a whole lot of power in moments like this.

“Grab it with both arms, both legs, all your body,” was his message to the staff 4 years in the past earlier than the semi-final towards the United States.

The 53-year-old’s cool, rational administration and unwillingness to carry a monologue when a punishment suffices now appears to use. From the primary day working together with her, Wiegman’s England gamers have been struck by her insistence that they’ve the brains to resolve what to do with the ball.

“She has this thing where the player on the ball is the one who makes the decision and you’re in control,” Bright mentioned final summer season.

“That’s one thing I loved about her coming. You don’t feel pressured to play a particular pass. If it’s wrong, you’ll make a better decision next time. It gives me confidence.’

Millie Bright (left) and Wiegman (right) spoke to Bright ahead of the game and claimed her manager’s philosophies ‘give her confidence’

Wiegman also spoke about their opponents, saying ‘Australia isn’t just Sam Kerr’ (centre)


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This was a point Wiegman emphasized during the most expansive moment of her press conference. “The players make their own decisions and adapt to each situation,” she mentioned. “Of course things go wrong, but they do. You just take the next action.’

Tensions were still running here last night. Australian cricketer David Warner weighed in on a dig over the ball change in the fifth Ashes test at the Oval. “Just keep an eye out in case the Poms ask to switch the ball,” he tweeted.

The nation’s Daily Telegraph despatched a helicopter into enemy territory. “If the Lionesses of England thought they would happily fly into the semi-finals of the World Cup under the radar, they were in for a rude shock,” he mentioned. “We’ve sent the helicopter to see how the old enemy is preparing.”

Gustavsson loved the eye. Wiegman rose above it. “We’re ready,” she mentioned. “You just focus on what you have control over.”