2015 FIFA Women's World Cup: Are England The Real Deal?

2015 FIFA Women's World Cup: Are England The Real Deal?

The English ladies have engraved themselves into history thanks to their World Cup triumph in Canada, but was it for real?

Lauren Maharaj Lauren

The women who represented England at the 2015 Women's World Cup have tread remarkable waters with their third place finish. The Three Lionesses' achieved the best result in the country's footballing history between both men and woman in the last 50 years. The last team to have such a triumphant view was the English men of 1966.

But does this mean their success will be everlasting as they head towards the European Championships and their next feat in the World Cup?

Many of the women who played under Mark Sampson at the World Cup were also the ones who endured the brutal 6-2 loss to Germany in the 2009 Euro final. It was a loss that made them look particularly weak in comparison to their German counterparts.

Coming into the tournament one of the team's best players, Eniola Aluko was unable to reach her best form, as she was recovering from injury and without her firepower from the start; England's danger factor seemed slim.

When Sampson's ladies played the Canadian's in a tune up match prior the tournament they lost 1-0 in what was a poor showcase of their assets. The Three Lionesses' may have finished Group F on level with France - a side they lost a hard fought 1-0 battle too - but still wore the veil of uncertainty throughout the tournament.

It wasn't until England faced the hosts, Canada, in the quarterfinals that they began to show how lethal they could really be. And this happened with Aluko in small doses. Aluko's domestic trials for the Chelsea Ladies are what have helped her gain the reputation of fearful striker and even without her consistently, Sampson's woman were brilliant.

Fara Williams converted three penalties - one being the key to their third place finish - in the tournament and Tony Duggan proved how dangerous she can be upfront.

What should also be noted is that England were handed a tough route of teams to secure not only a place in the round of 16, but also a place in the quarters. 

Credit is also due to Mark Sampson. Sampson made it clear from the beginning how confident his side were of being able to 'go all the way' and in many ways, they did. He is now being rumoured to a move to the Premier League which only proves how much his stock inflated thank to the tournament.

But the pieces undoubtedly fell into place for the Three Lionesses as the tournament grew and with their first ever win over Germany to secure third place - they can surely be considered the 'real deal'.