I’m really happy with England: Sarina Wiegman rules out USA managerial switch

I’m Really Happy With England: Sarina Wiegman Rules Out Usa Managerial Switch
The 53-year-old is the first manager in history to have steered two different nations to a women’s European championship title, having done so with her native Netherlands in 2017 and England last summer.
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By Rachel Steinberg, PA, Sydney

Sarina Wiegman intends to stay put as England boss amidst swirling rumours the serial winner could be tempted into the recently vacated United States manager’s chair.

On Thursday, US Soccer announced Vlatko Andonovski would step down by mutual agreement following a disappointing World Cup campaign that saw the double-defending champions knocked out by Sweden for a worst-ever last 16 finish.


Wiegman and Chelsea manager Emma Hayes were already among the names frequently tipped to fill the post, but the 53-year-old issued a reassuring update two nights before leading the Lionesses into their first-ever World Cup final.

She said of the chatter: “I’m staying out of that. I’ve heard it. I’m with England, I’m really happy with England and I have a contract until 2025.

“I’m really enjoying my job and I have the impression that people still like me doing that job. I have no plans to leave.”


Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham has said that his organisation would refuse an American approach for Wiegman.

The 53-year-old is the first manager in history to have steered two different nations to a women’s European championship title, having done so with her native Netherlands in 2017 and England last summer.

Four years ago in France, Wiegman reached a World Cup final with the Oranje Leeuwinnen but fell to the US at the final hurdle, so both boss and squad will be determined to secure the trophy that has so far eluded them when they line up against Spain in front of more than 75,000 people in Sydney on Sunday.

The Dutch manager has only been in her post since the summer of 2021, but arrived with a deep appreciation of what it feels like to be a long-suffering England fan.



Asked if she is aware of how much is invested in the Lionesses potentially ending 57 years of hurt since the men lifted the World Cup under Sir Alf Ramsey, Wiegman replied: “I don’t hear it that much because I get out of the noise. But I know it’s there.


“When we started working, I felt that the country was so desperate to win a final in a tournament. Everyone was saying that and the players too. I thought: it’s very real.

“I heard again: 1966. Everyone’s talking about 1966. So let’s be at our best on Sunday and try and be successful.”

Wiegman’s life changed when, in the late 1980s, she met University of North Carolina Tar Heels head coach Anson Dorrance at a Women’s World Cup prototype tournament, an encounter that eventually led the then-midfielder to move to America.

If the three-time FIFA Best winner’s connection to the US concerns fans unconvinced by Wiegman’s earlier assurances, perhaps the Hague-born boss’ sheer enthusiasm for the uniquely religious fervour with which the English consume football will assuage them.

Sarina Wiegman with the Euro 2022 trophy
Sarina Wiegman led England to Euro glory last summer. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA.

She said: “Football is so big in England, it’s so in the culture. That’s incredible to experience. It’s so big. It’s everywhere.”

There has nevertheless been a bit of cultural adjustment for the straight-talking Dutchwoman, who alongside her players has – perhaps reluctantly – become a household name since England lifted the Euro 2022 trophy last summer.

The England boss, who chalks up her side’s growth in part to their learning – at her encouragement – to embrace mistakes, is motivated by “working with very ambitious, talented people”.

Earlier in the tournament, captain Millie Bright also linked Wiegman’s arrival with the establishment of an environment devoid of hierarchy, where players feel they can speak their mind, even when the conversations can be difficult.

Perhaps that has something to do with the Dutch directness Wiegman admits, despite her affinity for England, she has probably imported into the Lionesses’ culture.

She added: “English people are very polite and sometimes you go ‘OK, are you now being polite or are you really saying what you mean?’

“And that’s sometimes finding a balance, because you don’t have to be rude to be direct. So I ask the players and the staff ‘you can be honest, it doesn’t mean that you’re rude. Just be direct’.

“Direct doesn’t mean rude. You can just say what you think and still be very respectful.”

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