Men are still not warm to women’s football: ‘Too many simple mistakes’

Honesty begs to be said. It was certainly not easy to find active professionals among the men who wanted to say something about the European Championships of the female colleagues. Off the record, the intended candidates did want to say that they don’t watch women’s football very often and ‘in any case don’t stay home for it’.

‘Very very slow’

How did that happen? Theo Janssen, ex-pro football player and now a football analyst on TV, thinks he knows the reason. “Because women’s football is very slow.”

Janssen was chosen by the NOS to analyze the duels of the Orange Lionesses at the European Championship. He would shine his light on the performance of the women at the tournament in England from the studio. Because of his departure from the public broadcaster, that will no longer happen, but he is still professionally interested in women’s football.

Wrong choices

Janssen says he understands why women’s football is less popular with players of the opposite sex.

“In the women’s matches, unnatural things happen for men’s pros. Like? A lot of simple mistakes are made. In passing, taking. Basic things, actually. A lot of players are wrong or make the wrong choice. Especially when they are under a little pressure. put, they panic and a lot goes wrong.”

That is not a kind judgment, but Janssen emphasizes that he does not say it to belittle women’s football. “Sometimes it is really nice to watch. Very unexpected things can happen. That is an advantage.”

Goals conceded

An example of such unexpected things? Janssen adds a few goals from England from last week’s friendly against the Orange squad. The Netherlands then lost no less than 5-1.

“When you see goals like that; they don’t fall so quickly with the men. So clumsy… You used to see them with Hans Kraay and his Funniest Home Videos† Some crosses are so slow, we would take them on the chest. While this immediately creates dangerous moments for the women.”

Entry level

Janssen emphasizes once again that he means his comments ‘not stupid’. “But in football you see a very big difference between men and women. That is not the case in men’s and women’s hockey, and men and women’s tennis. In those sports it is clear that both sexes are proportional from an early age. train and play at a good level. That does not apply to women’s and girls’ football. The entry level is too low there.”

“It will get better, but something like that takes time. The current women’s Eredivisie is too small. Too many professional football clubs do not even have a youth academy for girls. Today’s internationals grew up with amateurs.”

Janssen would encourage mixing from an early age. “The best girls should actually quickly join the boys. That is good for their resistance. Let’s see where we will be in twenty years.”

Janssen is especially shocked by the women’s keepers. “That’s a real problem. It’s already a thing for the men, it’s even worse for the women. The keeper is often wrong and every high ball is dangerous or even a goal. There are goals that they don’t concede when I am I’m not the smoothest anymore.”

Concerned faces

But that will also get better, Janssen thinks. “In handball, Tess Wester has someone on target, who is really very good. She would also stop men’s balls. That is because she trained and played at a high level at a very young age. So it is important that that is also done.” is going to happen to the football players.”

It is clear: Janssen’s expectations for the European Championship are not high. The Netherlands may be the title holder, but the recent results and form at the Lionesses are worrying faces. Also at Janssen.


“I think Vivianne Miedema is intelligent. A player who can postpone. Lieke Martens has that too. Sherida Spitse certainly has qualities with the ball, but is having more and more trouble walking and switching. The rest can be exchanged. drafting others.”

When the European Championship has started, Janssen will still have a look, despite all the reservations and comments. “The trick is to judge the women in a different way and not to compare it too much with the men. That’s difficult, but they deserve it. I’m definitely going to enjoy it. Stay home for it? No, certainly not in the first place. “

‘Just turn on that TV and try to enjoy’

Ex-pro Sjaak Polak (46) has been working in women’s football for years. As head coach of the women of ADO Den Haag, he is of course interested in the upcoming tournament. “Also because there are players with whom I have worked.”

Let’s be honest, says Polak: “The Netherlands is at a European Championship. I just want to see that. Young girls can see their examples. If Lieke Martens gets it on her hips and Vivianne Miedema is on edge, it will be really fun. “

macho behavior

The ex-footballer says he doesn’t know exactly why active men’s professionals don’t seem to be warm to colleagues. “It may have to do with macho behaviour. In any case, I will sit down for it. It is a fantastic event. Incidentally, I regularly see male ADO players in the stands when we play at home. And many former professionals are now working as a trainer for the women, so there is equal interest from the men’s side.”

He agrees with the words of analyst Theo Janssen. Polak also believes that the difference in level between men and women is greater than in other sports. According to him, clubs and the KNVB can contribute to professionalization. “There should be a collective collective labor agreement, so that all players are full professionals. Now there is too big a difference between the top clubs and their budgets and a club like ADO, where some ladies play for next to nothing. If they receive an offer from PSV or If they get Ajax, they are gone. And they are right. But it does not give you an equal competition.”

‘Great things are going to happen’

Clubs also do not have to pay a transfer fee or training fee for interesting football players who play elsewhere for an expense allowance. “So if, for example, PSV, which already has a much larger budget than ADO, comes for one of our ladies, then we get nothing. While they already have large selections and more money to spend. That is actually doubly unfair. really going to see the KNVB. And more professional football clubs should participate in the Eredivisie for women, so that we get a promotion/relegation scheme. Then you raise the overall level and we all benefit from that.”

Finally, Polak would like to say the following: “Of course you can look at women’s football with men’s eyes. It is and remains top sport. But you should not compare it with men’s football. That is impossible. I am certainly not an ambassador of women’s football, but an enthusiast. Just turn on that TV and try to enjoy. Really beautiful things are going to happen. The final in England, in front of 90,000 people, is already sold out! That says it all, doesn’t it? So there could be some more attention from the Netherlands come for the European Championship.”