England’s bittersweet World Cup win and clamping down on happiness

<span>Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/EPA</span>” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/cc_mMffRKnljtibQ6sULWQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU3Ng–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/theguardian_763/5e5caa9df7e2a680ab29569fc1273dfb” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/cc_mMffRKnljtibQ6sULWQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU3Ng–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/theguardian_763/5e5caa9df7e2a680ab29569fc1273dfb”></img></p>
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<p><figcaption><span>Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/EPA</span></figcaption></p>
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<h2><strong>MUTED CELEBRATIONS</strong></h2>
<p>It’s been a mixed day for the Lionesses at the World Cup all right. A fine Lauren James pelt gave England the win over Denmark, and when she scored the goal she ran off all happy, experiencing the enjoyment emotion, smiling and waving and that, in a state of contented grace, stuff that will be NOT ALLOWED when the men’s game resumes next week according to new Ifab and the Professional Game Match Officials Limited celebration-curtailing diktats. An essential move to combat time-wasting, it says here. A clampdown on happiness, in other words. Fun? NOT ALLOWED. Entertainment? NOT ON OUR WATCH. The sensation of pleasure? GET IN THE BACK OF THE VAN, SON. Imagine having the worldview of Howard Webb, though. Once a bobby, always a bobby. You can leave the force, but it never leaves you.</p>
<p><span>Related: </span>Lauren James seizes chance to shine for England on biggest stage of all</p>
<p>Anyway, back to the women’s game, where war is yet to be waged on having a good time and living life to the full. Having said all that, England’s mood right now can best be described as ambivalent. While Sarina Wiegman’s team have progressed to the last 16 Down Under, they’ve suffered the loss of Barcelona’s Keira Walsh to what looks a serious knee injury. Crashing to the ground after catching her right boot in the turf, she was seen telling teammates Lucy Bronze and Georgia Stanway and on-rushing doctors that she had “done my knee”. An instant self-diagnosis that sent a cold shiver down what remains of an England spine already missing constituent parts in Leah Williamson, Fran Kirby and Beth Mead.</p>
<p>Walsh was carted off on a stretcher, leading Wiegman to later observe that “if you can’t walk off the pitch, it’s serious”, though the England manager was understandably reluctant to speculate further on the likelihood of her star player appearing in the tournament again. Wiegman left the existential angst to former striker and Euros hero Ellen White, who ensured that nobody watching the BBC coverage remained uncertain of the gravity of the situation. “She was the key cog, everything moved through her,” sighed White. “I just don’t know who England are going to have now in that [defensive midfield] role.” Time for Manchester City veteran Laura Coombs to step up to the plate, then … and a reminder to those in charge of the game that enjoying the moment really is quite important indeed, because you never know what blow fate might have waiting for you around the next corner. So give it up, will you, Howie, eh? There’s a good lad.</p>
<h2><strong>QUOTE OF THE DAY</strong></h2>
<p>“I’m super disappointed but the word embarrassing feels strong considering the tie isn’t over. They had all the information in terms of what the opposition were like and that proved to be that. I don’t want to give excuses because we just weren’t good enough, but the altitude seemed a bit of a problem in terms of the lads getting a breath in” – Hibs boss Lee Johnson is definitely not giving excuses, nope, after his side’s 2-1 Tin Pot defeat to Andorran heavyweights Inter Club d’Escaldes.</p>
<h2><strong>FOOTBALL DAILY LETTERS</strong></h2>
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Can I be the first of 1,057 people to point out that Alex Ferguson supposedly decided against signing Jordan Henderson for Manchester United because he believed the then-Sunderland midfielder’s running style ‘might cause him problems later in his career’. In hindsight this has proven incredibly prescient, given the manner in which Henderson has sprinted away from his supposed principles in the directions of a huge bin of cash” – Ed Taylor.

After seeing the amateurish video welcoming Henderson and highlighting his role/abilities (and social offerings – ‘a leader who … … someone who runs towards fresh challanges rather than shys away’ – Football Daily Ed), it would almost seem like Ettifaq are giving the finger to those who support the rainbow flag. They wouldn’t do that, would they?” – James Boyle.

It was early 2011. I was in Madrid. I managed to get a ticket for €13 to watch a Spain-Colombia friendly at Santiago Bernabéu. A guided tour of the stadium cost more. The absolute pleasure of watching the World Cup-winning team, seeing Xavi owning the midfield, and seeing the famous triangles being played out with geometric and metronomic precision all faded into the background with the only goal being scored by David Silva. He is worthy of his Manchester City statue” – Krishna Moorthy.

Send your letters to the.boss@theguardian.com. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’ the day is … Krishna Moorthy.

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