‘Less credibility than a man’ – Ex-international ‘can’t imagine’ Sarina Wiegman coaching men’s side

Ciaran McCarthy
Pierre van Hooijdonk, Sarina Wiegman
Collage with pictures of Pierre van Hooijdonk and Sarina Wiegman

Former Netherlands international Pierre van Hooijdonk has admitted he “cannot see” Sarina Wiegman managing a men’s side as it’s “about credibility” and a woman has “less than a man.”

Wiegman is one of the most impressive managers in football at the moment. She inspired her England side to European Championship glory as well as leading them to a World Cup final.

The Football Association stated in August that she would be “perfectly capable” of managing the England men’s side and they would consider her to do so if and when a vacancy opened up.

It was importantly noted that potentially moving on from the Lionesses shouldn’t be “projected as a step up.”

Indeed, Wiegman is managing an elite football team and managing the men’s side would only be the same as her current role.

However, former Netherlands player Van Hooijdonk could not see her taking up a role at a men’s side because he believes a woman is not as credible as a man.

“Do you really find that strange? The football world is a cocky world. I cannot imagine Sarina Wiegman entering the dressing room of a team with guests like Rafael van der Vaart. Why not? Well, then I wonder if you have ever been in a dressing room,” he told Studio Voetbal, quoted by Goal.

“We can say it, right? For me it’s about a bit of credibility that you have to have towards your group of players. I’m not saying they have no credibility, but they have less than a man. For me it’s not about who is better, it’s just how it is.”

Suggesting that a woman who’s won a major tournament and reached the final of another has any less credibility than any man is ludicrous. Wiegman has more credibility as a manager than anybody who hasn’t done that, which is a lot of people.

Managing a football team is managing a football team, no matter what the gender of people on either side are.

Van Hooijdonk doubled down on his stance, suggesting we don’t need to see a woman manage in the Premier League.

“Everything has to be broken these days. I think it can and does happen in many things in society, but a female head coach in the Premier League… I think you really underestimate what effect that will have with regard to an away match with an audience,” he added.

“It doesn’t have to happen for me either. Women and men are equal for me, but I’m just pointing out what effect it would have on the football world. The football world is not society.”

Why should a woman who’s one of the best managers in the world not be able to manage a men’s side because a crowd might have an issue with it? That’s simply no reason not to consider them to do the same job they’ve been doing for years.

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