The Premier League has dived into its fifth game week, and the table is slowly taking shape. Against all the odds, Arsenal sits at the top while Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur continue their chase to dethrone the Gunners once and for all.
However, the Women’s Super League (WSL) season is yet to be underway. The WSL starts on September 10 with 12 teams gunning for the top prize in women’s football in England.
Chelsea’s men’s team might have fought their way to finish in the top four last season, but their women’s counterparts lifted the title by a margin of a single point. And the team that missed out on the prize by that point was the north London side, Arsenal.
Arsenal’ Women’s team almost had a near-perfect record in the previous season, losing only one match in the entire domestic campaign.
But in the final game of the season against West Ham United Women, Jonas Eidevall, the manager of the Gunners’ Women’s team clearly emphasized in the post-match conference that his side need to impose better style against quality teams in the European continent.
The Arsenal Women’s team had lost to Barcelona and Hoffenheim in the group stage and missed out on a semi-final spot after an embarrassing loss to Wolfsburg in the Quarter final of the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
There was a call by the gaffer to adapt to high intensity and the preparations before the new season is in complete tandem with this approach.
Recently, Arsenal’s Under 15 side was pitted against the Women’s team and the results were in the favour of the former.
This U-15 side racked up five goals against the Women’s team with no reply.
After the match was completed, reactions followed from all around, focusing especially on the debate of ‘Equal Pay’ for women in football.
It was only a training match between two squads of the same club, but the battalion of trolls who diminish the importance of Women’s football came out roaring and launched a verbal attack about the cries of ‘Equal Pay’ that women endorse in football.
They focused this online incessant diarrhoea on how women still lack the physical ability to compete with boys/men and demand huge wages that are in line with what men are paid in the game.
Equal pay they said— J♠️ (@Jack__0441) August 28, 2022
Reckon it’s only right to give the U15s the same pay as the Arsenal womens first team now.— Afc things (@Gunner2Jasper) August 28, 2022
This chain of thought was allowed to brew without understanding the reason behind the game that transpired between Arsenal’s Men’s U-15 and Women’s team.
It wasn’t put on to display the dominance of the Arsenal youth boys, but to allow the women’s team to play against a team that was quicker, more physical, and sturdy than them.
Going back to Jonas’ statement after the season finale against West Ham a few months ago, the Women’s side was in dire need to perform better in Europe, and playing against junior boys’ team is a sound approach for women’s teams.
Even the European giants Barcelona allow their Women’s team to contest against the boys’ youth team and after some defeats, the Women’s side became used to them and eventually started winning.
There is proof that this approach of pitting the Women’s team against the youth boys’ team allows them to gradually build their physical intensity, which they can bring to the pitch on match days and especially in Cup finals.
But as it always is in football, people want to jump to conclusions with no substantiated evidence. We can only hope that this clarification removes all doubt about equal pay for women’s football.