We all know someone who is repeatedly and loudly stressing that he won’t be watching the Women’s World Cup despite the fact that nobody actually cares whether he watches or not.
With the tournament hotting up and record audiences tuning in for matches, what kind of excuses should we expect to hear from our resident spoilsports out there?
“The goalkeeping is sh*t”
That age-old cliche doesn’t seem to die even after watching Chile’s Christiane Endler defy gravity multiple times and Karen Bardsley’s insane stop against Japan.
Because after all no male goalkeepers have ever misjudged a cross or been deceived by the flight of the ball, especially not at a World Cup.
Isn’t that right Robert Green?
“Nobody cares about women’s football”
A record-breaking TV audience of 7.6 million for England v Norway may suggest otherwise and we can expect even more viewers for England’s semi-final against France or the USA, but of course everyone is really hooked on the Cricket World Cup where viewing figures are so poor that players have had to ask their families to make sure they tune in.
And you can be sure that a huge number of male football fans will become instant experts on women’s football as soon as it starts to look like England may actually win the thing.
Even if they couldn’t have picked Steph Houghton from Ray Houghton a week ago, they’ll suddenly have very strong views on the exact starting XI Phil Neville should be choosing.
“England won’t win it”
No, they probably won’t, but they might. One thing is for sure, this England team just doesn’t have that England DNA that we expect from our heroes.
We want to see an England team that completely and dramatically comes unstuck as soon as something goes wrong and it seems that the Lionesses just don’t have that quality. Let’s face it, an England team that shows guts, resilience and grit just isn’t a true England team – how are we supposed to support that?
“It’s just not as good as men’s football is it?”
Yeah, because that Lucy Bronze goal against Norway dribbled pathetically over the line didn’t it?
But, of course, football is just not worth watching if it’s not 22 players with six-figure weekly salaries and egos to match. How could we do without the flamboyant dives, the constant whinging at referees and the knowledge that each of the players could have us coated in gold and buy us as an ornament for their spare conservatory?
Women’s football certainly has a hell of a long way to go for the players to start to match their male counterparts in being truly odious gamesmanship-loving prima donnas.
“There’s no fan culture”
The fans have a long way to go as well if they are to get even close to creating the kind of atmosphere of menace that we get at men’s games.
The fact that large swathes of France haven’t been destroyed by rampaging fans is a real embarrassment for the women’s game and you have to think that even if England did win the tournament we run the very real risk that people wouldn’t run amok in Central London smashing up everything in sight. What a sad indictment.