September 7th, 2007
A Bluffer’s Guide to Women’s Football
The Women’s World Cup is mere moments away and we had no idea. Obviously we need some outside help, and possibly a newspaper or two.
In the wake of our ‘ignance, the lovely Carrie @ new football site Kickster.tv, has graciously agreed to fill us in on what we need to know in women’s footie – as quite obviously, we don’t know squat about it.
We do, however, know where to get a good martini. So it all evens out.
A BLUFFER’S GUIDE TO WOMEN’S FOOTBALL
As much as the newly-contracted Arsene Wenger might try, it’s unlikely he’s ever going to win four major trophies in a season.
But that’s exactly what his kit-man Vic Akers did last season as manager of the Arsenal ladies, who are head and shoulders above everyone else in the FA National Premier Division. They’d better watch out because in customary style Chelsea have invested heavily in their women’s side, and will be snapping at their heels this time round.
You’ll have to hang on a second however, because even though the elite domestic season has started, it’s not up and running properly. That’s because the top players are all out in China ready for the World Cup, and most of the Premier fixtures have been postponed. Yes, the girls are ready to go, and if you’re a bit fuzzy on the details of the women’s World Cup, we at Kickster are happy to help.
First up, the decent teams: the USA are favourites to win (remember that lass who whipped her top off after scoring the winning goal in the final of 1999? That was them); not far behind them are Germany, who’re the cup holders and European champions to boot.
The middling teams: Canada, Brazil, China and North Korea are all decent second-tier sides if you fancy a long-ish punt. The making-up-the-numbers teams: Ghana and Nigeria are dominant in Africa but have virtually no chance here. New Zealand are getting better but remain a long way off World Cup contenders, and while Australia are looking stronger than ever, they weren’t really that good to begin with.
As for England, Hope Powell takes her strongest outfit ever to China. After a nail-biting qualification campaign, this is England’s first World Cup finals since the second official tournament in Sweden in 1995, when they managed to get out of the group but were soundly thumped by Germany in the first knockout match. The old enemy more than likely have first place in group A sewn up already; but the good news is that two teams go through and Powell’s girls are in more than fine enough form to pip Argentina and Japan to second spot. The bad news is they’re likely to face the might of the USA or Sweden in the quarter-final.
UK supporters can pick up all the England games on the BBC and British Eurosport. Of course, Kickster will have comprehensive China coverage and much in the way of banter, discussion and inside info.
Carrie Dunn is editor of Kickster (www.kickster.tv), a blog dedicated to women’s football and women in football.