Alex Scott: Some players face a World Cup hangover but the England squad will have points to prove

The Player's View

It is less than a month since the World Cup finished, and while for many fans the return of the men’s domestic game cannot come soon enough, for some of the players the break will not feel long enough. World Cups are magical, the hangover is not.

The odd thing is I think players who came home disappointed at how they did, like many of the England boys, will find it easier to get motivated than those who did well, like Arsenal’s trio of German World Cup winners. That is certainly what I’ve found.

I will never forget my first World Cup in 2007, or the return to action at home. It was our first in 12 years and we were expected to just make up the numbers. Instead we reached the quarter-finals after holding eventual winners Germany in the group stages. We were all on cloud nine. It was a fairy tale. We lost to the United States, then the world’s No 1 ranked team, but we had exceeded expectations, played in front of big crowds, and attracted media interest back home. We came back on a high, thinking the women’s game was really making progress in England.

What no one prepared us for, though, was the hangover. Unlike the men, we didn’t get to jet off on holiday. I think we had a week’s break then it was back to business. I remember that first game back for Arsenal like it was yesterday. A midweek game away to Watford on a freezing cold Thursday night and a treacherous pitch.

The crowd numbered about 100. A week previously I’d been playing a World Cup quarter-final in front of 30,000. I looked around at my team-mates in a changing room that could hardly fit us all in and I felt depressed. How was I supposed to motivate myself for this?

That was a major part of my decision to take up the offer to go and play in America the following season. I knew after playing at the World Cup I should push on. At the time the structure was not there at home. Now, after heavy investment from the Football Association, we have a strong, competitive FA Women’s Super League and players no longer feel the need to move abroad as I did after 2007.

I felt very different last summer after we had a disastrous European Championship. We had reached the final in 2009 and were desperate to go one better. When we picked up our silver medal I vowed I would never forget the feeling of walking past the trophy to collect my medal, then having to stand and clap the Germans as they lifted the cup. I was determined to remember it, and draw motivation from it, because I never wanted to experience that feeling again. Then we came bottom of the group and I could not wait to get back with Arsenal.

I wanted to prove to everyone who doubted us as a team and as individuals that they were wrong. I also could not wait to get the chance to put an England shirt back on. There was a determination to put the wrongs right from all the players in the team. The motivation was there. We’ve since won all our World Cup qualifiers and have almost secured a place in Canada next year. I’m sure the England lads will feel the same as they approach the new season with club and country.

Not that I expect the Germans to take long to get back into the swing of things. Someone once told me: “You don’t stop till you have a gold medal round your neck”, but I disagree. You want it again and again. You want to replicate that winning feeling. The German team have tasted winning now and it would not surprise me if they win the Euros in two years’ time. The motivation for a player is always about winning.

Alex Scott plays for Arsenal Ladies and has won 114 England caps. She played in the 2007 and 2011 World Cups.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits