STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Fans attending the sold-out Women’s Euro 2022 final between England and Germany on Sunday will be treated to a clash of flair and organisation as the two best teams fight it out for the title, Irish TV pundit and FIFA technical expert Lisa Fallon has told Reuters.
Fallon, who is covering the tournament for Irish broadcaster RTE and who works with analysts of the game for world governing body FIFA, has been impressed by the general level of play at the tournament in England, and says the best is yet to come.
“I think we are in for a spectacular final on Sunday, and I cannot wait for it,” she said in a telephone interview.
Holder of a UEFA Pro coaching licence, Fallon was the first woman to coach a men’s senior team in her native Ireland before going on to work with a host of clubs and national associations, including a stint as game analyst and strategist for Women’s Super League champions Chelsea.
She then took up her role at FIFA, where she travels to major tournaments like the Euros to analyse developments together with a team of experts under the guidance of former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development.
“Probably the biggest eye-opener at this Euros is that people are looking at it and going, ‘goodness, the women’s game at the highest level is extremely tactical’. The players are extremely technical, technically able, and the physicality and the pace and the tempo of the games is intense,” she explained.
“I think people looking at it now are probably realising that there is no difference really, from the highest level of the men’s game to the highest level of the women’s game, in terms of how the teams are prepared.
“The biggest gap is in resources, finances and funding, but I think technically, tactically, physically, people can see that the women’s game is at an exceptionally high level now, and that it’s only going to continue to grow.”
Fallon singled out Germany as a flexible side that have changed tactics to beat different opponents, pointing to their ability to aggressively press the opposition as one of their strengths.
However, free-scoring hosts England have been able to find the time and space for their creative players to flourish, and Fallon expects an intriguing tactical battle at Wembley.
“I think personally, that the best two teams are in the final, so from a supporter’s perspective and a neutral perspective, we are so lucky, because that doesn’t always happen. And I think we’re going to have one of, if not the best women’s Euro finals that we’ve ever had,” Fallon said.
“It’s going to be a tactical game, technical, it’s going to have moments of magic; and it’s going to be physical, and it’s going to be aggressive, and it’s going to be high tempo.”
(Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Christian Radnedge)