What a four years it has been for women's football.
There is obviously still a massive gap between the women's game and the men's in terms of the money making machine but after this World Cup you can really see this gap beginning to close. In terms of what we are seeing from the stands the playing has moved on leaps and bounds. It really has been an amazing world cup from many aspects.
The tournament in France has been amazing. At fW we are of course disappointed that England couldn't make it through to their first World Cup finals but two Semi Finals in a row is not too shabby.
In this World Cup VAR really has come into its own. Love it or hate it you have to admit it really does take away the majority of the mistakes and gets a better grip on some of the games man (woman!) ship in the game. It is not perfect and the ref and her assistants have made mistakes but it does what it set out to do. For what it is worth I believe it actually adds to the drama. That disallowed goal against the USA....we knew it was coming but we hoped it would not. Very much in the way the English men's team had a similar goal disallowed against the Netherlands.
So viewing figures of 11.7m watched England fall at the semi's for the third tournament in a row. 11.7m, that is absolutely incredible and I am sure no one would have predicted that four years ago. Ok, that is not the same as the 26.7m that watched the men's team fall to Croatia but is still a massive jump on from the last semi final in the Euros against the Netherlands. The viewing figures for that game of 4m represented a record. This means viewing figures have tripped. Who's to say when the Lionesses make the final at the next Euros we don't see viewing figures break the 20 million mark. You read it here first. From what I witnessed on Tuesday the lionesses are so close to being the best. If they had got their game together in the first half the USA would have not stood a chance.
So what is going to happen over the next four years?
Well in the UK we have seen the growth in the professional game and even teams like Man United finally waking up and smelling the coffee. I really hope that this momentum continues and who know maybe soon we will see some mixed football.
Now that really would be amazing.
Looking forward to the final on Sunday. It has to be the USA.....doesn't it?