What’s your take on Women’s football?

by Dexy Longshot

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008
 

Jamie Farrier, the Beelzebub Blogger himself, is back for a second installment of wickedly good debate. If hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, then just imagine how she feels when she’s called offside. Everyone, regardless of gender, has an opinion on the Beautiful Sex’s Game, but it’s still a man’s world in football. The question, dear friends…

 

Does women’s football deserve a better reputation?

Yes

Some people really need to grow up and treat the women’s game with respect. Athletics celebrates a perfect harmony between both gender’s physique and skill. Tennis, despite remaining handicap in sets played in a match, has enjoyed a golden era in recent decades where female players are becoming legends alongside the stars of the men’s game.

Women’s football is in good nick, and getting coverage too. Screening games like Women’s FA Cup and the World Cup isn’t simply some kind of self-congratulatory ‘advert’ for women’s football, it should be treated as a staple part of our sporting viewing. Granted, the stadiums were less than packed, but it’s up to us to get out of our armchairs and enjoy what should be seen as ‘football with a twist’.

Arsenal’s Kelly Smith is a shining example of an emerging football icon. Off the pitch, Jacqui Oatley made the transition from radio commentary to her own full game on Match of the Day last year. Refuseniks were expecting her to slip up, but she put in a sound performance and left said naysayers to grumble about her tone of voice not suited to commentary.

Boorish and unfunny jokes are now a thing of the past, and woe betide anyone who makes such remarks on the comments board. Ever since Brandi Chastain scored the winning penalty against China and created the iconic tableaux of ripping her shirt off, it’s pretty clear we all noticed that she – as did everybody else on that football pitch the time – was in possession of breasts. Shock horror! What gave this snapshot a stark wake-up call to the world was the sculpted, toned and muscular body south of the sports bra. Make all the crude innuendoes you like, there’s an outside chance that she may be tougher, faster and more powerful than you. And the hardest thing to admit is that she’s probably much, much better than you will at football. Learn to respect that.

 

NO

Come on, enough political correctness to the nth degree. There’s only so much back-patting you can do to support a sport that’s still riding on a very flat wave of girl power left over from the 1990s. The truth is that women’s football is an inferior game compared to the men’s. The games are poorly supported and the televised games are filler television, making up the gaps in between the black and white films and dated documentaries on BBC2. Match of the Day material it ain’t.

The men’s game is riddled with mistakes and gaffes – it’s part and parcel of the game. Yet the flaws to the women’s game are magnified and ridiculed for all to see. Case in point is the recent women’s World Cup. Maybe it was just a miss-match of the highest order, but Germany’s 11-0 thumping of Argentina was lowlighted by the abysmal display by Argentine keeper Vanina Correa, who fumbled two high crosses for Germany to net, and even did the dishonour of punching the ball in to her own net. The standard of goalkeeping in the women’s game is noticeably poor, with England’s Rachel Brown gifting Germany their opening goal only the other week. When it’s an argument of whether the ladies’ game deserves a better reputation, the immediate counter-argument is that they make their own reputation.

The support is lacking as well. You can’t force fans to change what they wish to watch purely for the sake of equality. The most recent FA Cup Final was played out at the City Ground. Well, a paltry 24,500 attendance at Wembley would’ve looked a bit pathetic, wouldn’t it?

By all means the women’s game should be encouraged, but to place it on a pedestal when it’s still lacking in terms of the skill in the men’s game just isn’t right. If it is to improve, let it improve in its own time, and the support and popularity will come. The USA are taking the lead on such matters, and if it’s to happen here it will be welcomed with open arms.

The Devil's Advocate

Be Sociable, Share!
  • Stevie

    as Jamie says womans football has come on leaps and bounds over the last 10 years. I actually remember going to see an England v Germany game to take the piss, in fact I was extremely surprised at how good the quality was. But saying that, I still think my Sunday team or in fact a decent mens sunday league team would give both Arsenal ladies and England ladies a good game.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    i have to agree with you mate, I think my best 11 would also give them a good game. Would be a great challenge. May have to try and get a match sorted, the best girls versus an average guys team.

  • Martyn

    Women playing football? Come off it!!
    When a woman can displace a player in the club’s first or even reserve squad, I’ll start paying attention.

  • Kerry

    I don’t understand why you guys feel the need to be the best at everything, get over yourselves – why do we have to compete against eachother to gain respect from you? Do you only watch sport with men in? I take it you refuse to watch women’s tennis…women’s athletics etc etc simply because ‘men are better at it than women’. Maybe there’s another reason you prefer to watch men in shorts instead of women hey Martyn? 😉

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    Martyn is very worried because he looks Bon Jovi and his football career is coming to an end, there’s no room in the team for pop belly wot wots!:)

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    as I have said before, girls will never be as good as men but that’s not the issue, they still have a right to play the game with other girls.

    I’ve posted this comment before but it’s pretty interesting.

    Women Banned in England and Scotland

    Despite being more popular than some men’s football events (one match saw a 53,000 strong crowd), women’s football in England and Scotland suffered a blow in 1921. The Football Association, in England, banned women from playing the game on Association members’ pitches, on the grounds that the game (as played by women) was distasteful. A similar decree was made by Scottish football authorities. Some speculated that these decisions may have been driven by envy of the large crowds that women’s matches attracted. The ban led to the formation of the English Ladies Football Association, and women’s football matches were moved to rugby grounds and park football pitches not affiliated to the FA. The ban limited public exposure for women’s football and slowed its growth, but did not stop it. Women’s football continued to draw dedicated players and fans.

    So there you go…

  • dexylongshot

    Ouch!

    I tell you what, i used to think exactly the same until about 12 years ago when i used to play a bit more regularly (gammy knee ligaments done me over in 96 and i was never the same after that, a bit like Jamie Redknapp). On one Sunday afternoon on the wonderfully waterlogged swamp of Woolwich Sports ground, my team Safeway Blackfen (7209) took on the might of Safeway Blackheath (972something) and as the lager was wearing of from the night before, we lined up and to our surprise saw the Blackheath mob had got in a ringer….a bird!!!!!

    Typical masculine comments started to go around the back four along the lines of,
    we’ll go easy on her”,
    poor thing, her bloke must be ill,
    We didn’t bring any cheerleaders,
    she’s just there to make up the numbers,
    ther’ve got the tea-maker in etc,
    still she looks quite fit in those shin-pads, i’ll give her…… etc.

    Not one player on our side took her seriously, until she stepped up to kick of, a striker no less.

    Guess who was 1st player on the score-sheet, yep, said bird, she was 2nd player on the scoresheet 10 minutes later. She was dynamite, so fast, you just couldn’t get near enough for what i would call an agricultural sliding tackle.

    It wasn’t that my team were pony either. We had walloped the same team 3-0 just a fortnight earlier with exactly the same side. I can vaguely recall she had been on trial for Millwall ladies and rejected. Unbelievable, she was best player on the park by a country mile and most of my team played regular Sunday morning stuff, three of them had trials at Palace, Millwall and Charlton so it wasn’t if we were maka (myself excluded).

    So with that, i will say don’t underestimate the skill and agility of the Divine Feminine with Mitre Delta at her high heel, she may just show you up.

    Ps. We eventually lost 2-1 after she went off early to get to a Take That gig. Joke.

  • Dan Church

    ive got problems with womens football, the reason i dont choose to watch it is cos theres no atmosphere……pitch man utd v arsenal in front of 76000 at Old Trafford or Arsenal Ladies v Doncaster Bells in front of 2134 and theres no contest……im not denying women are half decent at the game but theres no place for women to play in the mens game, there a lot more fragile and couldnt take a full blooded tackle from a large 16 stone centre back. By all means they can play amongst themselves (insert pun here) but no mixing please.

  • Barry Blog

    Surely any virile man’s game would be altered watching a fit honey dribbling around the park, it can only lead to shooting from all angles trying to impress the filly.
    However the womens game is improving and only time will tell if they have it in them to produce an entertaining (if a little slow) game of football.
    Until that time put the kettle on and hush the chat as the season is about to start, cheers love.

  • Kerry

    Thanks for the back up Dexy….it’s true there are certainly some women who can mix it with the fellas. But I think some of you guys are still missing the point….we DON’T want to play against you, no we DON’T want to be wiped out by a 16 stonce centre back. Our bodies are built differently. But we CAN play football. And yes, we are much prettier than you.

  • Martyn

    Girls are much prettier, I’ll give you that Kerry and I do watch women’s tennis 😉
    Bon Jovi rules!!

  • Dan Church

    can i apologise, just re-read my comment and i meant to say i have no problems with womens football. and i watch womens tennis too….Ana Ivanovic is mustard and i wouldnt kick her out of bed either. Someone just needs to retire the Williams sisters. And Bon Jovi used to rock, theyve sold out to the female fan base in recent years. Bring back the mullets.

  • Martyn

    I’ll giev you that, Dan, Ana is quality but haven’t we all sold out to the female fan base in recent years? I know I have ….

  • Barry Blog

    All well and good this about women and football but there is something being lost in translation here. I do not really think anyone minds women playing football and in reality it is quite entertaining when to evenly matched sides play. My only concern is when they play. Common sense must prevail. Saturdays are taken up as most chaps watch the footie down the pub and so the lady needs to mind the kids and if they play on sundays what time will the roast be ready, mid week fine, even friday morning, but weekends has the world gone mad. This retro feminism is fine but please think of the kids.

  • dexylongshot

    wise word Baz.

    PS:
    I’ve set up a free fantasy league if anyone fancies a bash. Pass onto whoever.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/fantasyfootball

    Set a team up, register it, get all your login details and then join this one.

    League – ukfootballfinder league
    Pw – ukfootballfinder

    I’ll do a proper blog on it later in week along with our wicked new premiership predictor game that goes live this week, you can get to meet the UKFF girls on a photoshoot if you win!!!!!!!!

Previous post:

Next post: