Lasses cannot play football. Will the Women’s World Cup finally bury this falsehood?

Who, like me, looked on in admiration at Janine Beckie’s corners for Canada against New Zealand and thought, “let’s hope George Honeyman is watching ,too”, asks Monsieur Salut?

The Women’s World Cup, or at least what I have seen of it on French TV, has provided great sporting entertainment: excellent technique, movement and commitment without the absurd play-acting that pollutes the men’s game.

There are negatives. Even among the best teams – I am thinking of France, the USA, England and Canada but haven’t seen anything of other favoured sides including Germany or Italy – impressive moves break down with a poor final pass or feeble attempt own goal (so not unlike lots of SAFC games we see).

But my overall feeling is that quality of women’s football has grown significantly; even keepers, a traditional Achilles heel of the female game, are gradually gaining in confidence and ability.

Just look at the clip above, showing Christiane Endler of PSG and Chile making a string of outstanding saves against the USA.

Someone called her stop from Christen Press’s sensational volley one of the most magical moments of the tournament so far. And it was good to see Whitby lass and ex-SAFC star Beth Mead put in a decent shift for England against Argentina.

How some in France interpret the women’s game

Still it’s not enough for some. My old confrere Terry Pattinson posted at Facebook: “I cannot understand why women’s football gets so much coverage……nobody talks about it because the standard is so poor. USA 13 Thailand 0 was an example.”

I pointed out that this scoreline merely reflected the supremacy of the reigning champs, arguably the best this time around as well, and the fact they were up against lightweights. As a Newcastle fan, he should know that high scorelines are not restricted to the women’s game; didn’t Sunderland go to St James’ Park and win 9-1 in what was, for heaven’s sake, a Newcastle title-winning season in the top flight? Terry may even be old enough to have been there even if it was in the first decade of the last century.

Most of Terry’s Facebook pals who responded also shot him down in flames. And he was decent enough to admit that England’s Ellen White – like Janine Beckie a member of the Man City ladies’ team – took her two goals well against Japan. He still scoffed at Japan’s shortcomings in front of goal.

Salut! Sunderland has always been supportive of the SAFC women’s side. And of course, there is an interest to declare in that my younger daughter Nathalie is a smashing player.

But it would be interesting to hear what others have made of the games they’ve seen, players who’ve impressed and an answer to the question posed in the headline … and I naturally expect dissenting views.

2 thoughts on “Lasses cannot play football. Will the Women’s World Cup finally bury this falsehood?”

  1. I’ve watched Sunderland ladies on a few occasions over the years and I agree they often put our millionaire male players to shame.
    But I am ashamed to say I’ve taken no interest in the Woman’s World Cup because I’m in a huff at the disgraceful treatment of Sunderland ladies by the FA. And we probably wouldn’t have a decent England team without the players developed by Sunderland.
    And it gets worse as the money teams have now taken over the “elite” woman’s league with the associated influx of foreign players.
    Ironically it is now a lot like the male premier league and everything that is bad about that league.
    Nevertheless, as much as I dislike the FA I’ll continue to support both the male and female SAFC.

  2. Over the years the standard of women’s football and cricket has improved dramatically and continues to improve. I don’t watch rugby but I’ve no doubt that in that sport too, the women’s game is of a much higher standard than in years gone by.

    The fact that there are still those who seek to compare women’s version of a sport to the men’s game is a hang over from the norms of the past, when the roles of the sexes were viewed differently. That way of thinking has quite rightly been eroded as society has become more enlightened and some sports are no longer seen as the exclusive preserve of the male.

    Most people of my age and background will have gone through a secondary school system where girls played netball and hockey and boys football, rugby and cricket, where the boys did Tech Drawing, woodwork and metalwork while the girls went off to domestic science.

    Nowadays those distinctions are no longer made but I’ve always thought it a bit inconsistent that people who display that attitude rarely compared the men’s and women’s versions of other sports such as cycling, swimming, gymnastics, curling, skiing, badminton etc.

    It would be foolish not to accept that as they approach puberty the male and female bodies develop in different ways, so it made sense to me, not to compare women’s football and cricket with the men’s version but to watch them for what they are. That said there is no doubt that technically the standard of the women’s game is of a much higher level than it was a decade or two ago.

    In some sports such as equestrian, there has always been an acceptance that both sexes could compete in the same events with an equal chance of success. At the highest levels will we ever see women and men competing together in all sports? That is highly unlikely without some serious rule changing, but why for example, if it is accepted that top level male golfers can physically hit a golf ball further than their female counterparts could there not be a top level competition with two separate teeing areas and why are we yet to see women playing in top level snooker events.

    And there are now some women cricketers playing in teams alongside men, at a decent level.

    In the late 18th and early 19th Century there were a number of women’s football teams around and a women’s game at Goodison Park in 1920 attracted a crowd of around 50,000.

    It was the F.A who banned women from playing at their clubs’ grounds and who deemed it unsuitable for women.

    Now can we all stop comparing the two forms of the game and go back to complaining about referees! đŸ™‚

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