Yes, dear daughter, you shall go to the Women’s Euros along with myself and Lucian Miers, the normal West Ham supporting team. But this time we shall be joining the GAWA, that is to say we are off to see Northern Ireland take on Norway who are rather good. I fear the worst, but we must all travel in hope in the Green & White Army.
Even getting to the finals was an achievement for Northern Ireland so these group matches in the tournament are a bit like a final. If you listen to the BBC commentators, they will gush on ad nauseam about the goal scoring achievements of the Lionesses (England women) and how they are breaking all sorts of records. The reason is that in qualifying for tournaments you come up against some absolutely piss poor teams. Last week Northern Ireland managed to put eleven past Northern Macedonia in the World Cup qualifiers. A few weeks ago England put ten past some hopeless East Europeans and it could have been more. The goalkeeper made some heroic saves but, like a schoolboy keeper, set up England numerous tmes as she could not clear her own half with a kick out.
You see the same thing in domestic women’s soccer. My local side, Wrexham, now has some Hollywood dosh behind it and that means that some talent and real professionalism has arrived at both the men’s and women’s teams. We all hope that the men’s team will make it back into the Football League. Meanwhile the Women’s team is starting its ascent and so, at the weekend, put eighteen past some poor saps who are effectively just larking in the park. But we are not allowed to point out how ridiculous this is and so match balls were presented to four scorers of hat-tricks and the woke media will talk of records being broken.
If you watch women’s soccer the truth is that the standards are just not very good. Wrexham men’s team would beat Northern Macedonia women’s side handsomely and, I fear, would also stuff Northern Ireland. They might well beat the Lionesses the BBC loves to fawn over as potential world champions and as goal scoring record breakers. And so to the Euros. We were told that demand for seats would be so high that we all had to enter a lottery.
That was bollocks. There are matches week in week out in the Women’s Premier League where fewer than 1000 attend. That is the reality. It was just conceivable that the tickets for the England games might be oversubscribed as the tournament takes place in England. But even there I bet that if you applied for seats you’d be almost certain to get them. As for Northern Ireland vs Norway: I applied for three seats and I got them. Quelle surprise. I sense that if you want seats for the game even the day beforehand you won’t have to hand £1000 to a tout, there will be plenty still going. But we must all pretend otherwise and say that it was the luck of the (Northern) Irish that saw my application fulfilled in full.