Wiegman 'CAN'T recall Lauren James' for World Cup final

Sarina Wiegman CAN’T recall Lauren James for England’s World Cup final with Spain, Chris Sutton says on new preview show ‘It’s All Coming Up’

  • WATCH: Mail Sport’s preview show ‘It’s All Coming Up’ ahead of the big games 
  • Lauren James is available for selection for the first time since red card and ban 
  • WATCH: ‘It’s All Kicking Off’ – Episode 1 – Mail Sport’s brand new football show 

Chris Sutton has argued that Sarina Wiegman cannot recall Lauren James for England’s historic World Cup final on Sunday, on Mail Sport’s new preview show ‘It’s All Coming Up’.

The storied pundit claimed that it would be more sensible for England’s head coach to keep the Chelsea forward as a potent weapon off the bench during the clash.

But Sutton’s opinion was at odds with Mail Sport’s Ian Ladyman’s, when the pair spoke in their pre-weekend chat ahead of Monday’s release of their weekly full-length podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off’. 

England’s first-ever World Cup final comes after the Lionesses served host nation Australia an emphatic defeat at Stadium Australia on Wednesday. 

Although the Matildas levelled some of their own firepower at Wiegman’s side – including a wonder-strike by Chelsea’s Sam Kerr to restore parity for a spell – goals from Ella Toone, Lauren Hemp, and Alessia Toone snuffed out their side’s dreams of reaching a home final. 

Mail Sport’s Ian Ladyman (left) and Chris Sutton (right) chatted on ‘It’s All Coming Up’

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🤔 ‘She can’t put Lauren James straight back in’ 💪 ‘England have strength in depth, that’s how you win big tournaments’ Ian Ladyman & Chris Sutton disagree on whether Lauren James should START the World Cup Final 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Our new preview show ‘It’s All Coming Up’ is LIVE on YouTube & via Sptify & Apple Podcasts 🎙️ #laurenjames #england #lionesses #worldcup #wwc #worldcupfinal #fyp

Sarina Wiegman has a selection headache ahead of Sunday’s final as Lauren James is available

But ahead of Sunday, Wiegman has a selection headache on her hands in attack, as she mulls whether to start goalscorer Toone ahead of James. 

The 21-year-old received a red card and subsequent two-match ban for treading on Michelle Alozie during England’s last-16 tie against Nigeria but will be available for selection by her manager in the final. 

‘I think it’s one of those where Lauren James will come off the bench and probably impact the game, but (Wiegman) can’t put James straight back into the team as far as I can see,’ Sutton shared in the podcast. 

‘The team actually seem to be getting better the longer the tournament goes on, and the fact that Lauren James comes back and sits on the bench gives England another outstanding attacking player to come on and make an impact.’

Host Ladyman did not share Sutton’s viewpoint, instead arguing: ‘If you take a men’s analogy – say John Stones was playing in the World Cup for the England men’s team and he was suspended for a couple of games and they reached the final, John Stones would come straight back into that England team, would he not? 

England won an emphatic semi-final against Australia 3-1 on Wednesday to make history

‘Why should Lauren James not come back in? She’s one of the best eleven players.’

‘I think Lauren James, when she came into the tournament, she’s a bit of a rookie, she made her mark, she showed that moment of indiscipline, lost her head,’ Sutton continued. 

‘And England have improved their performances since then. While she may have been the one who sparked England’s performance, they’ve actually carried on and and performed consistently well. 

‘So I don’t necessarily think that that’s fair for her to come back into the starting lineup, but it’s a great position for Sarina Wiegman to actually be in where she has strength and depth within the squad. That’s how you win big tournaments.’ 

The pair also discussed Sutton’s rallying cry to build a statue for Wiegman if she pulls off the spectacular feat of winning both the European Championship and the World Cup. 

‘Worth pointing out that Sir Alf Ramsey hasn’t got one,’ Ladyman noted. ‘He’s got one outside Portman Road for what he did in Ipswich. He hasn’t got one at Wembley. So big call to make that one.’

Legendary England men’s manager Sir Alf Ramsey has a bust at Wembley, but not a statue

But as a ‘big fan of statues’, Sutton was happy for one to be sculpted of the legendary England men’s manager too.  

‘I mean, as far as I can see, the most important thing is if (she completes the feat),’ Sutton warned. ‘And it’s still a big if, because Spain won’t be any pushovers. 

‘In fact, Spain will probably be the better footballing team on the eye, but I think England will be more effective. And Sarina Wiegman’s shown her versatility in terms of changing formations, not being frightened to change personnel within the tournament. 

‘So in that respect, if England go on to win it, of course Sarina deserves a statue.’

‘It’s All Coming Up’ is the punchy, short and sharp little brother of Mail Sport’s new weekly podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off’, featuring Chief Football Writer Ian Ladyman and star columnist Chris Sutton on a heated pre-weekend Zoom chat.

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