Phil Neville has heaped praise on to England right-back Lucy Bronze after her player-of-the-match display against Norway in the Women’s World Cup quarter-final.The Lionesses won the clash in Le Havre 3-0, with Bronze playing a huge part in all three goals.It was her dribble and cross in the third minute that fell so perfectly for Jill Scott to tap in the game’s opener, while later in the half it was Bronze’s ball to Nikita Parris that found the winger with time and space from which she centred the ball to the waiting Ellen White for a simple tap-in. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? But the full-back saved the best for last and in the 57th minute her pile driver from outside the area added England’s third, and final, goal on the night. Bronze is widely acknowledged as one of the top right-backs in the women’s game, but speaking after the match Neville said she has raised the bar even higher this tournament. “I think what you’ve seen tonight, you’ve seen that Lucy Bronze is the best player in the world, without a shadow of a doubt,” he told BBC Sport. “I’ve said it once, I’ll say it three times. There’s no player like her in the world, there’s no player that has her athleticism or her quality and I’m very lucky. I played full-back but never to that level that she plays at – she’s the best player in the world.” The quarter-final success means England will face the winners of France and the USWNT on Friday night, but the Lionesses boss has said he fancies his side’s chances against either team in the last four. “Well, you know what – we want to play them both,” Neville said. “We’re not bothered who we play. We’ll go to Lyon and the atmosphere and the occasion will be great. We’re having fun.” Lyon is, of course, where Bronze plays her club football. With the French side, the England star has won back-to-back Champions League titles and helped Lyon complete the treble in 2018/19. She arrived at Division 1 Feminine outfit in 2017, having previously spent three years at Manchester City. Bronze also has represented Liverpool, Everton and Sunderland.
“From its inception in 2012, there is no doubt that the Army shares a large part of the blame as well, and it has taken a while to get it back on track,” Gen Carter told the committee. Half of the UK population are now so unhealthy they are unable to pass initial Army selection, the chief of defence staff has said.Giving evidence to MPs at the Commons Defence Committee, General Sir Nick Carter said Army recruiters are facing “a very difficult market” in recruiting people healthy enough to enlist.His comments come after the committee was told in October that the Army currently has 77,000 fully trained troops compared with a target of 82,500.Gen Carter, who took up the post of chief of the defence staff six months ago, told the committee that “50 per cent of 17-35 year olds are not healthy enough to get through the selection process.”–– ADVERTISEMENT ––He also admitted that the British Army shares a large part of the blame for its recruitment failings alongside outsourcing giant Capita and that some “appalling lessons” have been learned. Capita were controversially awarded the contract for Army recruitment in 2012. In October this year, the Ministry of Defence disclosed that Capita managed to bring in fewer than one in 10 of the recruits needed for 2018-19 in the first quarter of the year.Asked by Conservative former defence minister Mark Francois whether the recruitment and manning shortfalls are entirely the fault of Capita, Gen Carter said they are not. “To be clear, Capita’s bid when they competed for this contract was ambitious and I think it was overly ambitious and that would be their fault”, he added. Gen Carter also conceded three or four “big errors” were made from the side of the military in the process, including making the contract too complicated and outsourcing the notion of a recruiting sergeant.He said: “If someone is making a decision to join the Army, or for that matter the other two services (the RAF and Royal Navy), they need to see a role model in the process at the front door and that was outsourced.”The second thing that was outsourced, which was definitely a mistake, was the ability to nurture candidates through the process from application to enlistment – and that was something that could not be handled by an anonymous call centre – which was the plan.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.