My initial reaction was : it could have been worse actually, this is not too bad. It is a bit unbalanced but obviously many players can play in different positions.
The squad list :
2 goalkeepers Bardsley Brown
4 center backs Stoney, Bradley, Dieke* Asante*
1 right back A Scott*
1 left back Rafferty*
1 player covering all back 4 positions Houghton
1 defensive midfield, F Williams
1 central midfield J Scott*
2 playmakers, Little* and Smith
1 right winger Carney*
1 left winger Yankey*
3 center forwards E White*, Aluko, R Williams
Center forwards are mono typed ie fast and like to play in space. No back-up option there with a different profile for a plan B, which is strange. The reserves have 1 goalkeeper Higgins 2 wingers Clarke and Susi, and 1 striker Ross. I think 9 players in the squad are debatable choices while the other 9 thatI have starred out are quality players and should clearly be in the starting 11.
On the questionable choices :
Bardsley does not seem to get many games with Linkopings and her performance level has not been great with England recently.
Brown has an history of mistakes at club and international level in important games and not performing well really. A puzzling choice although she has been in form with Everton in 2012.
Bradley has very good organising skills but could do better in term of ball passing and struggles against fast players.
Stoney has a lot of experience and splendid leadership but again she is not very fast and you cannot have two slow center backs together
Houghton is excellent at right back and center back. She can cover for left back as well, if she used in midfield her season with Arsenal there has shown she has work to do in term of final ball and creativity.
F Williams I don’t think her performance level has been very good in the WSL 2011, 12 and with England for a couple of seasons.
K Smith is an exceptional player but selecting a player with 15 minutes of club football ( plus probably 90 against Chelsea) in the last 6 months before a tournament where the team will play 6 games in 16 days, I believe this is a big gamble.
Aluko well 3 center forwards with exactly the same profile seems strange to me. She is obviously the less efficient one from the 3. Her poor performance against Netherlands recently with a lack of composure in the finishing and the final ball doesn’t help. Her 0% chance conversion rate in 6 world cup games can only raise questions.
R Williams it is good to see her getting a chance but she has the same tactical profile as Aluko and E White so trebbling up that position is just bizzare.
The 4 reserves player
Dunia Susi has been in great form and deserved a place in the 18
Emma Higgins is better than Telford and Chamberlain according to Hope Powell’s saying : “I took the associations out of the equation and it was just about trying to pick a squad of players that I felt would do the best job possible….I am not in agreement with that unless Higgins has improved a lot since we played Northern Ireland in the qualifiers and beat them 6 and 4.
Jane Ross is quality and I have seen her having a very good in a recent euro qualifier against us.
Jess Clarke currently injured and typically capable of having an excellent game or an awful one, you never know what level of play she will bring, a bizzare choice compared to other English wingers around.
And just for fun here is an alternative 18 of rejected players that looks as strong as the one selected : players that are fit and have more skills and form than some of those selected actually
Rose Flaherty Bassett Harrop Ingle
Chapman Potter Fishlock Nobbs Buet
Lander Davison Taylor Dowie Beattie Sanderson