Shiels made his statements last Tuesday after 15,348 fans in Windsor Park – a record on Northern Ireland soil – watched the women’s national team of Northern Ireland receive a 0-5 draw from England in a World Cup qualifier. The first goal fell in minute 25, the second in minute 52 and the third, fourth and fifth in minute 60, 70 and 73. Because his team also conceded three goals in nine the previous Friday (3-1 loss against Austria). minutes, the 65-year-old national team coach thought he had discovered a universal pattern.

What a hassle! He’s talking about emotional women! Didn’t that man see how many times I was on the field crying?

Arsenal legend Ian Wright

“I’ve noticed a pattern in women’s football,” Shiels said at his post-match press conference. “When a team concedes a goal, very often the next one follows very quickly. And that’s because women are more emotional than men. “They mishandle goals against. When we were behind 1-0 we tried to pick up the pace a bit, to help the players find their balance in their heads. That’s a problem we face – not just in Northern Ireland , but in all countries in the world,” said Shiels, who immediately seemed to know that he had gone out of bounds. “I shouldn’t have said that, surely?”

Northern Ireland

Arsenal legend Ian Wright was certainly one of the many whose statements went down the wrong way. “What a fuss! He’s talking about emotional women! Didn’t that man see how many times I was on the pitch crying?” he wrote on Twitter and his message was accompanied by two photos in which he was effectively seen with the tears in his eyes. Siobhan Chamberlain, former goalkeeper with the English national team, also found Shiels’ words all too bizarre. “When you score a goal or concede one, it happens very often that other goals soon follow. But it’s the same with men. Shiels has to take responsibility. He needs to know how heavy his words can weigh, even on a whim after a match like that,” she said.

In the meantime, Shiels has already apologized for his unfortunate statements. “I might want to apologize for what I said in the question and answer session after the game. I’m sorry my words have caused such a stir. Last night was a special occasion for women’s football in Northern Ireland and I am very proud to lead a group of female players who are role models for many other girls and boys in our country. I am a champion of women’s football and my passion is opening doors for women and girls.”

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