A friend told me on Thursday that he had preferred watching the Women’s World Cup in France because it reminded him of a time when football was, well, football. There was, he said, an honesty to it all. There was little diving, not a huge amount of conniving and an overwhelming feeling of striving to win instead of lose.

That is, for the most part, true. World Cups can bring out the worst in players and coaches. The default at World Cups is defence, both in deed and in word. Try not to make mistakes, capitalise on errors and exercise caution...

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