Wright slams Shiels over controversial comments on women's football

‘He’s talking foolishness!’: Arsenal legend Ian Wright calls out Northern Ireland women’s manager for saying female teams concede goals in quick succession because they’re ‘more EMOTIONAL than men’, as questions over his future mount

  • England beat Northern Ireland 5-0 in their 2023 World Cup qualifier on Tuesday
  • The Lionesses scored four goals in 27 second-half minutes of the second-half
  • Kenny Shiels made the controversial comments in the aftermath of the loss
  • Football fans have slammed the manager of the Northern Ireland women’s team
  • Ian Wright claimed that Shiels was ‘talking foolishness’ in a tweet on the subject 

Ian Wright has slammed Northern Ireland manager Kenny Shiels for his controversial comments over women’s football. 

Shiels claimed that women’s football teams concede more goals in quick succession because they are more ’emotional’ than men.

The remarks came after his team were beaten 5-0 by England in their 2023 World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, with four of the goals coming in the second half.

The Lionesses scored their second in the 52nd minute before further goals in the 60th, 70th and 79th minute.  

His post-match interview in which he made the comments did not go down well on social media, with former Arsenal star Wright leading the reactions to the comments.

Northern Ireland manager Kenny Shiels controversially remarked that women are more ’emotional’ than men following their 5-0 defeat to England in a 2023 World Cup qualifier

The now football pundit wrote on Twitter: ‘Kenny Shiels talking foolishness! Talking about emotional women ! Didn’t that man see how many times I was crying on the PITCH!’

Along with his post, Wright included two pictures of himself crying on the pitch during his time at Arsenal. 

Former England Women goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain described the comments by Shiels as ‘bizarre’.

She told BBC Radio 5 Live: ‘However, Chamberlain told BBC Radio 5 Live: ‘We all know – and we get it drilled into us as footballers – the five minutes after you concede a goal, the five minutes after you score a goal across the board, not just in women’s football, in men’s football as well, you’re more likely to concede a goal, you’re more likely to potentially go on to score again.

Ian Wright has led the condemnation on social media to Shiels’ controversial remarks

Former England keeper Siobhan Chamberlain described the comments as ‘bizarre’

‘That’s not just in the women’s game, that’s in the men’s game as well and to just generalise that to women is a slightly bizarre comment.

‘You need to kind of take a bit of responsibility of knowing the value that words can hold and when you give post-match press conferences when you’re feeling emotional after a big game, it’s important to make sure that you’re speaking sensibly and are aware of the message that your words can carry.’

Football fans have also hit out at Shiels, with one claiming he will be sacked by the end of the week.  

Malachy McGowan commented: ‘Kenny Shiels P45 by the weekend.’ 

Malcolm Webster brought up the point that men’s teams also concede goals in quick succession, bringing up Paris Saint-Germain’s second-half collapse in their Champions League exit to Real Madrid.

He wrote: ‘This level of 1970s style sexism from Kenny Shiels suggests he has no place managing in the Womens’ game. 

‘I’ve seen enough men’s teams do this over the years. PSG recently spring to mind. He should go.’ 

David Wanlass posted: ‘Kenny Shiels after his interview last night,’ with a GIF of Hagrid from Harry Potter saying: ‘I shouldn’t have said that.’

The Lionesses scored their first goal of the second-half in the 52nd minute on Tuesday

They then added further goals in the 60th, 70th and 79th minute in the comfortable win

Dean Keenan commented: ‘Kenny Shiels in…. ‘Kenny Shiels opens his mouth and a load of s**** comes out’ SHOCK Disgrace he’s involved in the woman’s game. Guy is a clown.’

While Colin McBride also added: ‘Shocked it’s taken Kenny Shiels this long in this job to out himself as a total b***end.’

The defeat to the Lionesses came after Northern Ireland’s 3-1 defeat to Austria on Friday, where the opposition’s three goals came within the space of nine minutes.    

And Shiels put the quick succession of goals in both defeats down to women being ‘more emotional’.

‘In the women’s game, I’ve noticed, as I’m sure you’re aware, if you go through the patterns,’ Shields said.

Shiels said that women’s teams are more likely to concede goals in quick succession

The manager’s comments will raise questions about his future at Northern Ireland

‘When a team concedes a goal they concede a second one in a very very short period of time, right through the whole spectrum of the women’s game, because girls and women are more emotional than men.

‘So, they take a goal going in not very well. When we went 1-0 down we tried to slow it down to give them time to get that emotional imbalance out of their heads. 

‘That’s an issue we have. Not just in Northern Ireland but all of the countries in the world.’ Shiels then remarked: ‘I shouldn’t have told you that.’ 

Shiels has been manager of Northern Ireland’s women’s team since 2019, leading the country to qualification for this summer’s Euros – their first major tournament.

His comments though will raise questions about his future as manager of Northern Ireland’s women’s team. 

Sportsmail have approached the Northern Irish Football Association for a comment




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