‘Women more emotional than men’ – NI to speak to Shiels about comments
The Northern Ireland Football Association (IFA) is speaking to Kenny Shiels to get his views on his comments after the 5-0 defeat to England.
Shiels made controversial comments after his Northern Ireland side lost to England on Tuesday, saying goals can be conceded because “women are more emotional than men”.
Shiels was speaking after his side’s 5-0 thrashing by England in front of a bumper 15,348 crowd at Windsor Park, as Northern Ireland’s hopes of qualifying for next year’s Women’s World Cup were ended.
He said: “I thought they were struggling a wee bit at times to open us up until the psychology of going two up.
“In the women’s game, you’ll have noticed if you go through the patterns, when a team concedes a goal they concede a second one within a very short period of time.
“Right through the whole spectrum of the women’s game, because girls and women are more emotional than men, so they take a goal going in not very well.
“So if you watch, if you go through the stats – which journalists love to do – go through stats and you’ll see teams conceding goals in 18 and 21 minutes, and then in 64 and 68 minutes. They group them because that is an emotional goal.
“We conceded in 48, with three in seven minutes or three in nine on Friday [in 3-1 defeat to Austria]. We were conscious of that when we went 1-0 down, we killed the game and tried to just slow it right to give them time to get that emotional imbalance out of their head. And that’s an issue that we have – not just Northern Ireland – but all the countries have that problem.
“I shouldn’t have told you that.”
England opened the scoring on Tuesday through Lauren Hemp in the 26th minute but Shiels’ side kept the deficit to one goal at the interval before conceding four times in 27 second-half minutes.
“When we went 1-0 down we tried to slow it right down to give them time to get that emotional imbalance out of their heads. That’s an issue we have,” Shiels added.
“It’s not just in Northern Ireland, but all countries.”
Northern Ireland needed to avoid defeat against Group D leaders England to keep their slim hopes of progressing to Australia and New Zealand next year alive.
While they can still move level on points with second-placed Austria, Northern Ireland’s inferior head-to-head record has extinguished any chance of leapfrogging their rivals into the only play-off berth.
Match Analysis: England’s added dynamism behind big win
Former Everton and Liverpool striker Courtney Sweetman-Kirk told Sky Sports:
“It wasn’t great in the first half, they could’ve been more dynamic but credit to Northern Ireland, they banked up and made it difficult, so England couldn’t find the spaces initially.
“It was much better in the second half, being clinical in front of goal and the movement was much better. It’s job done for England, is the best way to put it.
“I think Lauren Hemp was immensely impressive, not only with the goals but her assists and the way she dragged England out in the second half. Ella Toone was also very good, now England are playing with two 10s she had a great game, especially the way she made the fourth goal.
“Being dogged and determined in your defending and making life difficult for a better team is something you’ve just got to do and the question for Northern Ireland is whether they can do that on a longer period in a game.”
What’s next for England and Northern Ireland?
England Women are next in action in June as they play two friendlies in preparation for the Euros which kicks off in July. Sarina Wiegman’s side play Belgium on June 16 and the Netherlands on June 24, before their opening game of the tournament against Austria on July 6.
Northern Ireland, who share the same group as England at the Euros, begin their tournament against Norway on July 7.