Is it any good?
Discussions about women’s football always seem to freefall into the same well-worn, unproductive gibberish, which usually involves an empty vessel making a comment that belongs in the Dark Ages. Truth is, it should be judged like any other sport, ie is it any good? In my opinion, it’s all right. I daren’t compare it to a male league, as that’s guaranteed to outrage one sex or the other, but as someone who splits their Saturdays between Premier League and non-league football, I believe that a division should not be judged on quality alone.
Women’s Super League, which kicks off this weekend, has its moments, and a quick trip to YouTube to view its best goals of last season proves the point. It’s semi-pro now, which has helped technically, and it is rarely found wanting for pride or passion. Bar the mighty Arsenal, average gates are all in three figures, but an increased TV profile this year might push things on a bit. It’s still not as competitive as one might like, given that the Gooners have complete and utter domination. Maybe they should let Arsène Wenger manage them — he’d soon remedy that!
Football: WSL, Liverpool Ladies v Everton Ladies Sat 7.15pm, ESPN
Winning ways for Wigan
The last time a hooker performed as well as St Helens’ James Roby, Julia Roberts received an Oscar nomination. He shone in their recent win at Warrington, and he’ll need to again at Wigan, in what is just one game on a fixture list good enough to make the south of England pack their bags and move to Flappit Springs.
Rugby Super League: Wigan Warriors v St Helens Fri 12 noon, SS1/5 Live Sp Ex
That old sinking feeling
If truth be told about the World Cup qualifiers, the word “sexy” is not applicable. Try “tough”, “physical” and “losable”. Scotland face a tough awayday, albeit against an erratic Serbian side, while Wales could do with a few more Gareth Bales against a Croatian team with high expectations. I wouldn’t feel comfortable backing any of our “home” teams to bag all three points. Never mind. As the song goes, “We’re not Brazil, we’re Northern Ireland, but it’s all the same to me.”
World Cup Qualifiers:
Serbia v Scotland Tue 7.25pm BBC1 Scotland/7.15pm ESPN
Montenegro v England Tue 7.30pm ITV, not STV/8pm 5 Live
Wales v Croatia Tue 7.30pm SS1
N Ireland v Israel Tue 7.30pm SS3