I’ve been loving the women’s football – but could mixed matches be the future? | Adrian Chiles

Once the Euros are over, maybe we should try two teams, each consisting of six women and five blokes – and see what comes to pass

There are blokes who remain sniffy about women’s football. They can’t have watched much of the Euros. I liken these dinosaurs to kids who protest that they don’t like some vegetable or other, even though they have never tried it. Have the spinach – it’ll do you good! The quality of the football is such that a tipping point has now been passed – the point at which the women’s game can afford to not care less what the grumpy old men might be banging on about. They’re a dying breed. They should get their children and grandchildren to explain how the world now works before it’s too late for them. A video of England’s Lauren Hemp on the rampage should do the trick. Her feet, as pundits might put it, will do the talking.

I’m a fan of the women’s game, pure and simple, but the idea of trying out mixed matches also intrigues me. Make up two teams, each consisting of six women and five blokes, and see what comes to pass. How the teams set up would be fascinating. I’m thinking that a 3-1-5-1 formation would soon become standard. The three at the back would be men. They would gather in the D on the edge of the penalty area, stroke their chins, stretch their groins and decide on tactics. If their need to be the alpha male didn’t overwhelm them and reduce the discussion to a brawl, the gameplan would be given to the “1” in the formation ahead of them – another bloke. His job would be to patiently mansplain the tactics to the five women in front of him. Their job, of course, would then be to put it into action by doing all the work. Equally obviously, it would be incumbent upon them to give the ball to the bloke upfront so he could score the goals and get all the glory.

Hopefully, more enlightened arrangements would eventually evolve. Or perhaps I’ll abandon the idea as a bad one. After all, the women are managing just fine on their own.

  • Adrian Chiles is a broadcaster, writer and Guardian columnist

  • Do you have an opinion on the issues raised in this article? If you would like to submit a letter of up to 300 words to be considered for publication, email it to us at guardian.letters@theguardian.com


Adrian Chiles

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